Project Description

“Empirica is a true packaged solution that provides what we need and is well matched to our business with its support for mid-sized warehouses and flexible implementation with minimum complexity.”

ABP Connect is the value added logistics division of port operator Associated British Ports, who handle roughly 25% of the UK’s sea-borne trade, providing nationwide warehousing and logistics services.

The Chess Empirica Warehouse Management System is operated at the ABP Connect centralised IT Centre in Immingham, North East Lincolnshire and is networked across four satellite UK depots. The business of ABP Connect is diverse, and the Chess solution reflects this.

ABP Connect, the value added services division of Associated British Ports, has selected the Empirica warehouse management system from Chess Logistics Technology for a major new contract.  The company selected Empirica because the application met its operational and business requirements including remote management of two satellite warehouses from its centralised IT Support Centre.

“We are in third party logistics and needed a multi-client, multi-site solution that could be implemented quickly to get the contract up and running,” says Owen Mooney, Head of Information Solutions at ABP. “Empirica is a true packaged solution that provided what we need and is well matched to our business with its support for mid-sized warehouses and flexible implementation with minimum complexity.”

Established in April 2001, ABP Connect is the value-added services division of Associated British Ports (ABP). It adds value to supply-chain management through its warehousing, distribution, transportation and logistics services throughout the UK. ABP is the UK’s leading ports business, owning and operating ports in England, Wales and Scotland and handling approximately one quarter of the country’s sea borne trade.  The company is strongly focused on growth and has recently opened additional warehouse facilities in Hull and Lowestoft and taken over the operation of a rail freight terminal in the Midlands.

For this latest contract ABP Connect is operating two ambient warehouses, one in the north, one in the south, to store a wide range of products for its customer. The company needed a warehouse management system that combined accuracy and security with flexible storage and picking for a large number of different items.  It also had to hold financial information about the items and provide excellent stock identification and traceability functionality to meet customer requirements.

Chess Logistics Technology implemented the level three version of its Empirica warehouse management system at the ABP Connect IT Support Centre in Immingham.  The software has been configured for centralised management to oversee all storage and handling operations in the two satellite warehouses.  Both sites have hand held and truck mounted RF equipment to support wireless communication with the Empirica software while wide area network links provide connectivity with the ABP Connect IT Support Centre.

“The whole operation went live in July just three months after the customer awarded the contract,” says Owen Mooney.

The selection of Empirica for this contract is in line with the developing IT strategy at ABP Connect.  The company has been using a number of different warehouse management systems, including previous Chess products, and is now streamlining its operations.

“We are looking for long term partners and chose Chess for this contract, “ says Owen Mooney.  “Commercially we need high quality and high value solutions.  Chess can also deliver solutions where the up front costs can be identified because Empirica can be deployed with very little reconfiguration.”

“Empirica provides us with an effective solution now but with flexibility for the future.”