NYRSTAR in Balen

“Employees convinced by flawless operation”

“Half an hour time-saving per day, times forty employees: go figure””, Robert Mallants summarises the introduction of Tradcom at Nyrstar. As planner, he passionately explains how management of small maintenance materials at the zinc giant in Balen was reshaped the Tradcom way. Result: satisfied employees, a crystal clear stock AND a considerable yearly cost saving.

At Nyrstar in Balen, around 40 maintenance technicians daily ensure the smooth (electro) mechanical operations. Mallants: “In 2010 the organisation and procedures of small maintenance materials needed improvement. The stock overview could be better and due to the size of the site our people easily lost half an hour per day by movements to and from the central warehouse. In addition, we did not have any view on the rotation of those materials. Since we at Nyrstar are continuously striving for improvement, in purely mathematical terms, we could make considerable savings per day, if we tackled these problems.”

Conclusion: the entire logistics system of small user materials needed a thorough makeover. “Two years ago the Tradcom project was launched”, Mallants explains. “First clean up and map all hidden stock. Next draw up new material lists together with the suppliers Eriks+Baudoin and Rexel and strategically choose the pick locations for the 900 articles from the central warehouse. And finally the moment of truth: go live and hope that the sceptics are proven wrong.” Which they were

From scepticism to pride
“It is quite simple: if people see AND experience that something is working well, then you immediately convince them 100%. Because Tradcom has, next to profit and efficiency, also delivered ease of use. The picking-inventory is within reach, and every week someone from Eriks+Baudoin scans and supplements the picking-inventories. Our people can therefore fully focus on their core business: ensuring a safe production. If the system were to have sputtered just the once, we would have lost the wider support immediately. Now, everyone stands united behind the new procedure. More still, other companies visit us to see how we are tackling things here.”


Uniting factor
Tradcom has had impact on a number of levels. “Because physically moving a supply is one thing, you must also offer a uniform solution to combine all operational and administrative aspects. And that is exactly where Tradcom’s strengths lie: it is the ideal uniting factor between all parties. The fact that today it is clearly documented which materials are used and to what extent, already represents a huge gain. Also keep in mind that the workload in the central warehouse has dropped, and that also procurement has less worries. At present, we are therefore actively investigating how we can expand the system using other materials.”