As one of the leading European IT E-Commerce service providers, Bechtle AG, based in Germany, operates in 65 locations and serves over 75,000 customers. The company provides one-stop shopping for IT infrastructure needs with more than 47,000 products in stock and 285 new products added every week. Managing such high volumes requires a fine-tuned logistics process to assure quick delivery times and excellent customer service.
It became apparent at the head office of Bechtle AG in Neckarsulm that the existing infrastructure wouldn’t be able to keep up with the growing volumes. The company’s rapid expansion in a short time period posed a logistics problem. The time-consuming paperwork processes used for stock removal, consignment and supply were no longer appropriate. To keep pace with growth, Bechtle AG was going to have to consider re-engineering its logistics process. The company decided that in order to boost its capacity and turnover rate in the future, a warehouse management system needed to be implemented.
Bechtle AG took the initiative and acted right away. The stock area was enlarged to 8,000 sqm, and a new storage area management system and internal transport method was implemented, along with the Falcon™ X3 mobile computer for data capture.
Datalogic’s Falcon X3 mobile computers are connected to the system via ITS Mobile for radio data transmission, providing a permanent exchange of data and information between the system and employees. In this manner, an overview of all the processes is always present in real time.
Falcon X3 mobile computers are used at several points in the order process. When employees register their names and passwords, they are informed of all the orders that need to be prepared in their respective areas. If several articles are included in an order, the Falcon X3 mobile computer displays each position and determines the optimal picking route. The operator accepts each article on the list and starts the picking process, with supply, verification and inventory carried out automatically.
“An average of 5,500 parcels leave the distribution center daily,” points out Klaus Kratz, project director, Bechtle AG. “This number will surely grow in the future, and thanks to this updated system using the Falcon X3 mobile computer, coupled with the integration of a larger warehouse and a fully automated conveyor belt crossing over the entire area, we are ready to handle the larger volumes.”
The Falcon X3 mobile computer contributes to this successful new system in many ways. It speeds up operations with automatic inspections and safe, paperless order processing. The QVGA display with background lighting provides effortless reading both in very bright outdoor areas and in darker surroundings. The terminal is robust, resisting drops of 1.8 meters to concrete, with an IP64 protection class that safeguards it from dust and water contamination. Plus, the patented Green Spot Technology confirms every scan with a green spot for visual good read feedback, fundamental in noisy environments.
The Falcon X3 mobile computer also includes pre-installed and pre-licensed Wavelink® Avalanche® software, making device setup fast and simple. Bechtle considers this feature fundamental for assuring increased efficiency in the warehouse. “Thanks to the pre-installed and pre-licensed Wavelink Avalanche software, the Falcon X3 mobile computers can be configured by simply scanning a few barcodes, making a brand-new device ready for use in less than 2 minutes,” comments Florian Zahn, network-engineer of the internal IT department of Bechtle AG. “Deployment is quick, allowing operators to start working right away.”
This overhaul of the logistics department in Neckarsulm has launched Bechtle AG towards future expansion and growth. Complex, manual operations have given way to streamlined, fast and safe processes. Inventory counts are now always up-to-date. The Falcon X3 mobile computer handles all the incoming goods, outgoing goods, consignment or the supply of merchandise in the picking area, increasing efficiency and performance rates.
“With the implementation of the new logistics strategy, we have created a vision for our future growth with a goal of reaching a five billion euro turnover and 10,000 employees in 2020,” indicated Klaus Kratz, project director, Bechtle AG. “We made a successful change from the old analog to the new digital world.”
Client: Bechtle AG
Application: Warehouse Management
Datalogic Product: Falcon X3