M. Bach GmbH now relies on PL-Store® Techline from proLogistik

The wholesale company M. Bach GmbH, which specializes in building services, has replaced an existing warehouse management system (WMS) at its central warehouse in Eschweiler with the industry solution pL-Store® Techline. The reason for the change was the desire for increased performance and more flexibility in all functional areas. This was to be achieved on the basis of standardized software. The company also relied on proLogistik when selecting the necessary hardware for mobile data collection.

No fully developed business plan, just a motorcycle and the desire to be self-employed – that’s all Matthias Bach needed when he laid the foundation stone for today’s M. Bach GmbH in 1945. The result was a wholesale company for sanitary, heating and installation supplies, which is now one of the most important in the sales region. With a range of more than 250,000 items, the choice is enormous and leaves nothing to be desired. These are located at the headquarters in Eschweiler as well as in Aachen, Mechernich and Pulheim.

Agility pays off

When asked about the reasons for the company’s continued success, Udo Bach, who today manages the wholesaler together with Michael Bach, remarks with a wink: “The market shows us that it’s not the big companies that overtake the small ones, but the fast ones that overtake the slow ones.” The product portfolio is continuously adapted to the spirit of the times, as is the range of consulting services. In addition to the central warehouse in Eschweiler, a further seven pick-up warehouses in the surrounding area are within easy reach. There are 6,500 pallet spaces and approx. “It is a great advantage that pL-Store Techline reflects the special characteristics of our industry,” emphasizes Udo Bach.

Time for change

The central warehouse of M.Bach GmbH in Eschweiler includes the automated small parts warehouse as well as so-called “manual warehouses” such as the pallet high-bay warehouse, a heating hall, a porcelain and outdoor warehouse and the pick-up market. The AKL was first occupied in 1999. In 2010, as part of an expansion project, the then provider also carried out a realignment at warehouse management level. “A lot has happened since then, markets have changed and customers have become even more demanding,” says Udo Bach. “In order to do justice to this, it was essential to modernize the software we were using. To this end, workshops were held with the project software provider and discussions were held with providers of standard software. pL-Store Techline can be used independently of ERP and even the standard version covers a wide range of industry-relevant functions, for example to handle special processes in incoming goods as well as in external and branch warehouses with system support. Smooth counter sales are also essential. The counter staff decide independently on the picking process and release it. In the course of this, it is also possible to prioritize orders.

Functionalities for everyday practice

At the request of M.Bach GmbH, an interface to Heidler Strichcode GmbH was also implemented. As soon as goods have been picked to order and placed on the staging area in front of the packing area, the employees at the packing stations scan the WA label. Once the weight has been recorded, the data can be transmitted directly to Heidler, where the label is created for the forwarder or carrier. This makes it possible to identify products in real time and ensure traceability of the serial numbers used. In addition, the integrated volume calculation simplifies the selection of the appropriate loading equipment.

Hardware package “Made in Germany”

Mobile handhelds of the latest generation with Android are used for data collection at the various functional areas of the central warehouse of M.Bach GmbH in Eschweiler. At hardware level, proLogistik has also contributed industrial PCs developed in-house. IPCs from the pro-V-pad series are used in both the narrow-aisle warehouse and the automated small parts warehouse.

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