Sei sulla pagina 1di 16

JOURNAL

01/16

Cloud Computing
in Logistics
The key factor of integration
BLG LOGISTICS relies on
Industry 4.0 in warehousing
Optimized logistics IT
at Villeroy & Boch

www.inconso.com

Content
04

Green light for logistic restructuring at TRILUX

04

Slotting 4.0

05

05

06

08

12

inconso takes charge of SAP EWM rollout for production

Automated warehouse organization with inconsoSLM

WMS Rollout at MEPHISTO


Kick-off in Sarrebourg

inconso advices Messe Frankfurt on traffic management


Prognostic transport management thanks to inconsoYMS

Cloud computing in logistics: the key factor of integration


Integration in logistics is increasing and it does not stop at the cloud

Industry 4.0 in warehousing


Driverless transport system: BLG LOGISTICS relies on inconsoWMS X

Optimized logistics IT at the tableware logistics center


of Villeroy & Boch
Smooth processes thanks to inconsos Full Managed Services (FMS)

Scan here for


detailed event
information:

Success through
innovative
developments
Bertram Salzinger,
CEO of inconso AG

etrospectively, the past year was filled with


discussions about the chances and risks of
a globalized world. The interdependencies of
economy, politics and culture create promising, international
teamwork, but also hold risks due to volatile finance and
raw materials markets in the Middle East, the USA or China.
These global economic developments also greatly influence
transportation and traffic which result in major challenges
for logistics as a whole.
This makes worldwide procurement and production
without modern logistics solutions nearly unthinkable. As
the demands for manufacturing and retail keep increasing,
efficient supply and value chains as well as perfectly
synchronized internal and external logistics processes
turn into decisive, competitive factors. The logistics
industry, thus, remains one of the strongest, international
economy drivers and owes this position not least to the
continual development of key technologies in the software
environment.
The continuing, economic success of inconso AG confirms
this trend. For inconso, 2015 was the most successful
year since its establishment. Compared to 2014, the
total turnover increased almost 10% while retaining the
profitability of the previous years. Essential for this success
is the availability of highly specialized and highly motivated
employees. With an addition of about 40 specialists last
year, inconso now has over 500 employees working from
ten locations in Germany and subsidiaries in Spain as well
as France.

Our services are adapted to the market requirements


through continual development and extensions of the
software solutions. This affects the areas of warehouse,
transport and supply chain management. It led to the
creation of a series of innovative add-ons, as for example
the new module for slotting management inconsoSLM,
or an augmented reality solution for integration into the
logistics process. These add-ons make it possible to fully
meet the logistical requirements faced by companies in
various ways.
This issue of the inconso Journal offers insight into our
current projects: inconso was majorly involved in setting up
an exceptional warehouse operated by BLG LOGISTICS
for the workwear manufacturer engelbert strauss at
Frankfurt a.M. (p. 8). Villeroy & Boch has relied on
inconsos solutions and comprehensive support for many
years and provides exciting insights into the requirements
for tableware in Saarlands Merzig (p. 12).
Lastly, you can take a look at the current megatrend cloud
computing that now also influences small and medium
companies. The globalization of distribution, production
and sales fuels many kinds of companies. Read about
the necessary software requirements that accompany the
topic of cloud computing starting on p. 6.
Enjoy the latest issue of the inconso Journal!

inconso News

Slotting 4.0: Automated slotting with


inconsoSLM

RILUX GmbH & Co. KG, supplier of lights and


lighting solutions, is currently undergoing a
comprehensive reorganization of production.
The central element is the implementation of SAP based
IT systems and the standardization of the application
systems in the TRILUX warehouses and the production
supply that will be supported by a uniform SAP
Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) platform.

or optimizing the planning of the warehouse


organization, inconso has developed a tool that
calculates the efficient distribution of goods
and goods classes to the available areas and locations
on the basis of iterative evaluation procedures. The
system considers the individual warehouse and goods
properties, for example storage capacities, pick paths
and sequences as well as the goods groups properties,
quantity and weight. The system can even react flexibly
to new warehouse situations such as the addition of
new products, product lines and clients/customers. In
addition, it considers the different factors for optimized
warehouse planning. Along with shorter processing
times and increased picking speeds, warehouse
ergonomics can also significantly improve.

