KNAPP | Flexibility and stability in logistics industry

The world of logistics is becoming more and more demanding. Through an optimal mix of technologies, as well as through their further ongoing development, KNAPP designs all processes and systems with efficiency and simplicity in mind. Reducing transport times and ensuring fast delivery times is essential.

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KNAPP AG develops and markets automation technology and software solutions for logistics and production facilities. The company serves the core areas healthcare, textiles and fashion, trade, e-commerce and omnichannel retail, food retail and production. 

The KNAPP group has a network of 40 locations worldwide and more than 4,200 employees. More than 1,800 systems are in operation around the globe.

Their warehouse management system KiSoft controls and organizes all processes, from goods-in to goods-out, handling effortlessly huge and unequal workloads within the warehouse. KNAPPs advanced warehouse automation systems are used in companies around the world and are recognized as the pinnacle of technology. Some of their most respectable customers are John Lewis, Marc Cain, Marks&Spencer, and Spar.

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Responsibilities

The world of logistics is becoming more and more demanding. Through an optimal mix of technologies, as well as through their further ongoing development, KNAPP designs all processes and systems with efficiency and simplicity in mind. Reducing transport times and ensuring fast delivery times is essential. Set up of individual warehouse systems is a significant project spanning up to two years.

To fulfil the increased demand and to be able to work on several parallel new implementations and maintenance of their warehouse solutions, KNAPP needed an
increased number of experienced software engineers. They also needed flexibility to support them on unpredictable number and size of projects. 

Due to industry specifics such as complex business domain and long project deployment timeframes, KNAPP looked for engineers who will remain in the company at least for five years to achieve stability and domain knowledge continuity. KNAPP turned to Serengeti to form a team with focus on domain knowledge, scalability, flexibility and stability.

Solution

Serengeti utilized its unique team extension model and best nearshoring practices to form an extended WMS project development team. We covered the full cycle service in WMS, from development and testing to maintenance. Warehouse Management System is an application which drives and controls all processes within the warehouse. It is the backbone of a warehouse and is developed in the extensive, advanced enterprise application framework. Serengeti team works on different KNAPPs customer’s implementation projects.

In each end customer projects, which lasts from 12 to 18 months, the whole WMS system is developed based on defined specifications. WMS system covers the complete flow of goods:
from receipt of goods and entry into the warehouse to goods exiting the warehouse and delivery to a client. Because of the importance of the project and significant involvement of crucial people in KNAPP, it was important for the Serengeti team to be as independent and efficient as possible. Unique team extension engagement model advantages were critical to ensure efficient and effective ramp-up, minimum customer management overhead and to maintain a high level of communication required to achieve an excellent understanding of business requirements. Serengeti formed flexible teams that can quickly adopt to new project requirements with its size and skillset.

Developed system backend is modular and extendable as required by a particular project and is powered by Java EE, EJB and Oracle database. The system keeps track of the stock lifecycle from entering the warehouse to dispatching stock to the customer. It communicates with several other subsystems like systems used by operators and systems that are managing hardware components within the warehouse.

Result

KNAPP is growing business rapidly and has established itself as one of the global leaders in the logistics domain. Through the knowledge of KNAPPs core business and technical competence, Serengeti has proactively helped KNAPP accelerate the development of the WMS system in the technical and functional part thus helping it reach their business goals and fulfil customer demand. With proven and reliably partner, KNAPP is able to support more customers with their unique business requirements and implementation deadlines.

Due to business success, Serengeti reliability and high team stability, the partnership between KNAPP and Serengeti is ongoing for more than 6 years with several projects successfully implemented and some new ones in the pipeline.

Each year we have to deliver between 4 and 8 large software projects to our customers. Therefore, scalability and flexibility in R&D is one of our biggest challenges. High performing teams and mature Team Extension engagement model from Serengeti helps us for many years to master this challenge.

Manfred Weiß

Head of Project Development at KNAPP System integration GmbH

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