io-consultants – company chronicle
Since our company was founded in 1958, we have completed a steady stream of outstanding projects – some of them award-winning. Our clientele ranges from upper mid-sized German companies to global corporations. Across the world, we provide consulting services to six of the ten leading international pharmaceutical companies, three of the world’s top ten car manufacturers, five of the twenty largest airlines, five of the ten biggest consumer goods manufacturers, and nine of the top twenty Germany mechanical and plant engineering firms. Altogether, we have completed more than 5000 successful projects around the globe.
Highlights of our company history:
Foundation of the company in Heidelberg as i+o. Our guiding principle is “form and function in concert”.
Planning of the first high-bay warehouse for Beiersdorf AG, Hamburg.
Planning of a central packaging and supply structure for Schering AG, Berlin. The idea of functional industrial planning soon took off and became our “hallmark”. Functional industrial planning generated substantial productivity benefits over conventional factory planning.
Planning of the first project for an academic institution: a food catering facility for the University of Mannheim. This was followed by the student cafeteria in Heidelberg, which produces around 3,600 meals a day, then Erlangen, Regensburg, and many more.
Construction of the first GMP-compliant pharmaceuticals plant for Asta Medica AG in Künsebeck, followed by projects for TROPON (now Meda Manufacturing GmbH), Klinge Pharma GmbH, and many more medium-sized pharmaceutical firms.
Planning of the central company cafeteria for F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. in Basel, with state-of-the-art, IT-supported serving, returns and accounting systems. What began as a secondary project to complement our work, which until then had primarily focussed on factory planning, later led to one of our strongest fields of expertise, Communal Catering.
Application of i+o’s catering expertise to hospital supply centre services, such as laundry technologies, general material supplies, pharmaceuticals supplies, and central sterilisation.
Planning of “Germany’s largest washing machine” – start of a pilot project at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf for a highly automated central laundry for all Hamburg clinics.
Establishment of our subsidiary, PhC Pharma Consult.
“The launch of the ‘production warehouse’: i+o transfers the concept of ‘production warehouses’ to the mechanical engineering and automobile industries. ‘Production warehouse’ means that all in-house manufactured parts and all purchased items are placed in a central warehouse before being supplied to the assembly lines. So far, this concept has been realised at several Mercedes-Benz AG sites – e.g. in Untertürkheim (engine warehouse), Wörth and Hamburg-Harburg (both production warehouses), at SEW near Heidelberg, and MTU in Friedrichshafen (high-bay warehouse and automatic small parts warehouse).” Source: Chronik einer Branche (‘Chronicle of an industry’), in Materialfluss (‘Material flow’) magazine for intralogistics, 1994.
A project for tyre manufacturer Semperit AG kicks off our activities in the automobile industry, with follow-on projects for DaimlerChrysler in Wörth, VDO Babenhausen, VW in Emden, and many more.
First project in planning highly complex in-flight catering facilities at airports, for Sky Chefs in the USA. Today, we are the worldwide market leader in this field. Many prestigious airlines such as British Airways, SAS, Swiss Air, Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, and Korean Air now count among our clients.
Implementation of a central warehouse for finished goods, for Colgate-Palmolive GmbH in the port of Hamburg. The fully automatic connection to production via an electric monorail system was unique at the time.
Foundation of “i+o Informationssysteme GmbH”, coinciding with the introduction of a new generation of process computers for production and logistics process planning and management.
Consistent growth necessitates relocating to larger premises in Heidelberg’s Römerstrasse.
Establishment of our Singapore office, to improve access to new markets in Southeast Asia.
Our project for Bosch-Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH wins the German Logistics Prize, awarded by the German Logistics Association.
Planning of the world’s largest in-flight catering facilities of the time, for Cathay Pacific Catering Services (initially designed for 60,000 meals per day), at Chek Lap Kok island airport, Hong Kong. In 2012, CPCS commissioned us again to extend the facilities to cater for 140,000 meals per day (daily production had already risen to 85,000 meals).
Implementation of the largest fully automated high-bay warehouse to date, with 132,000 pallet spaces for Tchibo AG’s consumer items, operated by Bremer Lagerhausgesellschaft (BLG).
Automotive supplier Faurecia Automotive Seating receives “Factory of the Year” award in the category “Performance Standards and Performance Management” for the facilities in Neuburg a. d. Donau planned by i+o.
Audi’s new tool shop in Ingolstadt – realised by i+o in its role as lead consultant – receives the “Tool Shop of the Year” award. Beforehand, i+o had already won the architecture contest for the plant design.
Implementation of the world’s first paperless pharmaceutical factory for B. Braun AG.
Establishment of our office in Bethlehem, PA, USA.
Jubilee year – celebration of our 50th anniversary.
Planning of the European Spare Parts Centre for MTU GmbH (now Rolls-Royce Power Systems) in Überlingen on Lake Constance – from strategy through to standard operations. The warehouse is one of the first logistics centres worldwide to be fully run by SAP EWM.
The International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) presents our client Pfizer with the Facility of the Year Award 2008, in the categories “Process Innovation” and “Overall Winner”.
Development of an integrated building concept – encompassing plant and process technologies and logistics – for the new production facilities at JZJT (Jiangzhong Corporation) in China. The exceptional architecture was specially designed to blend in with the landscape. The fully greened roof not only serves as insulation and promotes energy savings, but can also be walked on.
The in-flight catering facilities planned by i+o for Oberoi Flight Services at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi receive the Future Kitchen Award in acknowledgement of i+o’s excellent planning and implementation of an energy-efficient and sustainably designed commercial kitchen .
Rentschler Biotechnologie receives the Facility of the Year Award 2012 in the category “Equipment Innovation” for its new production facilities, in recognition of i+o’s flexible plant concept that reduced manufacturing costs and product cycle times. The prize was awarded by the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE).
On 1 January 2013, we change our company name to io-consultants. From now on, all our international sites operate under the same name. At the same time, PhC PharmaConsult GmbH is merged into the mother company. We also establish our site in Hong Kong and relocate to our current location, Heidelberg’s Bahnstadt district, one of Germany’s most state-of-the-art passive house estates.
Project kick-off of the after-sales strategy for the BMW Group: io-consultants plans three new BMW sites in Bavaria with around 300,000 sqm of new logistics space as well as worldwide continental warehouses and regional distribution centres.
Development begins for an overall master plan encompassing the logistics, process planning and architecture for new production facilities and an R&D centre for Chengdu Baiyu Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., China. Once again, the architecture is an outstanding feature of this project: the building spans seven floors, all with curved glass facades, and has a hanging garden terrace on the roof of the research building.
Our Global Parts System (PAS) project for Rolls-Royce Power Systems initiates the modernisation of the latter’s worldwide after-sales logistics. It includes the setup of three continental warehouses in the USA, Europe and Asia, and the conversion to a ground-breaking supply chain management system with identical processes in a global SAP EWM roll-out.
Planning of a high-performance logistics centre (>7,000 items/hr) for Adolf Würth KG, including high-automation facilities, a pick-and-pack solution, and automatic, folding-arm robot-controlled layer palletisers.
Deutsche SiSi-Werke Betriebs GmbH (Capri-Sun) opens its top-performance matrix high-bay warehouse with an orbiter channel storage system, planned by io-consultants. The facilities are so fast that from-bin transfers only need to be activated when the truck driver reports at the site gates.
Establishment of our office in Munich, Germany, managed by Simon Löwisch and Christian Schindler.