4murs achieves 50% productivity gains on single, small-item orders

The project at a glance

Specialist home decoration and DIY retailer 4murs uses Reflex WMS to manage 10 AutoStore picking, replenishment and inventory robots at one of its warehouses. By introducing the robot system and linking it with Reflex WMS, 4murs has achieved 50% productivity gains on single-item orders and reduced the amount of space needed to store small items, opening up opportunities to support the firm's new strategy.

Business sector: specialist retail

Sites: 10,000 m2 warehouse equipped with the AutoStore robot system

Solution: Reflex WMS Web

“The robot system, coupled with Reflex WMS, opens up new opportunities such as omnichannel, single-item delivery across our entire product range, and dynamic picking.”

Yan Beaudoing

Logistics Project Manager, 4murs

Context and objectives

4murs, a family business founded in 1969, has recently been working on a new lifestyle store concept. Its 120 stores and e-commerce website, once best known for selling wallpaper and DIY equipment, have been transformed into fully fledged interior design stores complete with regularly updated collections spanning wallpaper, paint, curtains, voiles, and decorative accessories such as picture frames, posters, stickers and cushions.

Logistics is vital to the firm's new strategy. 4murs switched to Reflex WMS in 2014 as it sought to optimize logistics processes across its four warehouses. Seeking to further automate its logistics operations, the firm decided in 2016 to equip one of its platforms with a robot system (WCS) to store more items, pick single-item orders and boost stock rotation. The AutoStore system comprises 10 picking, replenishment and inventory robots operating across 13 different storage levels, capable of accommodating up to 23,000 containers.

The solution

As well as introducing the picking and storage robot system, 4murs also migrated from Reflex C/S to Reflex WMS Web. It took just two months to switch over to the new system, configure Reflex and deploy new touch-screen interfaces for some AutoStore-related processes. The combined AutoStore and Reflex WMS setup went live in February 2018. Reflex WMS manages all aspects of the AutoStore system, telling the 10 robots what items to pick from the 10,000 containers and conveying the items to two “goods-to-man” workstations. It also manages automatic container replenishment.

Going forward, 4murs has other optimization plans in mind, including pick-and-pack, wave picking, paper dip management, optimized shipping, and using AutoStore and Reflex to manage e-commerce orders.

The benefits

  • 50% productivity gains on single-item orders
  • Storage space savings (all logistics activities concentrated on one site)
  • Permanent inventory of items stored in AutoStore