Measures to restructure the logistics systems at the


TRILUX location in Arnsberg were already started
in 2012. Since then, the central distribution center
(European Distribution Center EDC) and a warehouse
for production supply are managed with SAP EWM.
By the middle of 2016, the entire assembly supply will
be managed with this system. The project is being
realized in several steps by the software specialist
inconso, who already worked with TRILUX in 2012.

inconsoSLM closes the standard functional gaps of


conventional warehouse management systems and
enables the process-oriented handling of existing data,
the optimized utilization of existing capacities and the
consideration of additional parameters on site. Source
data can be statistics data from the WMS or ERP
system as well as forecast data. The data required by
the system is also factored into the new calculation of
the ABC classes, which are transmitted to a WMS for

TRILUX: Green light for logistic restructuring

SAP EWM for TRILUX: inconso realizes modernization strategy (source: TRILUX)

/4 4

2016 inconso

Optimized warehouse organization with inconsoSLM (source: inconso)

comprehensive efficiency improvement. If required, the


pick sequences can be determined and transferred to
the WMS. What-if scenarios can be carried out via a
simulation tool without affecting the existing master
data.
inconsoSLM is especially suited for warehouses
whose product spectrum and quantities are subject
to seasonal fluctuations. Flexible configuration options
enable the use of the system when warehousing
conditions change (re-slotting), a high fluctuation rate of
the goods assortment occurs (e.g. if the goods expire
quickly) and additional warehouses are set up. As a
stand-alone solution, the system can be connected to
any warehouse management and ERP system.

MEPHISTO: WMS Roll-out in Sarrebourg

t the beginning of 2015, the MEPHISTO Group


issued a tender for the implementation of a
warehouse management system for the production and distribution center in Sarrebourg, France.
inconso was awarded the project and will implement the
warehouse management system inconsoWMS eXtended
(aka inconsoWMS X) as well as the shipping system
inconsoSDS (shipping & dispatch system) in Sarrebourg.
The project will be led by the French project team. The
go-live is planned for March 2016.

High-angle shot of Messe Frankfurt (source: Messe Frankfurt)

Messe Frankfurt: inconso advices on


traffic management

he logistics software specialist inconso was tasked


with the implementation of the yard management
system inconsoYMS by Messe Frankfurt. Messe
Frankfurt will use the system in the course of the rebuilding
of trade fair hall 12 and thus ensure efficient transport flow
on the trade fair premises.

The planned building will permanently reduce Messe


Frankfurts transport area by 35,000 m2 for controlling
during construction and dismantlement logistics. This
especially results in the limited use of needed buffer areas.
In the scope of the CeTraM (Central Traffic Management)
project, a situation-dependent transport control as well as
a controllable access prioritization of the external areas
to the reduced internal areas will be implemented for the
individual halls.
The system will minimize the stay of vehicles on the trade
fair premises, prevent transport issues, optimally utilize
the available areas and promptly control transport flows.
inconsoYMS provides an integrated, freely configurable
process management for controlling the arrivals and
departures of loading and unloading transports and
manages the parking areas. With the transparency
provided by inconsoYMS, Messe Frankfurt can recognize
deviations early and take appropriate measures.

CLOUD COMPUTING IN LOGISTICS:


THE KEY FACTOR OF INTEGRATION
Integration in logistics is increasing and it does not stop at the cloud.

o matter if it is transparency, optimized responsiveness or continual quality improvements, logistics


is confronted with new challenges on a daily
level. At the same time, the need for software solutions
that enable precise action along the entire value chain
increases. However, without an integrative approach,
you are walking on thin ice no matter how far up you are.

