At Hammer’s new logistics campus in Eschweiler, the multi-client-capable Warehouse Management System pL-Store® ensures fast, error-free and efficient omnichannel fulfillment. The 3PL provider has thus created the prerequisites to fully support its customers’ cross-channel supply concepts and also to flexibly serve new requirements. At the same time, the course was set to further strengthen the market position gained in a challenging environment.
Hammer GmbH & Co KG, headquartered in Aachen, is one of the largest logistics service providers in the region. Together with the Hammer Group and other partners, the family-run company, which has been owner-managed for more than 70 years, operates a global service network in over 25 countries.
Capacity increase to more than 105,000 square meters
For many companies, outsourcing is still a viable alternative to in-house logistics in terms of quality and cost-effectiveness. “We want to continue to grow and have invested in the construction of the Eschweiler Logistics Campus – LCE for short,” reports Tim Wilhelm Hammer, Head of Logistics.
Peak-compliant pick performance in focus
In the area of warehouse management and material flow control, Hammer did not rely on the high-performance Warehouse Management System (WMS) pL-Store® from proLogistik for the first time; the cooperation with the Dortmund-based intralogistics system house started in 2008 with the introduction of the standard software in Pullheim. As a result, special processes installed from the fourth quarter of 2021 onwards could be run to handle the B2C order volume generated online during the peak season that is setting in. Their design focused on speed and zero-defect tolerance in the picking area.
Incoming goods as an enabler for clearly structured processes
Since the commissioning of the LCE, the pL-Store® WMS has laid the foundation for the consistent control of the subsequent material flows with, among other things, unique labeling based on a load carrier ID number in goods receipt. Taking into account dimensions, weight and ABC classification, the software then automatically defines the ideal storage location allocation in each case using plausibility criteria, so that the storage areas and capacities are used in the best possible way.
Automatic filling quantity calculation and replenishment
In the goods receiving area of the automated small parts warehouse, where 30 shuttles run on 20 levels, goods are measured, weighed and recorded in WMS proLogistik. Intelligent warehouse planning also automatically organizes replenishment requests, taking into account all active orders, so that miniload capacities are also optimally utilized. Also mapped in the WMS are the weight control and defect ramp, connected modules such as elevators, continuous conveyors, conveyor technology loops, five goods picking stations, a sorter for collective collection and 13 packing stations connected by tote and carton conveyor technology…
Intelligent strategies for a constant material and work flow
After receiving the order, pL-Store starts transporting goods from minivans to picking stations via automated shuttles. The calculation is based on the collective order principle for all incoming orders. It is also possible to pick directly into shipping cartons, with fill quantity calculations also applying here, so that perfectly matched packaging is always available.
Optional direct removal from storage and separation in the outgoing goods department
In order to be able to process large quantities of individual orders from the B2C business efficiently and in a time-saving manner, the classic picking and packing process can be skipped if necessary. The goods are reserved directly via an interface from an online store system when the order is released. pL-Store generates the corresponding transport orders and plays them onto the mobile data capture devices. In this case, too, registration with the CEP service provider and the generation of the shipping label incl. the shipping documents are carried out by the customer. Tracking number automated. This means that these units can also be shipped to dealers or end customers in the fastest possible way.
Powerful and flexible for the future as well
“With the new Logistics Campus in Eschweiler and end-to-end digitized processes, we are now in a position to implement our clients’ multi-channel concepts in the best possible way operationally. This also means that we can calmly face peaks such as Black Friday or the cyber weeks,” summarizes Tim Wilhelm Hammer. As the term already implies, this does not, of course, mark the end of the continuous improvement process. The simulation tool pL-Sim included in pL-Store can help to emulate, evaluate and further develop corresponding AI solution approaches.