"Previously, employees working in the replenishment department had manually compiled several set pieces from different systems. Thanks to LOGOMATE, they are now active inventory managers on just one graphical user interface, LOGOMATE's cockpit.“
Christian Weiss, Head of Department Inventory Management, Goods Receiving and Supply Chain
As Europe's largest and highest-turnover purchasing and marketing cooperation in the industry, Soennecken sells office supplies, office technology and office furnishings in addition to its own brand. In a fully automated high-bay warehouse in the Overath logistics center, more than 21,000 articles are available at any time on a floor space of 20,000 m². Fully automated storage and retrieval machines store and retrieve the goods in the three existing aisles. In this way, the cooperative takes account of the constantly growing range of articles and guarantees delivery within just 24 hours. Due to a continuous increase in demand in recent years, Soennecken was faced with the major challenge of expanding its product range - and without having to create additional storage space for this purpose.
Increasing storage capacity with AutoStore and LOGOMATE
To increase storage capacity, Soennecken integrated an AutoStore warehouse into its logistics processes in 2016, which allows for only half the space of a conventional storage system. At launch, a total of 9,000 bins and 10 robots were available; in 2018, the AutoStore warehouse was expanded to 21,000 bins and 25 robots. And yet, due to continuous growth, Soennecken quickly reached the limits of its logistics capacities again, even with the new AutoStore warehouse. Strategies therefore had to be developed to better utilize the system and create additional capacity.
Long-term partnership with REMIRA
The cooperative has been relying on the intelligent inventory management solution REMIRA LOGOMATE since 2008 in order to optimize the merchandise management system and ensure high availability of goods with the lowest possible inventories. And Soennecken again used REMIRA's expertise for the current project. In the future, the cooperative will use a new version of LOGOMATE in order to meet the already increased and further growing requirements. Soennecken integrated its AutoStore units into LOGOMATE to obtain an increased and optimized fill level of individual containers. All data is clearly visualized on a replenishment cockpit, as REMIRA enabled the integration into the standard layout. REMIRA LOGOMATE processes large amounts of data quickly and transparently. "The REMIRA employees responsible for us were always available, there was always an understanding of our concerns and solutions were offered quickly. This impressed us very much", says Christian Weiss.
Optimally used capacities
"In addition to the main goals of inventory and availability optimization, we also wanted to present seasonal planning more effectively. In this forecasting over several months, LOGOMATE was a very great help to us."
As a result, using the software leads to optimized inventories and higher availabilities, while also taking into account the influence of special orders or seasonal fluctuations. The AutoStore bins are always optimally filled as a result of incoming orders, and the order quantity is additionally based on bin sizes in addition to inventory-optimizing criteria. Today, the process improvements and positive economies of scale achieved through the introduction of an AutoStore-compatible replenishment strategy are even more evident. Soennecken plans to successively expand its product range to include office-related articles in order to be able to offer customers goods beyond classic office supplies. To meet the logistical requirements for this, the cooperative will continue to work closely with REMIRA in the future.