Wilfried Pfuhl
Member of the Board of Directors,
inconso AG

Growing acceptance
Cloud security, cloud monitoring or cloud integration the
interest in cloud computing
is unabated. According to
current surveys, about 50%
of all German companies use
some kind of cloud computing. This is also evident in
the wide spectrum of cloud
services that cover a growing
area in logistics and range
from monitoring in production to shipping and real-time
tracking.

Available cloud solutions


Looking at the current situation, however, proves that cloudbased integration still bears great potential for warehouse
management and transport management solutions.
Conventional warehouse management systems only partially
succeed in the holistic monitoring of different transport and
shipping activities (e.g. via goods issue activities). In the
transport management environment as well, the options
only provide rudimentary insight into warehouse logistics.
This circumstance provides enormous potential for cloud
computing to connect two areas that were previously
disconnected. With this in mind, the importance of integrative
or informational interfaces, especially in the age of cloud
computing, is growing.

The cloud concept is thus well on its way to becoming


mainstream. Flexibility, scalability and immediate availability
are some of the obvious reasons. In addition, these services
can be tailored to any companys requirements. However,
companies invest more and more money into the provision
of specific business applications, most of which would be
available in the cloud. In this way, the cloud realizes the
long desired reality of central data management and short
access paths all participants in the supply chain profit from.

Long-awaited reality: the cloud realizes central data management and short access paths (source: inconso)

Depiction of the cloud (source: inconso)

Efficient integration
Due to the diversity of requirements for modern warehouse
and transport management systems, the interplay of various
modules and components must also work in the cloud.
The growing number of practical application scenarios
(software as a service, short: SaaS) for warehouses
and transports proves that is possible. Efficient, at best
standardized, process integration to develop logistics as a
whole remains indispensable.
Using this as a basis, a transparent documentation of
transports can be managed, as well as a processing of
real-time information (e.g. telematics data or transport
information) that is comprehensible to all participants on
and off-road. Simultaneously, calculations and information
about estimated arrival times can be shared, which can
promote the optimization of all logistic processes. This and
other information is centrally collected and processed in
the cloud. Of course, the information is transferred to the

ERP or WMS system. Electronic transport transfers and


time window bookings are also processed on this central
platform so that information can be made available much
faster and the quality of the outbound delivery process
improved.
Cooperation down to the last detail
Deciding whether the cloud is right for you is therefore
a matter of connectivity and integration on all levels.
inconsos product portfolio also includes own, cloud-based
logistics platforms that meet these new requirements.
On this basis, inconso remains devoted to the continual
development and future extension of platform independent
logistics solutions that successfully integrate and connect
intralogistic processes in different application scenarios.
Efficient processes and transparent dashboards are
one aspect, seamless consolidation another. Only in the
interplay of both does a strong concept result. The credo:
integrative cooperation down to the last detail.

Source: BLG LOGISTICS/ Tristan Vankann

INDUSTRY 4.0
IN WAREHOUSING
Driverless transport system: BLG LOGISTICS relies on inconsoWMS X

s the leading consulting and software company


for logistics solutions in Europe, inconso AG has
been supporting customers worldwide since
2002. inconso also participated in the cutover of a, to
date, unique warehouse that BLG LOGISTICS operates
for the work apparel manufacturer engelbert strauss at
the site in Frankfurt a.M. The warehouse management
system inconsoWMS X not only takes over the control of all important warehouse logistics processes, but
also the IT interplay with the driverless transport system G-Com of Grenzebach.

BLG and engelbert strauss were able to select


Grenzebach due to one of inconsos inconsoWMS Xs
special properties: flexibility. Located in Bad Nauheim,
inconso AG integrated the processes in two floors of
the logistics center (manual receiving, distribution and
picking processes) to the warehouse management
system inconsoWMS X.

