• Ehmann-Holz-Zentrum: Neumarkt in the Oberpfalz, Germany

    Service focus improves warehouse efficiency

    Ehmann-Holz-Zentrum-mainThe Gebhardt Group is fully committed to products and services related to wood. Carpenters, interior builders, publishers, contractors, interior decorators and industrial companies can rely on them for an extensive range of products – from raw material to exclusive designer wood.

    Not only is it a matter of high product quality, but also the service offer has to be right, starting with the consultation, fast order processing and then the timely delivery to the customer.

    Ehmann Holz-Zentrum was acquired by the Gebhardt Group in 2008 and the wood specialist was selling the same product range as its sister company Gebhardt Holz-Zentrum in Cham. Therefore in 2016, the management made the decision that Ehmann would be established as a competence centre due to its smaller size. This decision was due not least to the fact that the Neumarkt location, with a total area of 23,000 m2 and 10,000 m2 of warehouse space, is significantly smaller than the Cham location, which has a total area of 70,000 m2 and a storage area of 30,000 m2. Since expansion in Neumarkt is not possible, Ehmann had to work with the available space which meant reducing the product range and putting the internal logistics under scrutiny to optimise processes.

    Process improvements with reduced product line

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    As a first step, Ehmann built storage areas and grouped related product together, which means that all parts of a product are now housed in a warehouse and related items are stored in one aisle. The door product range including accessories is located in a 2,000 m2 hall with a narrow-aisle rack system with five lanes. The wood wholesaler also wanted a more efficient solution for the transport of materials. Since Ehmann has been cooperating with Yale since 2007 in Cham and is very satisfied with both lift trucks and the Yale dealer, they were asked to develop a solution.

    Customised picking solution increases picking performance

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    “M. + S. Bauer has developed a very clever solution for us that fulfills our requirements to the highest degree and has significantly increased the efficiency of our logistics processes,” commented Ettl. For picking doors and frames, Ehmann has now purchased two Yale MO10S high level order pickers in addition to a Yale MR16 reach truck. The highlight is a clever attachment to one of the high level order pickers in the form of a platform on which the operator can pick orders.

    “It was useful to integrate the loading platform onto the vehicle,” says Martin Gärth, sales consultant at M. + S. Bauer. “This is why we have taken this into account in our vehicle solution.”

    Manoeuvrability is especially important in the Ehmann warehouse as the aisle is only 3.60m wide.

    “The vehicle should not only be able to cope with loads of a tonne, which is roughly equivalent to the weight of the loaded platform, but the challenge was that bulky doors and frames should be transported in a material-friendly manner,” says Gärth. Taking into account these requirements, the Yale dealer presented the customer with a tailor-made vehicle solution.

    The size of the picking platform is optimally matched to the dimensions of the doors and frames with a width of 3.10 m and a depth of 2.10 m and offers the operator enough space to move the goods. The platform is screwed to the vehicle so that it can be adapted as required.

    Step-by-step optimisation

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    With the manoeuvrable Yale order picker, an order can be completely processed: the vehicle drives into the corresponding aisle in the rack and successively goes from shelf to shelf to pick the goods. The vehicle is wire-guided. At the shelf, the operator moves the doors from the shelf onto the picking area by means of a rolling device on the platform railing. If an order has been processed, he places the goods on the outgoing zone at the goods exit, where they are prepared for shipping. The vehicle is only released outside the rack. The warehousing of goods is carried out with the aid of the MR16 reach truck, which loads the platform.

    “The advantage of the new solution lies above all in the time and material cost-savings. The picking distances as well as the time for the individual picks have become much shorter,” explains Ettl. “Thanks to the faster lead times, the product is now at the customer’s shop earlier.”

    “We have laid the foundations for further growth,” says Ettl. “We want to grow organically. One thing is definitely certain, if we need more trucks, Yale is again our first choice.”

    What Our Customers Are Saying

    For us, the service is an essential part of the decision as well as the partnership-based relationship in which challenges are addressed. This is why we selected Yale and M. + S. Bauer due to their same collaborative approach.
    Herbert Ettl - Operations ManagerEhmann Holz-Zentrum

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