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Cirrus Logistics and Howdens Joinery Host First CLASS Customer Forum

March 16, 2018

Customers of Cirrus Logistics have attended the very first CLASS Forum, held at Howdens Joinery Co., to discover some top tips on getting the most out of the CLASS warehouse design software.

Following on from the successful workshops held during its 2017 CLASS User Groups, Cirrus Logistics has welcomed professionals from across the UK and the UAE as they gathered to network and find out how Howdens Joinery had used CLASS in their new warehouse design. The CLASS Forum, a new event from Cirrus Logistics, was a hands-on workshop with a Q&A session aimed at existing CLASS users, bringing together customers from several sectors including third party logistics providers, retail and manufacturing to name but a few.

Delegates were invited to the half day workshop and tour of Howdens’ brand-new warehousing facility in Raunds, Northamptonshire. Howdens are currently in the process of transitioning their entire warehouse operation into Raunds, and the site will be fully operational by the end of May 2018. As the UK’s largest manufacturer and supplier of fitted kitchens, appliances and joinery products, Howdens supplies more than 650 outlets across the UK and presented how it has used CLASS to aid with the design of their new facility, using simulation to determine the MHE and labour numbers required for the new operation. as well as the preparation for a secondary facility (Raunds 2) which is currently being developed.

Mark Goodrum, Warehouse Planning Manager and Nigel Vaughan, Logistics Development Manager at Howdens Joinery Co, shared with the attendees on why they have been engaged with Cirrus Logistics on this project since November 2015 and how they use CLASS to deliver robust validated designs.

“Howdens has been using CLASS for many years now as it gives us a real insight helping to visualise the best use of space, across all our distribution centres”, commented Vaughan. “The warehouse design tool is easy to use and enables us to assess different scenarios, demonstrate our vision to senior management and suppliers, as well as helping us to understand what resource is required and what the transport flows on site can or should be. We’re also able to use it to challenge operations teams to use the space – not just fill it”.

In addition, the CLASS workshop explored some of the less frequently used, though extremely powerful features of CLASS. The Data Editor allows users to copy data from a spreadsheet and paste into CLASS or vice-versa. Delegates were impressed to see that the Data Editor holds all projects within data tables, all of which can then be edited, making it quicker and easier to make changes to larger, more complex models. Delegates also welcomed the demonstration of the brand-new CLASS Visualiser module, which provides both real-time and historic visualisation of warehouse picking activity, together with a heatmap highlighting the most frequently visited locations.

Simon Shore, managing director for Cirrus Logistics added, “The CLASS workshops proved to be very popular during last year’s User Groups and following customers’ requests to roll them out as a separate entity, it’s great to see such an interest in this event.”

“We’re especially lucky to work with forward-thinking industry leaders like Howdens Joinery, who not only believe in our CLASS solution, but are happy to welcome other customers and share their own expertise with using CLASS” added Simon. “With over 25 years in the industry, events like this are vital for us to not only share our knowledge, but to continually listen to customers, allowing us to improve and develop our solutions to help meet the constant challenges they face.”