For several months, BLG has stored and picked


successfully with the warehouse management system
inconsoWMS X and 75 robot vehicles from Grenzebach
Maschinenbau GmbH. The driverless transport systems,
so-called carries, move fully automatically through the
warehouse complex to transport the product carriers to
their assigned workstations. Since the systems cutover,
Europes unique warehouse is operating stably. Experts
view this as the successful symbiosis of powerful software
and innovative robot technology, resulting in a model
project for the proclaimed age of Industry 4.0.
Focus on integration
inconsos flexible warehouse management system
was chosen in 2013 because it could connect different
subsystems and provided individual configuration
options. For this reason, inconsoWMS X provided ideal
conditions for a series of modernized measures at the
site in Frankfurt a.M., whereupon the robot-supported
systems of Grenzebach Maschinenbau GmbH were
implemented.

Female picker on stargate 3 (Quelle: BLG LOGISTICS/ Tristan Vankann)

In another project phase in the middle of 2014,


Grenzebachs G-Com system was connected to the
existing IT system. Picking systems using light (such as
Pick-by-Light), new conveyor sections and a cardboard
setup system are now controlled by inconsos warehouse
management system that functions as the central node
point.
Exceptionally automated
Especially the highly automated returns area is worth
noting. There, at the workstations, flawless returns are
directly received and picked for new orders. If an order
can be completely fulfilled using the returns stocks, the
conveyor technology directly transports them to the
packing area. If it must be supplemented using normal,
stocked goods, the shipping box is transported to the
first floor of the logistics center to complete the order in
the picking area located there.
Grenzebachs carriers are only used in the dynamic
returns warehouse area. With extraordinary timing, the
shelves drive to the particular workstations to bring the
goods required. In this area, inconsoWMSX manages
all locations, shelves and inventories and determines

the optimal shelf for each process execution. At the


workstations, so-called stargates, inconso AGs
warehouse management system manages workers as
well as the process. Thanks to modern Pick-by-Light and
Pick-to-Light technology, every move is perfect. Even if
different processes are executed at these workstations,
the transparent monitoring system enables optimal
support during process completion. This is because the
workstations can be selected based on pure picking, pure
store-in or combined operation (picking with subsequent
store-in) depending on the time of day or utilization.
Complete overview with inconsoWMS X
On the logistics management level, inconsoWMS X
also controls warehouse processes other than returns
management. On this level, along with goods receiving
control, the entry and evaluation of inbound goods, the
transparent inventory management and shipping control
are carried out based on inbound replenishment and end
customer orders from the connected ERP system. Due
to the optimized and therefore highly efficient returns
processing with inconsoWMS X, BLG in Frankfurt a.M.
can now meet the growing demands for holistic customer
service.

Female picker on stargate 1 (source: BLG LOGISTICS/ Tristan Vankann)

10

Source: BLG LOGISTICS/ Tristan Vankann

Quelle: AMANN

11

OPTIMIZED LOGISTICS IT AT THE


TABLEWARE LOGISTICS CENTER
OF VILLEROY & BOCH
Smooth processes thanks to inconsos Full Managed Services (FMS)

ull managed IT services for logistics providers


appeared long before e-commerce and cloud
computing. Quite the contrary. The all-around
service offers many advantages: Unexpected disruptions
can occur at any time, but the necessary resources for
holistic application support can rarely be provided onsite. In order to also make responsibilities as clear
as possible, an increasing number of companies is
using external service offers. This is also the case for
Villeroy&Boch, a leading manufacturer of ceramics and
porcelain, that profits from numerous benefits.
In the course of an international company strategy, the
logistic requirements at Villeroy & Boch have increased.
At the tableware logistics center in Merzig/Saar, near the
headquarters and one of the two production locations
in Germany, a high order quantity and complex picking
processes are on the daily agenda. From here, the
Saarland company of long-standing tradition coordinates

