Richard Wolf opens new logistics and service centre

Knittlingen - 8.5.2015

Richard Wolf GmbH is a leading medical engineering company that supplies clients around the world. The inauguration of the new logistics and service centre in Knittlingen on 8 May 2015 marked a further milestone in the company's success story. io-consultants had been commissioned to supervise the construction, logistics and IT, and supported Richard Wolf from the initial analysis and planning of the site expansion through to realisation. The planning and consulting company provided a holistic, one-source solution for logistics process planning, architecture, and IT strategy, including the implementation of SAP EWM.

Richard Wolf's new logistics and service centre in Knittlingen strongly underpins the company's commitment to its long-standing site. A multifunctional building spanning approx. 10,000 sqm of effective space was constructed to cater for future growth and to optimise processes and bundle services in one place; around EUR 16m were invested in the project. io-consultants supported Richard Wolf GmbH with a team of experts specialising in logistics, integrated building design, IT consulting, and project management. Warehouse facilities and services that were previously spread across various locations are now combined in architecturally attractive premises with state-of-the-art warehouse technology and warehouse management. The new building gives a visual boost to the entire site.

The logistics and service centre is designed to accommodate the increasing supply demand of the company’s international customers and its 14 subsidiaries and 130 local representations. Pooling all the logistics functions will facilitate processes and speed up order processing. There is now storage space for around 1,200 pallets, a manual racking system, and an automatic small parts storage for around 30,000 containers. With its modern shuttle technology in three lanes and 52 individual shuttle vehicles, the small parts storage forms the heart of the warehouse. From here, the goods are transported directly to the SAP EWM workplaces for efficient order processing without switching between software platforms. Different height containers can be automatically stacked, thus providing maximum flexibility for future changes to the product range. The conveyor system which is equipped with individually driven rollers is also extremely energy-saving.

Order management and shipment are handled in a representative, two-storey front building that leads to the actual warehouse hall; the service and repair departments are on the first floor. This shared location will help to optimise the flow of goods and improve customer service, for instance through faster processing of repairs. The architects at io-consultants designed the first floor offices and workshops to be modern and light-flooded – two inner courtyards provide for a generous supply of daylight and air.

Around 130 staff at Richard Wolf will work in the new premises housing the warehouse, logistics, workshops and offices. Operating a logistics and service centre of such complexity requires intricate process management. io-consultants contributed its many years of experience in SAP consultancy and SAP implementation to factor in Richard Wolf's ample parts range and the integration of raw and finished goods and the service logistics. Following the decision to introduce SAP EWM (Extended Warehouse Management), all the required processes were recorded in detail and mapped in the system to ensure efficient operation. Comprehensive supply chain tracking, process transparency and accelerated, simplified handling played as large a role as ergonomic usability. SAP EWM allows for total process transparency, which Richard Wolf required for seamless integration of third-party equipment and peripheral devices such as wireless operating panels.

The entire io-consultants team would like to thank Richard Wolf GmbH for the excellent cooperation throughout, and wishes them a successful start and operation of the new logistics and service centre in Knittlingen!

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