More and more companies want and need to optimize their intralogistics in order to serve their customers quickly and sustainably. The Dortmund-based proLogistik Group is the German market leader with its warehouse management software and specially developed industrial PCs. Together with the Swiss companies Dataphone and Xelog, it is now setting its sights on the European market.
Today, we can only smile about the fact that in the past, we were not allowed to know or did not want to know exactly what was actually happening behind the company walls in order to somehow get a grip on all the workflows, storage and delivery processes. Slips of paper, paper clips and phrases like “I think we have three left, I’ll take a look later” are a thing of the past. Digitization, e-commerce and sustainability debates ensure that lean, efficient and optimally controllable intralogistics not only bring competitive advantages but, on the contrary, keep companies alive in the long and medium term in the first place.
The Dortmund-based proLogistik Group has become Germany’s leading logistics consultant with its wide range of warehouse management software and computers and services developed specifically for the industry. Heilbronn-based LogiSoft-S GmbH has also been part of the company since April 1, and in mid-June a merger was also agreed with the two globally active Swiss companies Dataphone and Xelog. The company is thus facing up even more to the challenges of a highly fragmented market, says Jörg Sänger, Managing Director of the proLogistik Group and also CEO of the new group holding company.
Companies that want to replace their old logistics systems with modern warehouse management software for the first time can switch to efficient systems quickly and sustainably with proLogistik. For a long time now, modern warehouse management has also been about adaptable control of material flows, incoming and outgoing goods, shipping routes or even hazardous goods that need to be reliably moved from A to B at any time. With modularly configurable hardware and special data analysts, the particular requirements of each operation are examined in advance.
Proper handling of cold chains and fresh products
The climate and sustainability debate also demands special solutions from companies that save energy on the one hand, but also think and regulate storage locations and shipping routes in a new and ecological way on the other. Rack superstructures, for example, are once again higher and more mobile, deliveries are consciously planned efficiently and, if necessary, jointly with other companies. Especially for the food industry, proLogistik has designed the Foodline warehouse management system, certified annually by the Fraunhofer Institute, which also monitors the necessary temperatures for fresh and frozen items and includes additives such as dry ice in the transport and intermediate storage structures. The system even takes care of barcode control or reverse batch recording. Under the umbrella term Techline, proLogistik provides targeted support for sanitary, building materials and technical wholesalers, who require customized solutions in each case with products and materials of varying sizes and weights. On the one hand, this is about efficient warehousing, but also about sensible networking of inventories, people and goods movements.
More networking and transparency
It is becoming increasingly important for small or large businesses to be able to pick up, pack and invoice certain quantities of their goods quickly and easily when placing an order. With paperless picking, which can be single-stage, multi-stage or parallel, every company has nothing but advantages. The end of the paper economy means that the recording of inventories and orders can be adapted to new circumstances and technologies at any time. proLogistik therefore not only analyzes the specific picking process in advance, but also develops suggestions for improvement and thus optimizes the entire picking process. Why, for example, is a certain product not immediately dispatched, but has to be checked again or signed off beforehand? Many processes could long since be digitized even further and thus become faster.
The increasing networking of goods and services also generates data, which in turn can be used for new automations or even robot connections. Questions that will arise in the foreseeable future include: How can standard interfaces for autostore providers become even more efficient? How do new mobile racking systems affect storage but also the handling of day-to-day shipping? How can employees benefit even more from modern warehouse management software with modern cloud systems? What new things can sales departments offer their customers as a result of an increased efficient and sustainable supply chain?
Data analysts, who are desperately needed in many companies to evaluate processes and data in order to derive recommendations for action and establish new infrastructures, will also recognize an optimal supply chain as the number one learning tool. From this perspective, as some consultants have seen it for some time, warehouse management systems that have been reformed as comprehensively as possible are perhaps the best training opportunity of all for learning for the future of one’s own company.
E-commerce and overriding claim
Especially in the fast-moving world of e-commerce, there is a constant demand for new solutions that must be guaranteed to work in order to satisfy customers, especially during discount promotions such as Black Friday or Cyberweek. Systems must be able to work flexibly – and use forecasts to get the proverbial best out of the installed warehouse management system. The connection to store systems requires precise and convincing integration processes that enable immediate customer communication in addition to the actual order processing. Does the customer know where the product he ordered is at the moment? Does he also want to know how and where it was stored and how much energy was used to produce and deliver it?
In the future, modern web stores should certainly be able to mirror specific issues regarding ecological footprints, in addition to controlling small-scale operations, shipping systems, and reliable inventory management. This will only be achieved by those companies that are prudent and adaptive in all areas, from e-commerce to automation and the use of AI. However, only logistics software that constantly incorporates new, higher-level approaches into day-to-day business can have this kind of learning ability. “For us, the overriding requirement is a consistent best-of-breed approach in order to provide the best products and solutions for each industry along the supply chain,” says Dr. Felix Speerli, future CPO of the group holding company of proLogistik, Dataphone and XELOG.
On its way to becoming the market leader in independent warehouse management systems in Europe, the group has so far carried out 1500 WMS installations in the retail and food trade sectors. Each individual system signals one thing above all: only secure inventory control ensures the secure inventory of a company.