Successful release change in the
Falk & Ross logistics center in Spain

Together with the Dortmund-based intralogistics system provider proLogistik, the internationally active Falk & Ross Group has successfully modernized the existing logistics center in Celrà, Spain. The main challenge of this complex project was to migrate to an up-to-date version of the pL-Store® warehouse management system with minimal impact on day-to-day operations. This standard software puts the company in a position to supply its numerous customers in the domestic and neighboring markets with goods of the desired quality quickly and reliably, even in the long term.

With more than 30,000 B2B customers and a product range comprising around 60,000 items, the Falk & Ross Group is one of the leading wholesalers of promotional textiles such as T-shirts, jackets, bags, caps, scarves and gloves as well as workwear and sportswear. In addition to an attractive product and pricing policy, the company, which was founded in 1981, impresses with a combination of international strength and an understanding of the requirements of local markets. The availability of goods and short delivery times are ensured by state-of-the-art logistics infrastructures in Germany, Spain, the UK and Poland.

Falk & Ross primarily supplies customers from the B2B sector based in Spain, France and Italy via the logistics center in Celrà, Catalonia, which has been in use since 2015. The building complex comprises several halls in addition to the incoming and outgoing goods areas. Three are equipped with shelving racks and two others are designed as high-bay warehouses with a total of ~70,000 storage locations.
In the high-bay warehouses, the so-called “sky area”, order picking is carried out with the support of narrow-aisle forklift trucks. The system is completed by so-called reserve halls in which pallet goods are stored.
With the aim of making order processing more efficient across the board and taking new market requirements into account, the company converted its outdated CTL-based warehouse management solution pL-Store to a new version of the software in August 2018. “This jointly mastered migration project is practically another milestone in our long-standing partnership with Falk & Ross,” reports Jörg Sänger, Managing Director of the Dortmund-based intralogistics system house proLogistik. “The warehouse management system has proven its worth, but in view of the increased requirements in mail order logistics, an update to a new Java-based version of pL-Store was necessary.”

Software as the core element of a cross-location strategy

The changeover was also part of an internal Group strategy to roll out the current application, which was first introduced at the subsidiary BTC Activewear Limited in Wednesbury in 2015, to the other locations in Europe. “Comprehensively standardized software for warehouse management and material flow control prevents system disruptions, creates transparency and enables a reliable flow of information,” explains Tobias Brügmann, Head of Logistic Systems at the Falk & Ross Group. “The particular advantage of pL-Store® is that the software already includes a large number of relevant functions for mail order logistics as standard.” This also saves valuable time, as only the required, company-specific WMS modules need to be integrated.

Mapping complex processes and mastering them operationally

Following the award of the contract at the beginning of 2018, the proLogistik development team adapted the standard software accordingly in close project coordination with Falk & Ross within just under five months. Special consideration was also given to “fast-moving items” and returns management. In addition, proLogistik has designed the WMS for multilingualism.

Another milestone in a long-standing collaboration

“Replacing the legacy system, which has been continuously expanded over the years and is therefore complex, offers a wide range of benefits at both an operational and strategic level,” emphasizes Tobias Brügmann. “Order processing has been accelerated once again and delivery quality has been further improved so that the goods reach the recipient even faster, as desired. This enables us to meet the demands of increasingly discerning customers in the B2B sector too.” In addition, the company is now future-proof in terms of development and service, and maintenance and servicing of the system are now much easier. A further rollout of the pL-Store®-LVS from proLogistik is planned for 2019/2020 at the Falk & Ross headquarters in Sembach, Rhineland-Palatinate.

Mobile hardware for real-time data acquisition

The hardware already in use did not require any further modifications, but the number was increased. Recording on site increases flexibility and subsequent stock reconciliation is not necessary. These are on-board computers that have been designed for use in harsh industrial and logistics environments.

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