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Five halls; 500 meters long and 100 meters wide. Groundbreaking in May; moving in October. The logistics service provider Simon Hegele, located in Karlsruhe, Germany, strengthens its market position in its multi-user warehouse in Raunheim, focusing on spare part logistics and value added services. The central requirements of the company’s customers: optimum processes to attain highest quality standards. With the LFS software package provided by Ehrhardt + Partner, Simon Hegele found a warehouse management system meeting these requirements. Thanks to the multi-client capability of the warehouse management system, Simon Hegele can satisfy every single customer’s requirements on a day-to-day basis. The logistics service provider handles up to 2,000 orders per day in the Raunheim warehouse. With LFS, Simon Hegele profits from highly flexible processes and transparent inventory management in the multi-user warehouse near Frankfurt airport.
The Mönchhof premises house an impressive building complex. On more than 55,000m², a wide item range is stored. Up to 80,000 items are stored near the highway, the airport and the Main River. Spear parts logistics, in which the Karlsruhe-based company founded in 1920 is active, is a very sensitive industry. Besides DB Kommunikationstechnik, the world market leader in 3D printing and a renowned manufacturer of medical devices have commissioned Simon Hegele with their worldwide spare parts supply. From small screws to large ticket vending machines – the orders have to be processed quickly, because the products are needed immediately. “Our main focus is maximum flexibility”, says Sebastian Schmitz, Operations Director at Simon Hegele in Raunheim. “Especially in the domain of spare parts logistics, we have a huge responsibility and play a decisive role in our customers’ supply chain. For us, optimum warehouse management is a central factor of success”.
With its 52 locations, the Simon Hegele Group is active at an international level. 2,500 employees not only contribute to high-quality logistics services, they also provide many value added services. Among others, this includes the production of repair and maintenance sets as well as the final assembly of single components. High-tech devices are installed on site and the users are trained to be able to operate the technology. This way, the customers of Simon Hegele can focus on their core competences. “To our customers we offer maximum quality and reliability. Simon Hegele is always one step ahead in logistics. This 360° approach makes us more than a service provider for our customers”, Sebastian Schmitz explains.
Successful stress test
When the construction of the logistics center started, the goal was very ambitious. “A new major customer wanted to handle their spare parts logistics via Simon Hegele’s Raunheim warehouse as soon as possible”, reports Schmitz. Besides the construction, a centralization of the sites in the Rhine-Main Area and a move of the existing logistics infrastructure were planned. In addition, the company was looking for a new warehouse management system to make its processes more efficient. The processes in the new warehouse had to be configurable in a flexible way without affecting the picking and transport speed. “E+P is always a strong competitor when it comes to warehouse management systems”, says Schmitz. A stress test on the E+P premises in Boppard convinced the Simon Hegele experts of LFS. The decision in favor of their warehouse management system was made due to the multi-client capability and the certified SAP interface, which are essential for running a multi-user warehouse.
Every day has its own DNA
The five areas of the new Raunheim logistics center comprise a high bay warehouse with 47,000 pallet spaces. The automated small parts warehouse offers space for 55,000 Euro containers. If required, the container capacity can be doubled. Bulk storage areas and long goods warehouses are also part of the logistics center, just like refrigerated containers in which sensitive items are stored at temperatures between four and eight degrees Celsius. LFS also provides data to the software of the certified open customs warehouse. Every day, an average of 2,000 orders is picked with RF devices. In Raunheim, no day is like the other. The number of orders varies by up to 40%. “Each day has its own DNA to which we need to react in a flexible way”, says Schmitz.
This is accomplished with the LFS warehouse management system. It controls all processes from goods receiving to loading and coordinates them in an intelligent way. “We performed a release upgrade to the LFS Version 7 during running operation”, Stefan Meyer, project manager at E+P, reports. “Otherwise, the go-live of the new automated small parts warehouse would not have been possible. That was a challenge we mastered very well together.”
Multi-client capability of LFS
Every customer of Simon Hegele is recorded as a new LFS client. In goods receiving, there are both customer-specific and general processes. Via the customers’ ERP systems, purchase orders are recorded. Via the interface, those are transferred to LFS as customer orders. In average, 40 to 60 percent of the orders are placed in the afternoon. LFS adjusts the picking type depending on the time of day and the order volume. In case of large order volumes, picking takes place per client. The employees then only pick items for one customer. Cross-client multi-order picking is also possible and necessary. Small orders consisting of only a few items are packed afterwards. This “quick checkout” saves time when processing urgent orders. In the goods dispatch process, the full flexibility of LFS shows. There are two types of packing. In Hall 3, the goods are automatically packed and provided for dispatch. Depending on the product size, an individual goods dispatch process takes place for large and bulky products.
Always new requirements
“For us, LFS is more than just a supporting IT package. The warehouse management system is an essential part of our success”, says Sebastian Schmitz. “The software is a key factor in fulfilling the requirements posed by our customers every day.” For the experts of E+P, the project is not yet completed, as project manager Stefan Meyer states. “There are always new clients with new requirements.”