SAP is now managing the most advanced fashion distribution centre in Europe
In May 2009, HUGO BOSS AG opened its brand-new logistics centre for hanging garment distribution in Metzingen. To ensure an optimum integration of logistics processes into the existing SAP infrastructure, HUGO BOSS is also using the SAP software suite for management and control throughout its new hanging items distribution centre. A sophisticated logistics model meets the SAP industry solution AFS.
The five storeys of this highly-automated hanging garment warehouse (HGW) offer 110,000 sqm of total floor area and are host to a wide diversity of processes. An example: Using the shape, colour and style of the items of clothing, SAP uses the thickness of each garment to dynamically calculate the composition of the transportation units handled within the distribution centre. These are mapped out within SAP LES (SAP Logistics Execution System) using sophisticated sorting algorithms.
"This is a necessary step following picking, to ensure better capacity utilisation of the automated sorters,"says Ralf Schneider, Logistics Director at HUGO BOSS, clarifying the importance of the comprehensive SAP distribution solution.
The hanging garments go through a fully automated receipt process and are posted to SAP without manual intervention. For unique identification and end-to-end in-house tracking, HUGO BOSS uses RFID transponders and 2D barcodes. SAP also guides all of the processes involved in picking: Employees are guided throughout mobile data collection based on SAP ITSmobile with user-friendly graphical frontends. Following the subsequent, two-phase sorting process, garments are then placed in the correct order for shipping. The material flow control integrated into SAP TRM (SAP Task and Resource Management) ensures that the garment sequences formed are retained until the items reach the prescribed shipping lanes. SAP LES (SAP Logistics Execution System) also manages all of the processes involved in value-added services. SAP creates all of the instructions for attaching the pricing and security tags – and also the country-specific labels, for example.
SAP is therefore "at the helm" from goods receipt to the goods wrapping (individual garment bagging) process and even as far as the customs and loading buffer lanes, and the packing station for shipment by parcel service providers. In summary, the overall complex planned by HUGO BOSS with the support of Miebach Logistics is characterised by multi-layered in-house logistics processes, which are fully mapped and handled within SAP.
"For HUGO BOSS, it's essential to ensure maximum efficiency for the overall logistics, and we provide this by deploying a powerful logistics IT system," argues Ralf Schneider. As one example, HUGO BOSS uses the SAP-integrated TRM (SAP Task and Resource Management) material flow component to interface with the Siemens S7 controllers. A dedicated material flow controller is not required, and HUGO BASS has also avoided middleware for interfacing with the underlying control layer. "The logistics model we chose is a 100% match for the requirements specified," summarises Ralf Schneider, following successful commissioning of the system.
HUGO BOSS chose Falkenberg-based SAP Logistics integrators IGZ Logistics + IT as SAP project partner on the strength of the IGZ project portfolio.
"With IGZ, we found a partner able to translate these demanding logistics requirements into SAP, due to their long-standing and highly specialised know-how in SAP and logistics."
Ralf Schneider, Director Logistics IT, HUGO BOSS AG
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