E/D/E Logistics continues to extend its leading position. An optimized supply chain reinforces the competitive edge — from the supplier all the way to the members’ warehouses. The plans for the long-term strategy titled Logistics L 500 extend until 2020 and aim to double the current number of items in stock to 150,000. The members are always at the focus of the strategy’s very customer-orientated implementation. Thanks to the new logistics strategy and its many small components, E/D/E will continue to be the undisputed Number One in industrial wholesale distribution.
Optimization of material handling equipment
The further optimization of the material handling equipment greatly accelerates throughput times. In addition to a quality and service campaign, E/D/E plans to invest approximately €2.5 million in storage and material handling equipment so that it can respond even more quickly to customer wishes. In future, suppliers will increasingly be involved in the optimization of processes with the aim of creating a high-speed logistics system.
Changed ordering behaviour
Customers no longer wait until they can place large orders. Instead, they sometimes order small amounts. The increased frequency of orders puts higher demands on the warehousing business. E/D/E is continually increasing its productivity with improved processes and cost savings. What’s more, it employs a shop-floor management system to actively administer storage space.
Electronic data processing
E/D/E also offers electronic data processing services, ranging from the supplier’s dispatch notification to electronic invoicing. Other options include customer-specific compilations of product groups or the use of order picking labels with customer-specific information such as item designation, EAN/GTIN and catalogue item number. The core competencies of E/D/E’s central logistics unit also include 24-hour delivery (directly to the end consumer’s address, if desired), along with the delivery note and the E/D/E member’s logo, as well as the tracking of shipping data and the bundling of various orders and their dispatch on the desired date.
Delivery service is one of E/D/E’s core areas of expertise. It has been optimized over many years and adapted to the needs of the member companies. E/D/E offers tried and tested delivery concepts, no matter whether a member company wishes to restock its own warehouse or have an item delivered quickly to an end customer.
Members can request E/D/E to bundle their orders and dispatch them once a week to their warehouses as a standard delivery. Express delivery within 24 hours is also possible. Express items are delivered either by a freight-forwarding company or a parcel delivery service to the member’s warehouse or directly to the end customer.
More and more direct deliveries
In recent years, customers have steadily downsized their storage areas, because they know they can receive items quickly and reliably. Customers increasingly appreciate the fact that they can order items from E/D/E at times when other suppliers will not dispatch goods. Shipments are delivered within Germany inside 24 hours. E/D/E guarantees that most shipments will be delivered to locations in other European countries within 48 hours.
The central location in Wuppertal has a long logistics history, having served our members for more than 80 years now. The expansion of the logistics centre will ensure its long-term viability and create the preconditions for its continued growth.
The new eLC Logistik-Center in figures:
The central warehouse currently has more than 100,000 items in stock. In the years ahead, the planned expansion of the electronic Logistics Centre (eLC) will almost double this capacity, to a total of 150,000 items.
The technical highlight of the tried and tested electronic Logistics Centre (eLC) is the high-performance automatic small parts warehouse (German abbreviation: AKL), which has space for up to 71,500 containers along 12 aisles. Up to six orders can be simultaneously processed at each workplace of the 14 order picking stations. At peak periods, almost 1,900 items are processed each hour. This translates into more than 30,000 order items per day. The items are transported through the AKL’s 50 metre long aisles by 12 fully automatic, 15 metre high storage and retrieval systems that can travel at up to six metres per second. As a result, up to 158 items can be stored or retrieved in each aisle every hour.
The collective order storage system (German abbreviation: ASS) automatically brings together containers from a variety of product groups and warehouse areas. The ASS also serves as a buffer for simultaneous order picking requests. Each ASS module can hold up to 440 containers and is equipped with a 7.70 metre high lifting bar rack feeder with a combi-telescope for storing E/D/E containers two deep. These containers can weigh up to 50 kilograms. Each unit can perform around 200 double rounds per hour.
The exchange of electronic business documents accelerates processes and reduces the attendant costs. The logistics process is triggered by an electronic order, the immediate, firm reservation of the amount of items desired and a binding delivery statement.
The order is transmitted to the central warehouse management system and translated into a concrete transport order. This order is forwarded to the respective employees’ mobile data recording devices while taking into account the optimal utilization of human and machine resources. The ordering processes are simplified by being entered into the SAP system in real time, which also shows how many items are in stock at any given time. Because all orders are electronically managed, the employees can provide comprehensive information on the status of all orders at any time. Comprehensive electronic documentation ensures high processing quality.
New shop-floor management system
In the years ahead, the planned doubling of warehouse capacity (due to the Logistics L500 strategy) and the expected further increase in package deliveries will put additional demands on personnel. In response, E/D/E is investing extensively in developing its employees’ qualifications. New employees are also being hired to support its future-orientated processes, and the shop-floor management system also promotes employee development and strengthens management capabilities on the shop floor. Another focus is on improving employee information with the help of the new AMI (German acronym for Active Employee Information) system as well as with an improved healthcare management system that has already led to a substantial decrease in the number of number of work days lost due to illness in Logistics.