/ 12 12

the storage and distribution of its world-wide requested


tableware product assortment. High-quality products
made from crystal glass, ceramics and porcelain need to
be picked and transported with special care and precision.
This is especially because Villeroy & Boch delivers to over
170 shops, 560 concessions and about 5,000 placements
in stores. This makes perfectly controlled organizational
processes in the warehouse and optimally functioning IT
all the more important.
Growing complexity
The logistic requirements for the logistics center in Merzig
are particularly complex. Due to the growing product
assortment, international customers and faster delivery
times, the company has faced enormous challenges for
decades. These problems can only be overcome with
permanent improvement and optimization processes. The
optimizations were and are carried out in the handling
as well as the IT processes. In the course of ten years,

sustained investments were made into technology


(extensions of high bay warehouses, additional ASRSs for
fast movers) and software. With a permanent improvement
concept, Villeroy & Boch can react to the demand for more
service at lower process (piece) costs.
Process optimization on-site
At the location in Merzig, an example of this process
optimization is the changed processes: With the aid of
the new container picking system, Villeroy & Boch is able
to pick 80% of order lines via the goods-to-man picking
process. The remaining 20% are picked using pallet
picking from the manual forklift warehouse. In addition,
the integrated dynamic buffer in front of each picking
work station makes it possible to buffer store up to twenty
containers, so that the location can be uncoupled from the
load peaks of the automated storage and retrieval system.
Based on the collected data (situation at the picking
location, container availability and system utilization),
the warehouse management system ensures that each
workstation is almost always utilized to full capacity. In the
past, the storage containers were transferred to the picking
workstation via the material flow control. inconsoWMS X
no longer only controls the process at the location. It also
controls whether storage containers are buffer stored en
route to the workstation in the dynamic buffer or directly
staged.
Support around the clock
Process optimization on-site, however, is only one option
out of many to safeguard against possible incidents.
Even the most modern IT equipment cannot guarantee
that disruptions can be completely ruled out. Once the
appropriate hardware and software runs successfully, the

question remains as to who will provide the knowledge and


competence for troubleshooting.
Modern technology is thus only one side of the coin. In
order for companies like Villeroy & Boch to maintain their
efficiency and quality standards, fast response times and
help are critical when disruptions occur. This is especially
important for logistics, where shorter delivery and response times correspond to increasingly complex delivery networks.
Reduced disruption quota with Full Managed Services
Full Managed Services (FMS) enable a tailored support
service. No matter if you need a help desk, network
support or application support the customer and system
requirements are crucial factors. Using potential analyses
and feasibility studies, the entire warehouse system is
scrutinized to discuss which personal and organizational
options are available. Moreover, if disruptions occur
repeatedly, a weak point analysis can reveal which services
are necessary. In this way, the services can be tailored to
the individual warehouse.
Since inconso has been successfully working with
Villeroy& Boch for many years, it was the obvious choice
as a collaborative partner. Due to years of working together,
the current support team is very familiar with the process
chains at the location in Merzig. From the implementation
of the new warehouse management system that controls
and monitors the entire central warehouse and shipping
process through to the end mobile equipment that was
installed just a few years ago, inconso has carried out
various projects with Villeroy & Boch. Even though the
logistics center of Villeroy & Boch is now well equipped for
future challenges, the IT specialist team is not far away if
questions arise. inconso is always available as a competent
partner for application support and general hardware and
software matters.
Since the cutover of the new logistics center, Villeroy & Boch
profits from an optimized interplay of the warehouse areas
at the site in Merzig. Villeroy & Boch is well prepared for the
future. Still, it is better to be safe than sorry.

