To provide customers with an even more efficient service, Geberit AG invested around €27 million at its Pfullendorf site. From the starting point of its most important production base in Germany, the objective was to ship the vast majority of its product range to customers directly. This meant doubling the capacity of its logistics and material flow handling, and installing a flexible IT system capable of direct, low-level integration with SAP ERP (SAP Enterprise-Resource-Planning) and the highly-automated warehouse equipment.
Together with IGZ, Geberit laid the groundwork for a lean IT system architecture, and replaced the proprietary warehouse management and material flow systems. Interfaces had been eliminated and an end-to-end view of the material flow processes had been created. This strategy was further pursued with the construction of a new and ultra-modern logistics centre. Today, SAP LES (SAP Logistics Execution System) uses a broad range of strategies to manage over 51,000 storage bins within both highly-automated and manual logistics handling areas.
Here, the material flow module SAP TRM (SAP Task and Resource Management) reliably coordinates 21 stacker cranes, two monorail overhead conveyors and some 3.1 km of tote/pallet conveyor systems – 24 hours a day and six days a week.
Headquartered in Jona (Switzerland), Geberit AG is Europe's market leader for sanitary technology and has been listed on the Swiss stock exchange since 1999. The extensive portfolio of products and services offered by the company – which dates back to 1874 – is generally familiar only to specialist sanitaryware firms.
With their focus on concealed installation, Geberit's bathroom and plumbing solutions and systems tend to go unnoticed by the casual observer.
The Group has a global presence, employing people worldwide at 15 specialised production sites in seven countries and sales/distribution companies in 40 countries. In Pfullendorf (just north of Lake Constance), the company's largest production base in Germany, Geberit also operates the Group's largest logistics centre. On account of its geographical position within the network of manufacturing sites within Europe, capacity at the central logistics hub in Pfullendorf was doubled. Today, the centre supplies over 100 countries.
Geberit laid the foundations for what is now an ultramodern IT-driven logistics unit at Pfullendorf. The warehouse management and material flow system originally deployed was no longer maintainable, had little expansion potential and – as a black-box system – had compatibility problems. After a joint evaluation of the options with IGZ, Geberit ultimately decided to adopt the most cost-effective solution: warehouse management with the SAP Logistics Execution System (SAP LES), incl. the direct interfacing of the automated high-bay warehouse with SAP Task and Resource Management (SAP TRM).
Geberit is now impressively substantiating its earlier strategic decision by doubling the capacity of its logistics centre. The expansion had become necessary due to bottlenecks in high-bay warehouse and the areas used for goods receipt/issue handling.
Geberit also relocated its distribution logistics to Pfullendorf and set itself the goal of streamlining its material flows. The SAP LES (Logistics Execution System) and SAP TRM (Task and Resource Management) strategy was also to be systematically pursued as before – not least because both the Logistics unit and Geberit's IT both value the superior process flexibility of SAP LES (SAP Logistics Execution System).
Geberit was also able to use in-house development work to reduce external consulting expenditure for the expansion of the SAP LES (SAP Logistics Execution System) and SAP TRM (Task and Resource Management) solution. The extensive SAP SCE know-how within the company, developed with strong support from IGZ, is viewed by Geberit as a long-term asset. All in all, Geberit today benefits from an extremely efficient and powerful SAP LES (SAP Logistics Execution System) and SAP TRM (Task and Resource Management) solution that seamlessly consolidates both the existing and the newly-completed logistics systems.
- Decentralised SAP LES (SAP Logistics Execution System) und SAP TRM (SAP Task and Resource Management) integration with the SAP ERP (SAP Enterprise-Resource-Planning) system (SAP ERP ECC 6.0 EHP 4)
- No use of any proprietary material flow system (clear-cut SAP strategy)
- Mapping of complex material flow requirements within SAP TRM (SAP Task and Resource Management)
- Multi-stage capacity algorithms and capacity groups
- Dynamic route search with approx. 25,000 source/destination pairs
- Mapping of specialised algorithms for a wide range of automation systems (MOCs, stacker cranes with dual load handling gear, 2 cranes on 1 rail)
- Use of ultra-modern user interfaces with SAP LES (SAP Logistics Execution System) und SAP TRM (SAP Task and Resource Management)
- Direct voice technology integration using SAP ITSmobile
- Rail-guided stacker cranes with Siemens S7 control units
- 2 stacker cranes per rail with failover strategy
- Integration of topsystem voice terminals using SAP ITSmobile
- TFT terminal for guidance and displaying information
- Scanner interfacing via Bluetooth
- Low-maintenance system environment, thanks to elimination of non-SAP interfaces (lean architecture)
- Major contribution to IT work by Geberit's IT team, thus minimising external expenditure
- Maximum data transparency and end-to-end visibility for all material flow processes
- Future-proof, thanks to backwards-compatibility of SAP SCM software suite deployed
- Superior stability, scalability and performance due to homogeneous SAP LES (SAP Logistics Execution System) and SAP TRM (SAP Task and Resource Management) solution
- Highly ergonomic work centres, thanks to unique combination of warehouse systems with SAP LES (SAP Logistics Execution System) and SAP TRM (SAP Task and Resource Management)
In the four pahse sub-divided migration of our IT system architecture, we already relied on IGZ. The new edition of this cooperation on the occasion of the doubling of capacity was proof that we have chosen the right partner.
- Pfullendorf (near Lake Constance, Germany)
- 2 autom. high-bay warehouse areas and 2 autom. Order consolidation
- 51,000 primary storage bins
- 18 aisles in HBW
- 21 autom. stacker cranes (HBW, consolidation...)
- 3.1 km of pallet/tote conveyor systems
- Approx. 650 communication points
- Av. of approx. 20,000 telegrams/h
- 27 PLC control units
- 2 MOCs, of which one MOC with 62 hangers over 2 levels
- 14 Goods-to-Person picking centres with Pick-by-Voice & SAP ITSmobile plus TFT terminals
- Daily av. of 34,000 picks with 8,500 delivery items
- High-performance ??system run 24 h/day, 6 days a week
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