io-consultants implements mobile processes based on Voice and MDE technologies to optimise logistics at ROTHENBERGER
Heidelberg - 28.2.2017
io-consultants and topsystem have helped ROTHENBERGER Werkzeuge GmbH convert to Voice and MDE technologies to optimise warehouse processes. After five years of working with SAP ERP, ROTHENBERGER needed to adapt its processes in order to continue increasing performance and the quality of supply in the years ahead. To this purpose, logistics planning and SAP specialists at io-consultants tested and analysed all the processes from incoming goods through to outgoing goods. ROTHENBERGER’s central warehouse at its headquarters in Kelkheim has been managed with the aid of SAP WM since the introduction of SAP ERP in 2011, but warehouse processes were still paper-based.
“The goal was to raise efficiency by at least 15 percent – for instance, by eliminating unnecessary sorting processes or time-consuming correction of stock differences,” says Thomas Rech, Division Manager Logistics/SCM at ROTHENBERGER. “We also wanted to accelerate processes with the aid of hands-free methods.”
The ensuing technology and hardware were tailored exactly to the process requirements:
- mobile PC stations are used in incoming goods to set up full pallets or mixed pallets for storage
- mobile data entry (MDE) devices with integrated scanners are now used for goods storage and batch-wise picking (first picking stage) or for stocktaking with mobile stacker cranes and forklifts
- voice technology (headsets with microphones and underarm scanners) facilitate sorting-by-order (second picking stage) in preparation for packaging
Stationary PC workstations with cordless scanners are still being used in the batch planning control system and at the packing stations for parcel and freight services. ROTHENBERGER chose Lydia® Voice Suite by topsystem as its pick-by-voice solution – partly on account of the reliable hardware, but particularly because the system’s intelligent speech recognition allows the integration of new users in any language and without specific speech training.
The new processes were gradually implemented per process area, thus giving warehouse staff a step-by-step introduction to the new system. “This flexible introduction concept made it possible to conduct final enduser tests as well as production staff trainings under real-time conditions, which minimised both the implementation risk and the effort for supplying complex test data,” explains Martin Bitz, Project Manager and head of the SAP Consulting business unit at io consultants. Thomas Rech adds: “With the introduction of paperless processes we released the latent potential in our central warehouse. We have now achieved the best possible performance, ergonomics and quality in all areas, and – thanks to io consultants – in the shortest possible time with a minimum of effort and risk.”
For more than 60 years, ROTHENBERGER Werkzeuge GmbH has been a worldwide leader in producing innovative pipe tools and machines for sanitary, climate-control, gas and environmental technologies. As the preferred partner of professional users, ROTHENBERGER offers complete solutions for pipe installation and associated service and maintenance work. The product range comprises more than 6,000 articles which are sold in more than 90 countries.