Logistics service provider Craiss opens new location in the Czech Republic with proLogistik

At its new site in Mohelnice in the Czech Republic, Albert Craiss GmbH & Co. KG operates a warehouse with a direct link to the plant of a technology group. The central task of the contract logistics provider is to supply the workstations with components required for gearbox production in the exact sequence required. The warehouse management software pL-Store® from proLogistik ensures consistently synchronized processes. At the same time, high availability is ensured. Superfluous handling work is eliminated, as is constant parts tourism between the warehouse and production, as well as high inventories at the assembly stations.

Contract logistics is a demanding business that thrives on professionalism, transparency and trust. Such a constellation is of substantial importance in the area of industry-related contract logistics. This is exactly what Albert Craiss GmbH & Co KG, headquartered in Mühlacker, Baden-Württemberg, is working on. The family-run logistics company, whose roots go back to 1931, employs almost 800 people and operates at 16 locations in six countries. Our expertise is correspondingly broad when it comes to implementing holistically developed, individualized logistics concepts. It is also important to constantly prove their effectiveness in operations.

Expansion in Eastern Europe

As a partner to manufacturing companies, the Swabian logistics specialist also handles value-added services in addition to warehousing, handling and transportation tasks. For clients from the technology sector, these are primarily assembly-related picking and packing activities as well as sequencing according to cycle specifications from production. The plant specializes in the production of geared motors, which are used in conveyor belts, among other things. The contract logistics provider is responsible for the receipt of goods, order-related picking, replenishment of assembly and packaging activities for shipping.
In addition, picking and packing stations, staging areas and “stations” in the form of corridors were set up. The latter are reserved for the tugger trains, which are used to supply the assembly stations with the components required for the order to be processed.

In-depth process understanding required

This lean logistics approach is supported by a warehouse management system that is connected to and communicates with the customer’s SAP ERP via an EDI interface or converter. Digitalization is essential in this context. As was already the case at the Warburg, Schwandorf and Regensburg sites, Craiss opted for the warehouse management software pL-Store from proLogistik. “We have repeatedly had good experiences with the intralogistics system provider in recent years,” says Daniel Sämann, Team Leader Software Development at Craiss. “proLogistik has repeatedly demonstrated the necessary knowledge of process design, even with varying customer-specific features. In addition, we also obtain hardware and software from a single source. In this respect, it made sense to place our trust in the Dortmund-based company in Mohelnice as well.

Focus on sequencing and mobile packaging

The specification discussions started in July 2018. This was followed by the implementation of the pL-Store-LVS, which went live at the end of May 2019. The replenishment request is triggered by scanning the assembly station and simultaneously recorded in pL-Store. At the same time, a transport is activated for the order to be picked up, which is waiting at a station designed as a buffer corridor. Meanwhile, status telegrams about the progress are sent to the SAP ERP.
The process of “mobile packaging” is also characteristic. It implies that all packaging dialogs run via the screens of the mobile data capture devices.

Operational solution in line with corporate strategy

With the new branch in the east of the Czech Republic, Craiss is following the guiding principle of growing in the area of contract logistics beyond the German-speaking region in Eastern Europe. With Mohelnice, there are now six branches in this region. Work is carried out in 2-shift operation. The number of orders completed daily is currently around 200, which in turn are associated with around 2,200 transport orders. These figures will gradually increase in future as part of the planned expansion of production capacity in Mohelnice. However, the strategy of the contract logistics company from Swabia also includes implementing group-wide standards that can be used to implement proactive, system-supported management and control of replenishment supplies. “With pL-Store from proLogistik, we have now also succeeded in Mohelnice in interlinking production and logistics without media discontinuity and creating end-to-end transparency across the entire process,” emphasizes software expert and team leader Daniel Sämann. “The standardized warehouse management system, which has been expanded to include specific functions, helps us to reliably provide the expected services and to flexibly adapt to new requirements. This is very important, especially in economically uncertain times. The industrial customer can concentrate on its core competencies and we practically take care of the rest.” A further rollout of the pL-Store-LVS at Craiss is planned for 2021 in Tübingen.

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