Sector: E-commerce for office and warehouse equipment
Company: Over 1,000 employees and 880,000 customers in nine countries.
Challenge: Intralogistics reorganisation; increase of inventory turnover, including newly opened distribution centre in Wetzlar. Assortment of approx. 125,000 items.
Solution: Integrated intralogistics concept from STILL and state-of-the art conveyor and shelving technology from SSI Schäfer. Comprehensive approach to safety and service.
Products: 32 trucks at the Wetzlar site, STILL FM-X 14 reach trucks (incl. lift height pre-selection driver assistance system), STILL OPX-20 horizontal order pickers, STILL OXV 07 vertical order pickers as well as STILL EXD-S 20 double deck high lift pallet trucks, STILL ECV 10 high lift pallet trucks and STILL EXU 18 low lift pallet trucks.
In view of increased demand for its online goods, Schäfer Shop has also reorganised its intralogistics and set up an additional distribution centre in Wetzlar. The new forklift fleet from STILL is adapted to the logistics concept both there and at the Betzdorf storage site and ensures that orders are delivered reliably – all this in the context of higher inventory turnover with a larger assortment.
Easy. First Class work with Schäfer Shop products
For over 45 years, Schäfer Shop has been delivering complete equipment for offices, warehouses and workshop facilities. Testament to the strength of the Schäfer family business is its ability to look back on expertise acquired over an 80-year company history, full of awards. Since 1999, customers have been able to place orders online as a convenient alternative to mail-order catalogues. The Schäfer Shop has become a household name across Europe thanks to its branded fleets of lorries.
In Germany, the Schäfer family business manages three storage sites. The Burbach warehouse is home to shelving and waste technology as well as to a wide range of SSI Schäfer containers. Warehouse management at the Betzdorf site, on the other hand, is geared towards handling office furniture. Opening a third storage site in Wet- zlar in 2021 as well as establishing Schäfer Shop Logistic Services GmbH were both key additional steps in reorganising the Schäfer family company’s internal logistics. Head of Service and Administration Logistics at Schäfer Shop, Tolga Deveci, outlines: “Our huge assortment totals around 125,000 items. In order to also be able to guar- antee that ordered goods are delivered reliably in the future in line with our ‘Easy. First Class work’ motto, we reorganised all the Schäfer company’s internal logistics processes and procedures. Therefore, together with STILL and Schäfer Shop Logistic Services GmbH, we have developed a new logistics concept with a new distribution centre in Wetzlar. Paper goods, office supplies and stationery as well as storage and operating equipment are now housed separately at the new location. The main focus at the Betzdorf warehouse, however, is on handling office furniture. Delivery and therefore service have significantly improved as a result.”
Energy-efficient forklift fleets from STILL achieve higher inventory turnover
In the Wetzlar distribution centre, new forklift trucks from STILL have been acquired as a result of the developed logistics concept, as has state-of-the-art conveyor and shelving technology from SSI Schäfer. These were subsequently coordinated with one another. With the new fleet, product orders from different suppliers, as well as separate Schäfer Shop products, can be put together quickly and efficiently. Tolga Deveci says: “We were impressed by the integrated intralogistics concept from STILL. In addition, STILL has a good reputation for developing customer-specific solutions to meet individual requirements. We’re very happy with the new fleets. The logistics process performance is ensured through energy-efficient electric trucks. Not only does this mean we’re seeing low operating costs, but it also has a positive impact on the environment.”
32 STILL forklift trucks are currently in operation in Wetzlar. For storage and retrieval in the high racks, six FM-X 14 reach trucks are in operation using the lift height pre- selection – a driver assistance system – which provides support during warehouse processes. Seven OPX-20 and four OXV 07 order pickers are responsible for preparing the orders. Six EXD-S 20 double deck high lift pallet trucks, four ECV 10 compact high lift pallet trucks and five EXU 18 low lift pallet trucks are efficient helpers when loading and unloading the trucks.
Sales Consultant and Project Leader at STILL’s Frankfurt branch, Mick Krause, explains: “Our fleet was customised to the intralogistics processes. It is scalable and can be supplemented with extra forklift trucks at peak order times. We’ve already got large vertical order pickers in the pipeline, for example. We’ve also set our sights on further optimising the truck fleet at the Betzdorf warehouse.” The new forklift fleet from STILL now stands at 50 forklift trucks over both Schäfer Shop locations.
Online shop growth requires truck fleet overhaul
The age of the forklift trucks as well as the number of different styles has steadily increased over the years. This is also linked to higher failure rates and uneven utilisation of the trucks. In order to continue to guarantee reliable delivery alongside increasing growth in the online shop, a reorganisation of the forklift fleet was necessary. Reliable truck technology, increased uptime, transparent costs and everything from a single source with only one contact partner were the main selling points for Tolga Deveci: “With STILL’s fleet concept we were also able to standardise the trucks. This means that they can be used more flexibly. Thanks to lower failure rates, we have also seen significant improvements in equipment availability. This has made it possible for us to lower our running costs. The PIN codes mean that the fork- lift trucks now have their own designated storage areas. A truck is now readily avail- able in the goods receiving area too, instead of being somewhere else”, continues the service and administration manager. Mick Krause adds: “Our service guarantees optimal uptime of our forklift trucks. Our lead technician is solely responsible for the Schäfer Shop at the Wetzlar and Betzdorf sites. He comes from the region, so he can get to the site quickly if needed.”
Smart assistant systems ensure better safety and optimal processes
Distribution centre workflows are picking up pace and becoming more demanding. This is also associated with an increased risk of faulty processes which can cause disruption and pose a risk to employee safety – hence STILL’s decision to develop driver assistance systems for individual tasks. Mick Krause clarifies: “In Wetzlar, our service technician preconfigured the approach for the FM-X reach trucks to reach various shelf levels with the help of lift height pre-selection. The driver can now drive directly to the desired level at the touch of a button. This provides greater dynamism and improved safety when storing and retrieving palettes. Due to the higher shelves in the Betzdorf warehouse, we’re using our camera system on the forks of the FM-X there, though.”
The driver assistance system from STILL increases the degree of automation and ensures increased safety as well as effortless and ergonomic working. LED-based safety lights warn drivers of oncoming trucks by projecting a beam of light on to the floor. The optional panoramic overhead guard with armoured glass window provides improved visibility of the stored goods. All these features ultimately also result in improved handling performance in the warehouse.
In an ever-growing online marketplace, a smooth-running and prompt e-commerce service is the key to success. This is why Schäfer Shop has set up an additional distribution centre in Wetzlar as well as reorganising its entire internal logistics by establishing Schäfer Shop Logistic Services. A key factor for success here is the new forklift fleet. “With STILL we now only have one contact partner. We can significantly reduce the number of different styles and retire older trucks. Thanks to truck stand- ardisation, we can now also use them more flexibly. With the larger assortment, the availability of the trucks has increased significantly despite the higher inventory turnover. Running costs have fallen and the energy-efficient electric trucks are protecting the environment. As a result, we are now extremely well equipped to deal with all future challenges”, summarises a satisfied Tolga Deveci.