The Accountants Almost Cried With Joy

Less order-picking errors, more orders shipped and such exceptional inventory control that the accountants almost cried out of joy. This is what happened when Smedby modernized their transport and warehouse management with the help of LogTrade.

-One of our warehouse workers asked to retire early. He did not want to continue working when we decided to move from picking lists to personal digital assistants (PDAs) with an integrated digital logistics system, says Magnus Åhlin, Finance Manager at Smedbo.

However, when the former employee came to visit one day he became enthusiastic. For someone who had spent his whole career in a stockroom and loved having things in order, it was like stepping into a dream.

-He often comes in now and helps us out whenever there is an activity peak.

Where is all the money?

Switching transport and warehouse management systems might not have been something that initially delighted everyone, but four years later, no one in the company could imagine going back.

-Pretend that each item in your stock is a differently sized wad of money. Would you accept not knowing where one of them was?

-The people who actually were happy from day one must have been our accountants. They nearly cried with joy when they realized what insight we would get into our inventory with the new system. Our stock value is an important part of the balance sheet.

As a Finance Manager, Åhlin fully understands accountants.

-Pretend that each item in your stock is a differently sized wad of money. Would you accept not knowing where one of them was?

From paper and pen to science fiction

The heart of Smedbo’s business operations is its central warehouse, located in Helsingborg in the southwest of Sweden. The warehouse contains 1,300 basic items, each marked with an item number. Every item is then made up of multiple subitems in the form of screws, assembly instructions, packaging, etc.

-Before we started to use the PDAs and implemented LogTrade into our ERP system, we handled every task manually, and there was often a backlog. Today, we know exactly where each item is and how it is being moved every second.


At Smedbo LogTrade has been integrated into Microsoft Dynamics NAV.


LogTrade operates in real time and in harmony with the ERP system and the PDAs, making sure nothing goes off the radar without the system reacting.

In the physical warehouse, the PDA tells the worker which shelf to go to, and the worker then scans the barcodes on the shelf and the product. If there is a mismatch, the device will beep and tell the worker what is wrong.

-By deciding to use LogTrade instead of a regular TM system, we have moved up several steps on the development ladder. I do not want to go into exact numbers, but we ship several more orders per person-hour today than we used to and the order picking errors have been reduced remarkably.

Free to choose whichever carrier you want

-It is very easy to change carriers in LogTrade because everything from labels to EDI-transfers has already been prepared. This is excellent and important to us since we review and contract with new carriers every year and at any given time we use the services of between 3—5 different carriers in each country.

The demand for faster deliveries increases

No news is generally good news, but even retailers have praised the improvement LogTrade has caused. Magnus Åhlen tells us how important it is for Smedbo to be able to meet the rising demand for delivery services.

-The demand for faster deliveries and better services and flows just keep growing.

-We will see more suppliers shipping goods directly to the customer on behalf of the retailer, says Åhlen. Retailers are also going to want to optimize their limited storage spaces and their tied-up capital. That demands that Smebdo can handle many small orders instead of fewer and larger orders made by the pallet.

-Thanks to our PDAs and LogTrade, we can now handle this new way of ordering well, and it is also possible for us to continue to tweak and develop the system We feel safe with LogTrade because it is designed with much larger and more complex transport flows than we have today in mind.

Expanding the use of LogTrade to other countries

Smedbo’s warehouse in Germany is going to implement LogTrade soon.

-When the world changes, says Åhlin, we must change with it. For Smedbo change means spending as little time as possible on every order so that the handling does not eat up the profit margins.

-To be able to do this we need an excellent good digital logistics system, or maybe first and foremost a skillful long-term logistics partner

-In LogTrade, we have that.

SMEDBO–A Purveyor to the Court

• Smedbo develops and sells bathroom accessories and decorative metal fittings. The company was started in 1967 with the introduction of its first bathroom series, Herrgård.
• The company is the market leader in Scandinavia and plays an important part in the rest of Europa and the United States.
• All Smedbo products come with a one-year warranty and the royal warrant "Purveyor to the Royal Court of Sweden.