Warehouse tour part one – What goes on in these halls

16. Oct 2017 | Technology + Products

Today, I’ll take you along on a tour of the Herth+Buss warehouse in Heusenstamm. Our warehouse space on the Dieselstrasse site comprises approximately 13,500 m², some of which is spread over two storeys. More than 26,500 special and spare parts are stored here in various systems.

Fast- and slow-movers

Our shelving system boasts a capacity of around 29,000 storage spaces. For popular items (fast-movers), there are additionally around 1,100 pallet warehouse spaces at Herth+Buss. Which makes storage very dynamic or chaotic, depending how you look at it! This is an alternative to the fixed-bin system in the form of our shelving. Four so-called “storage lifts” supplement our logistics procedures: in these, around 2,900 less frequently circulating items (slow-movers) are accommodated with a view to saving space. Reserve warehouse capacity currently comprises around 6,500 pallet spaces.

The heart of our logistics

Of course, a warehouse with so many different storage spaces also requires a reliable warehouse management system. Since 2004, we’ve been using SAP/LES (Logistics Execution System) for this purpose and mapping our processes entirely without vouchers. In other words, we don’t need to use any paper. Instead, we use state-of-the-art scanner technology. A fleet of approximately 55 trucks ranging from pedestrian stackers right through to quick-order-picking and stand-on stackers supports our 90 or so employees in the Incoming Goods, Outgoing Goods and Packaging areas, in addition to the Logistics Control Centre. Truly a fleet of vital and indispensable mobile helpers!

Warehouse Stop 1 – Incoming Goods

In 2016, more than 360 full container loads were received in 20- and 40-foot containers, although this only amounts to a portion of all deliveries. This is a huge amount of pallet wood, products and above all weight that has been processed by the 30 or so employees from Incoming Goods. Every delivery is numbered and can be tracked from this point on in our warehouse management system. Here, SAP helps us achieve the best possible utilisation of the different storage types and calculates route-optimised deposition trips. This saves us a lot of time!

Our Incoming Goods

Stop 2 – Outgoing Goods

Things are in full swing in our Outgoing Goods department late in the evening. As everyone strains to pick, package and ship the last orders. Customer orders are processed in line with our shipment system. Incoming orders and the number of items are decisive when it comes to the date of shipment, which needs to be adhered to. We plan route-optimised trips around the warehouse. Which are based on all of the data from the ordered shipment, ideally so that the order picks are limited to just one storey or one type of storage. During the picking process, multi-order picking is implemented with Pick+Pack. Furthermore, we have been implementing collective picking at a product level since 2016 – so called “batch-picking”. We pick a large quantity of items on one batch-picking trip and first assign them to the respective delivery at the packing station. A highly efficient form of order picking.


Our Outgoing Goods

We hope you have been able to get a better idea of what goes on inside our vast warehouse during part 1 of this tour. On our second tour, we’ll delve into the remaining vital pieces of the warehouse puzzle, without which every customer would be looking into an empty box!