With around 3000 orders a day coming through distributors, via the company’s leading online shop and App, Ostermann realised it needed to improve its logistics operations to cope with delivering its huge range of edgings quickly and efficiently. The construction project which ensued represented the highest investment in Ostermann history.
For its UK customers, the company has a dedicated facility in Droitwich near Birmingham where customers can, if they choose, drop in and collect a telephone order – but for many, its order-before-4pm and get delivery within 24hrs, plus a discount, is an increasingly popular option.
The building phase at Ostermann’s Bocholt, Germany headquarters started in July 2016 and has taken 12 months to finish.
The company already has a substantial, traditional fully-racked warehouse area but such has been the growth in both product lines and demand, a new automated warehouse and associated packaging and despatch scenario was needed to help maintain the standards Ostermann customers expect – both for now and in the future.
Critically, the design incorporates potential further expansion within the floor plan which gives the company a very solid logistics platform to provide a first-class delivery service for its German and international client base.
Behind the fully automatic high-bay warehouse (to the left), a new dispatch area and a fully automatic order-picking warehouse were constructed in just slightly more than a year
The new warehouse covers 2500m2 with a height of 14m. The two-storey packaging and despatch area is similarly 2500m2 and also features an upper gallery with new office spaces.
The warehouse is a fully automated box warehouse system featuring over 20000 box spaces – the robust red boxes were specifically designed for the Ostermann application. In all, Ostermann now boasts an impressive 40,000 storage spaces for furniture edgings in Bocholt.
From the warehouse through packaging and into despatch, there is an impressive kilometre-long fully automatic conveyor system and a doubling of the storage area for edgings. The semi-autonomous process moves the orders from storage to despatch in just a few minutes and the rest of the opened edging rolls are put back into storage via a fully automatic process.
This area features eight adjustable roll-off tables and ball roller tables for the commissioning – all of which is critical to the company being able to maintain a highly efficient and streamlined process.
The packaged orders, featuring cartons and bags with the Ostermann logo, are then processed to one of the six loading ramps where the outgoing goods can be sorted according to the forwarding agent and destination.
Unlike many warehousing, packaging and despatch facilities, Ostermann’s Bocholt plant provides a really pleasant place to work – the light and airy space with the large window façades allow ample daylight at the workstations