Smart logistics processes as the basis for long-term flexibility

Process optimisation in the warehouse with STILL

Hamburg, 27 June 2024 - Flexible production, small batch sizes, maximum efficiency and the best possible safety for employees, vehicles and goods - and all this in a context of ever-increasing competitiveness and cost pressure. Many companies face these or similar challenges. Tailor-made process optimisation is an important lever and an essential prerequisite for a sustainable increase in efficiency, long-term flexibility and scalability. STILL, the Hamburg-based specialist for intralogistics solutions, supports companies in the smart optimisation of their logistics processes.

Smart, optimized processes from goods receipt to dispatch are the basis for a sustainable increase in efficiency, long-term flexibility and scalability.

Long-term success in volatile and dynamic times requires a high degree of flexibility and the willingness to adapt quickly and continuously to changing conditions, requirements and causalities. In addition to ever faster and error-free processes, this can also mean scaling up production in the shortest possible time, achieving short production cycles with small batch sizes, and constantly adapting processes and supply chains flexibly.

Smart processes as key to flexibility and scalability

Increased capacity, more powerful vehicles, more employees or greater independence through automated processes - these are all pieces of the puzzle of optimised production. For sustainable growth and long-term success, however, it is essential to optimise processes in all areas, from incoming goods to loading and transport. “Smart processes create flexibility in the long term and are the stable foundation that gives a company the freedom to act flexibly and with agility over time," explains Florian Heydenreich, Executive Vice President Sales & Service STILL EMEA.

And rightly so: where processes, routes and transfer points in the incoming goods area are clearly defined and where, for example, automated vehicles and intelligent racking systems interact smoothly, the available space can be optimally utilised and handling capacity increased. In addition, the risk of accidents is significantly reduced and, if demand increases, more vehicles can be integrated at higher speeds or racking can be added at any time without changing processes or compromising the basic organisation of incoming goods. The same applies to warehousing, order picking, production supply, shipping and goods issue. When the required material arrives at the production line not only just-in-time, but also just-in-sequence - efficiently bundled and pre-assembled - the line runs efficiently and without interruption. Disruptions or delays caused by crossing vehicles or people are reduced to a minimum. When all relevant delivery documents for finished products are complete, unambiguous and clearly visible, the error rate is reduced, handling capacity is increased and satisfied customers receive their deliveries as quickly as possible.

Experienced experts help companies on their way to smart processes

Despite the obvious added value of smart processes, many companies are still reluctant to tackle the issue of process optimisation. After all, it involves taking a step back from the hectic pace of day-to-day production to rethink familiar workflows and ingrained processes. At the same time, smart logistics optimisation is highly dependent on individual conditions, requirements and objectives - there is no onesize- fits-all solution. The Hamburg-based intralogistics expert STILL supports customers on their way to smart logistics processes: in partnership, individually and transparently, with many years of experience and a high level of consulting competence. Based on a detailed inventory and analysis of the existing material flow and logistics processes, strengths, potentials and optimisation needs are identified and individual recommendations for action are derived - from small adjustments to comprehensive restructuring of all warehouse areas. "Questioning and adapting established processes requires a willingness to change and can in some cases entail considerable reorganisation," explains Florian Heydenreich. "But in the end, optimised processes and the implementation of innovative technologies are the key to greater productivity, flexibility and scalability, and pay off economically in the long term".

Digital management systems enable transparent processes

Closely related to process optimisation is the transparent analysis of one's own processes. The more knowledge a company has about its own processes, inventories and challenges, the more targeted and successful it can be in implementing improvements and responding to changes. To this end, STILL uses digital material flow and fleet management systems that map each individual process step in real time and smartly link different pieces of information to form a transparent whole. For example, if you know exactly the level of utilisation of your trucks, how long order pickers take per order, and which goods are in which shelf compartment and in what quantity, you can also plan your fleet precisely - not only in terms of size, but also in terms of the selection, configuration and tasks of individual trucks.

To give companies an impression of how their warehouse can change through the implementation of smart processes and innovative technologies, the logistics specialists at STILL have put all this together at www.still.de/en-DE/solutioncompetence/ smart-logistics in a clear and practical way with dynamic animations of before and after. Additionally, the STILL blog post "Level Up! Smart processes in intralogistics" provides more in-depth, practical information.