19 May 2017
VBH – Europe’s largest trading house for window and door fittings – is investing in more efficient warehouse technology for its warehouse location in Ilsfeld. The existing high-bay warehouse for profiles and long goods is being completely modernised; VBH is also optimising its processing procedures e.g. sawing and packaging. This €750,000 investment is part of a whole raft of measures aimed at securing and increasing performance in light of future market requirements. The number of employees at the Ilsfeld site has also been increased. Since the beginning of the year, the warehouse has been running in three-shift operation.
VBH’s site in Ilsfeld near Heilbronn covers not only a warehouse for 3,000 pallets and 330 meters of small parts shelf space for installation material and construction chemicals, but also – since 2002 – a fully automatic Kasto warehouse for long goods. This is undergoing comprehensive modernisation in order to increase delivery capacity, speed up processes and ensure a higher level of availability. New, faster rack feeders, latest-generation safety technology and state-of-the-art system control will ensure that the warehouse performance meets today’s requirements. “We are updating our logistics processes in Ilsfeld. This is an important step towards safeguarding the quality and dependability of the service we offer our customers and ensuring that we can keep pace with increasingly stringent market requirements,” explains Michael Karthaus, head of logistics for VBH Deutschland GmbH. “To manage the ever-increasing volume of goods, Ilsfeld has been running in three-shift operation since the beginning of the year. To help with this, we have added ten salaried employees to our local workforce.” The Ilsfeld site currently employs around 50 people, while 220 are employed in VBH logistics teams throughout Germany.
1,300 cassettes with profiles, ground sills and window sills
The fully automatic system in Ilsfeld is a “honeycomb store” containing more than 1,300 cassettes, each one more than 6 m in length. Among the articles stored here are wood/aluminium profiles, ground sills and window sills from our partners and VBH’s own greenteQ brand. These articles can, on request, be custom-cut, custom-coated or anodised and prefabricated (e.g. the window sill connections can be pre-installed). But not only the long goods warehouse is set to undergo modernisation. In addition, the system packaging and assembly facilities are being reconfigured and the processes made more efficient. Ilsfeld will also be the starting point for regional deliveries to customers up to 200 km away as well as for shuttle services to other VBH warehouse locations. Twelve loading ramps and an area of around 9,000 m2 are ready and waiting to enter service.
Logistics for the window industry
Ilsfeld is the second-biggest of a total of four VBH warehouse locations in Germany. The biggest one is located in Nempitz near Leipzig; the other two can be found in Regensburg and Altötting. Together, they handle deliveries to every single one of our customers throughout Germany. Every day, VBH dispatches around 10,000 order items, and completes around 90 lorry journeys to VBH customers, window fabricators and fitters. Of the around 165,000 articles in its product range, VBH stores around 45,000 in its warehouses.
The technical modernisation project in Ilsfeld will take place over the 2018 carnival holiday period to ensure a seamless transition for our customers. The period leading up to the holiday will be used to prepare for this smooth transition – for example, goods inventories from Ilsfeld will be built up step by step at other locations to ensure that delivery capacity is maintained. At VBH, the past few months have seen the launch of numerous measures aimed at optimising logistics and internal processes. Many of these are now bearing fruit. Another of our goals is to digitalise logistics end to end, thereby ensuring complete traceability of consignments.
At its warehouse location in Ilsfeld, VBH has invested €750,000 in modernising a fully automatic high-bay warehouse for profiles and long goods. This investment is part of a whole raft of measures aimed at securing and increasing performance in light of future market requirements. Every day, VBH dispatches around 10,000 order items, and completes around 90 lorry journeys to window fabricators and fitters. Since the beginning of the year, the warehouse in Ilsfeld has been running in three-shift operation.