hülsta, one of the most renowned furniture manufacturer brands in the world, also occupies a leading role when it comes to controlling its logistics processes.
The software for this is from SAP:
SAP Logistics Execution System (SAP LES), a core component of mySAP Supply Chain Management, (mySAP SCM) offers impressively quick response times and continuous goods tracking.
Haute couture for the home: for decades the hülsta brand has been a byword for the highest quality products, functionality and longevity. The top-ranking company, which is based in Stadtlohn, delivers innovative furniture ranges throughout the world.
hülsta employs around 1,450 employees. For the 2002 financial year turnover totaled EUR 254 million. hülsta has remained loyal to its Münster site. It has manufacturing facilities in Stadtlohn, Ottenstein, Heek and Herzebrock-Clarholz.
The items of furniture manufactured are initially buffered on Corlettes in the respective finished goods warehouse and then transferred to the Service Logistics Company (SLC) distribution center, a sister company of hülsta. This is where 700 to 800 tonnes of furniture are handled every week across a storage area of 13,600 m2. These are then delivered to buyers in Germany and Europe in 80 to 100 tours. Over 40 employees work in tri-shift rotations to ensure that the process is seamless.
From the control of incoming goods using radio scanners to storage and picking, to radio frequency-assisted loading the finished goods warehouse and the distribution center work with trailblazing technology.
“In both task areas, both handling unit management and direct radio data transmission are used via the SAP Console. This ensures paperless, in-warehouse processing of all goods movements,” explains Manfred Brillert, IT Director at hülsta, the comprehensive optimization measures along the logistics chain.
Highlight of the radio data transmission: Acoustic signals tell the warehouse employees when all the items of furniture in the picking order are situated on the Corlette or if a processing error has occurred.
While hülsta uses SAP Logistics Execution System (SAP LES) centrally in production supply warehousing, in the distribution center the decision was made to go for the decentralized option with Task & Resource Management (TRM), a new SAP LES functionality. The decentralized application of SAP LES ensures, on the one hand, release independence from the centralized ERP system and also guarantees a high level of performance. hülsta and SLC are the first SAP users in Germany to deploy TRM for material flow optimization. “Since we were pilot program clients the implementation was carried out in close collaboration with SAP’s development departments,” explains Manfred Brillert, adding: “The shared success is justified in the outstanding collaboration with the technical departments and expert implementation support from the experienced warehousing logistics specialists at IGZ, Falkenberg.”
The Task & Resource Management maps the warehouse as a system of geographical coordinates and enables precise tracking and optimization of the warehouse processes. All activities and associated resources can be controlled extremely efficiently and specific to requirements. A glance at the detailed structure illustrates this: for incoming goods and storage a new task is generated when a transport order is created; it is confirmed by scanning the neighboring Corlette, thereby recording the exact position of each Corlette. During the process of confirming the storage the TRM validates the plausibility in real-time, the actual physical distance between the Corlette bar codes logged and the destination storage space, thus minimizing storage errors. In outgoing goods the tour monitor is deployed to create an operational task, release the shipment and assign it to the relevant employees. The next step is to use TRM to optimize the routing within the warehouse by means of double cycles and dynamic resource allocation.
“With the introduction of SAP LES we took an important step towards a sustainable productivity increase in logistics,” states Manfred Brillert, attributing special significance to the new solution. Following successful implementation, the rollout of a further distributions center and other production warehouses is already in the planning stages.
- Operative support of all logistics processes in the finished goods warehouse and distribution center (incoming goods - storage - picking - outgoing goods)
- Continuous goods tracking of the individual pieces of furniture using handling unit management and direct radio frequency link via SAP Console
- Task & Resource Management with route optimization and dynamic resource allocation for material flow control
“Our aim is to ship the goods ordered to our clients punctually and in a cost-efficient way. High-performing systems ensuring material flow, control and information are an essential prerequisite to achieving this.”
- SAP Logistics Execution System (SAP LES)
NUMBER OF USER
- 20 central SAP LES
- 35 decentralized SAP LES
DATA RADIO SYSTEM
- Intermec Technologies