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From beard trimmers to kettles and hair dryers – the US consumer goods company Spectrum Brands sells a range of electric shaving and personal care products and small household appliances. All of which requires a reliable logistics partner who can efficiently deliver its products to large electrical stores and dealers' central warehouses on the European market. The Roman Mayer Logistik Group is Spectrum Brands' chosen partner in Germany, picking, storing and distributing goods on behalf of Spectrum Brands at its 20,000 square metre logistics centre in Nuremberg. The LFS Warehouse Management System from the Ehrhardt Partner Group (EPG) is a key part of the process. EPG implemented LFS at the Nuremberg site in nine months for efficient warehouse logistics at Roman Mayer. "Using the new warehouse management system, we have managed to achieve a one hundred per cent delivery quota and an almost one hundred per cent quality quota – in terms of providing the right goods exactly when they are needed", says Werner Böhm, Branch Manager at Roman Mayer Logistik GmbH in Nuremberg.
Since it was founded in 1969, the Roman Mayer Logistik Group has been a family-run company that provides the full range of services along the entire supply chain. Roman Mayer operates a 20,000 square metre warehouse at the Nuremberg site with 30,000 pallet spaces. The Group won the contract for Spectrum Brands' contract logistics in 2019. The US consumer goods company had just sold its battery division and was looking for a reliable logistics partner to supply the European market and regions in Russia and Africa. "Since EPG's Warehouse Management System has an excellent reputation in the industry and EPG had already installed LFS in the contract logistics centres at Döderlein Logistik GmbH in Nördlingen and Hirschberg, which are part of the group, EPG was the obvious choice", says Böhm.
LFS rapidly integrated the warehouse's new automation technologies
Roman Mayer GmbH has developed the logistics centre from a manual warehouse to a partially automated warehouse over the last two years. This has involved integrating a sorter for pick-by-light picking, as well as other changes. The contract logistics company turned to EPG as a supply chain software specialist who could rapidly deliver. EPG then implemented a new Warehouse Management System that meets the logistics service provider's requirements comprehensively. The new system had to integrate the new automation technologies into the warehouse quickly, as well as improve the picking strategies, optimise the material flow and increase processes efficiency. Thanks to LFS, employees can now pick with pick-by-light, for example. This involves displays mounted directly above the items that illuminate the item position and display the quantity to be picked. The pick-by-light module is already integrated into the standard version of LFS. Developing the program on a single codebase guarantees that the modular LFS continues to be independent of the preferred hardware or operating system.
Two-stage calculation of the consignment loading units
Roman Mayer integrated a high-bay pallet warehouse with four levels into the inventory warehouse and also added an important system to its warehouse management in the form of the new sorter, which has noticeably improved the system for order pickers. "Roman Mayer needed a two-stage calculation for the consignment loading units – full pallet picking and shipping box picking, which calculates both the individual box as a package and the number of packages that fit on a pallet. We also had exact specifications as to how the pallets should be loaded", explains EPG Project Manager Maximilian Loos. For the pallet picking, boxes that are ready for dispatch are loaded directly onto the pallet from the applicable manufacturer. For the shipping box picking, the ordered goods still have to be consolidated and packed. The box is then labelled and shipped with a delivery note.
Werner Böhm highlights the comprehensive support from EPG throughout the process. "The support from the professional EPG team on site was always rock-solid – both for go-live in June 2020 and at the follow-up check two months later".
LFS accommodates the custom shipping solution with ease
Roman Mayer organises the entire flow of Spectrum Brands' goods on the European market. The small electrical appliances arrive from the Far East by ship in containers in Hamburg or Rotterdam. Roman Mayer Spedition picks up the containers from the ports and transports them by rail to Nuremberg. Every day, 15 to 20 containers are then stored in the logistics centre and distributed on up to 1,100 pallets by up to 35 HGVs to customers in Germany and the EU. "We supply customers who order a dozen pallets for their central warehouse, but also branches of electrical retailers that order just one box of hair dryers, for example", explains Böhm. To be able to react to the different purchasing behaviour of wholesalers, Roman Mayer needed a custom shipping solution that can apply specific labels to individual boxes consolidated on one pallet. "The haulage companies that deliver the goods to the retailers usually break the pallet open again to then deliver boxes to the individual branches", explains Böhm. Since the labelling in Nuremberg is handled by third-party software, EPG had to connect to the interface. Thanks to its open interfaces, LFS was integrated into the existing IT infrastructure highly effectively. "With LFS, you communication interfaces with all commercially available systems as well as hassle-free connection to customer-specific software systems as a matter of course", says Loos.
Thanks to the modular design of LFS with its flexibly expandable range of functions and the long-term partnership, Roman Mayer and EPG are now discussing further projects. After successful implementation at the Hirschberg, Nördlingen and Nuremberg sites, the logistics service provider is planning to bring LFS to more of its branches this year.