Contribution from Jürgen Rauscher
Jürgen Rauscher reports on the major project in which he played a leading role.
The relocation of our company from Leinfelden-Echterdingen to Reutlingen in 2008 was one of the most important projects in the recent history of our company.
The expansion possibilities at the old location had been exhausted and therefore a new location was important and necessary for the further development of the company. The last few years before the move, we had already rented additional premises for logistics in order to be able to cover the continuously increasing space requirements.
A first major milestone of our relocation project was the ground-breaking ceremony on 30.06.2008. Many of the guests at that time were surprised by our presented, very ambitious project plan.
The plan agreed upon by our construction company GOLDBECK and us provided that we should have completed the entire company relocation in December 2008.
In only 6 months, an industrial hall with 1,800 m² and an office building with 1,400 m² were to be constructed. At the same time, almost the entire interior furnishing as well as the warehouse and production technology was to be renewed. All process changes, including the necessary ERP adjustments and, above all, the company relocation itself were to be realised during ongoing operations. Delivery interruptions to customers were to be avoided as far as possible.
After 5 months of construction, the industrial PC production could start its service in the newly created production hall in November 2008. This was a first tour de force, because with the move we had also optimised and improved our production principle in many places. For the communication with the location in Leinfelden-Echterdingen, a temporary data connection was created so that the necessary common access to the ERP system could be guaranteed.
During this phase, the new industrial PC production was supplied with goods by a shuttle truck between the old and the new location 25 km away. Due to our batch size 1 production with different system configurations, this was one of the major challenges of the entire project.
Another project milestone was the relocation of the logistics including the large warehouse. This is where the move brought the biggest changes compared to our old location.
Our warehouse in Leinfelden-Echterdingen had traditional shelving and permanently allocated storage spaces for the various products. The shelves were not very high and could be operated with steps and ladders.
The new warehouse was planned with racks of 5 m or 6 m height, which can be loaded with KLT containers (small load carriers) of different sizes or with pallets. Each of the 7,000 KLT containers has its own number and can be clearly assigned to the numbers of the different storage locations.
Together with the single-variety loading of the KLT containers in goods receipt, the exact storage location for each article can be mapped in the ERP system via the serial number. Fixed storage locations for the various products are no longer necessary with this "chaotic" storage strategy. This means that the overall storage density can be increased.
The shelves for the KLT containers are served by small industrial trucks, which can lift the warehouse operator including the load to the necessary height of 5 m and also eliminate the need to walk for kilometres in the warehouse. The pallet racks are operated with an electric high-lift truck.
The relocation of the logistics department was an event in which the entire company and all its colleagues actively participated. It ranged from filling 7,000 bins at the old location according to type, to transporting the bins to the new location, to "booking" the articles into the bins as well as putting or booking the bins into the storage compartments with the help of the industrial trucks.
Several booking stations were set up in parallel so that the very large quantity of containers could be processed as quickly as possible. Everyone had their task and by the end of the second day all items had been moved into a warehouse with completely new storage technology and strategy.
All existing doubts as to whether the new warehouse technology or the new logistics processes would even work or be efficient enough were eliminated within a few days. Almost all of our planning and considerations had proven to be correct.
Only through this joint action was it possible for us to complete the entire move with only one day without any deliveries to our customers!
This was one of the biggest successes of the whole project.
The final stage of the project was the relocation of the office staff. Since we had taken the opportunity to purchase completely new furniture for the office workplaces, this move was no longer a big challenge compared to the move of the production and logistics.
At the end of 2008, our new address was Mahdenstr. 3 in 72768 Reutlingen.