The tableware logistics center in Merzig: Process optimization with the help of inconso Full Managed Services
(Source: Villeroy & Boch)

13

WE CAN COMPLETELY
TRUST IN INCONSOS
EFFICIENT APPLICATION
SUPPORT
Interview with Heinz Haben,
Manager of Global Logistics Processes &
Systems at Villeroy & Boch AG

Source: Villeroy & Boch

inconso: Why did Villeroy & Boch decide on support


modules in addition to the application support?
Heinz Haben: Looking back on the beginning of
construction of our central warehouse in the late
1990s, inconso AG was always the right partner for the
implementation of a complete IT package consisting of
hardware and software. Since then, Villeroy & Boch
has relied on inconsos extensive know-how during
large logistic changes as well as small, technical
challenges. In the meantime, the focus has changed,
however. Due to this, we now use the Full Managed
Services of inconso. The reason for this is the
cutover of a WMS cluster and thanks to it, we have
extensively protected ourselves against operational
disruptions. Two things were especially important to
us: the provision of sufficient protection during system
operation, together with the responsible support group
and the comprehension of the broader logistic context.
The latter also includes the understanding of complex,
technical, logistic processes as well as a sense for

14

time-sensitive connections. The consulting expertise


of inconso AG has convinced us to expand their initial
support service. Along with the application support
for the central warehouse, inconso also supports and
develops the general hardware and software systems.
inconso: Why do you continue to rely on inconso in
regard to technical matters?
Heinz Haben: What especially convinced us to
choose inconso AG at the beginning was that they
had already implemented solutions or migrations with
similar, technical requirements for other customers. The
reference list made it much easier to select a suitable
partner. We also greatly appreciate that inconso has
always lived up to the partnership aspect of the
collaboration: Together, we always found a way that
fulfilled the industry-specific requirements as well as
the far more specific budget requirements. To give an
example of inconsos service and support offerings, I
want to highlight that Villeroy & Boch was able to increase

its availabilities with each migration. If maintenance is


required, the WMS cluster allows for the continuation
of online operation with one of two computers while
the entire logistics building is protected due to an
independent, disruption-free power supply.
inconso: To what extent does the support package
make your daily processes easier?
Heinz Haben: The extensive application support
ensures process security and a high output in the
central warehouse of Villeroy & Boch AG. There,
we operate an automated high bay warehouse with
23,000 pallets and two automatic storage and retrieval
systems (ASRSs) for 55,000 containers. Add to that
a complex container conveyor technology as well as
a worldwide shipping system. The high availability
of the IT systems and the regular maintenance of all
technical equipment is a prerequisite for accomplishing
the daily capacity planning and keeping our customer
appointments. On average, about 1,000 deliveries
per day are shipped to the distribution channels own
retail, wholesale, hospitality and e-commerce. We stock
about 10,000 products. Our and inconsos constant
system monitoring is beneficial in further developing the
applications because feedback about the processes
and system performance can be processed as a team.
These short paths within inconso between the WMS
application and the systems have always proven useful
in project work. Along with that, we receive support
when we want to integrate the IT interfaces of other
technical equipment or check them.
inconso: Would you recommend this model to other
customers?
Heinz Haben: At Villeroy & Boch, competence and
transparency are priority number one. The same also
applies to collaborative work. Our experiences up to
know have confirmed that inconsos expert team can
always be counted on, so that we can completely trust
in their efficient application support should measures
become necessary on short notice. In our supply chain,
we could not teach or make available this extensive,
heterogeneous and technical knowledge ourselves.

Insights into the tableware collection of Villeroy & Boch (source: Villeroy & Boch)

15

Imprint
Publisher:
inconso AG, Bad Nauheim
Editorial adress:
inconso AG, Marketing & Communications,
Dieselstrae 1 7, 61231 Bad Nauheim
marketing@inconso.de
Telefon: +49 6032 348-0, Fax: +49 6032 348-100
Headquarters:
Bad Nauheim
Locations:
Bremen, Dresden, Essen, Gallin, Hamburg, Heidelberg,
Kln, Mnster, Sindelfingen, Lyon (F), Barcelona (ES),
Madrid (ES)

mail@inconso.de | www.inconso.com

Source: Villeroy & Boch