Stihl France: Capacity extension for the distribution logistics

The Stihl Group develops, manufactures and sells power tools globally for forestry and agriculture as well as landscape gardening, the construction industry and discerning private customers. The family company operates numerous production facilities and distribution centres worldwide.

stihl france distribution centre torcy

Stihl France, distribution centre Torcy

The challenge

Stihl’s sales branch in France sells the products independently throughout the entire country. A continuous turnover and volume growth was planned for the distribution warehouse in Torcy near Paris. The existing central warehouse could no longer satisfy the increasing requirements for service and quality in the short to medium term.

The task

viaLog Logistik Beratung GmbH had already successfully implemented an extension and optimisation project for Stihl’s German distribution centre in Dieburg. The German consulting company was now commissioned with realising a similar project in France. This included detailed planning for the warehouse expansion, tendering the logistics IT and technology as well as managing the implementation.

The solution

The concept put forward by viaLog envisaged a combination of automated areas and manual handling together with the introduction of new warehouse management software (WMS). The choice here favoured an automated container store with shuttle technology for three reasons:

  1. Storing items in small load containers and plastic containers is the most effective means of storage for the majority of the spare parts and accessories range.
  2. The container store saves space and offers an optimal storage density.
  3. The automation enables a high level of productivity among employees.

Each level of the three-aisle warehouse, with over 26,000 bin locations, is served by a shuttle. For optimal utilisation of the storage volume, the containers can be divided into up to four compartments. Storage in the new shuttle store is realised at stationary workstations. Here, empty containers are automatically supplied and used for the collection and booking with the new warehouse management software. Order picking is carried out at four ergonomically designed work stations and at the zone-to-zone picking system. At the workstations, empty destination cartons and source containers are provided, picked and removed again in the required processing sequence.

viaLog Project Manager Christian Deiting summarises the benefits: ❝The combination of high-performance and manual warehousing technology will enable Stihl to respond quickly and flexibly to changes in future.”

finished goods sorter

Finished goods sorter

Highlights

Container store with shuttle technology

According to the goods-to-man principle, a space-saving, low-labour container warehouse was also set up. Compared to other solutions, it achieves the highest productivity and provides a better amortisation period.

Ergonomic work stations

The pick-by-light controlled order picking is carried out in an optimal grab position without causing any back strain.

International project management

Co-operation with a logistics consultant tends to be unusual in France, which is why Stihl was all the more content with the good co-operation between the French team and the consultants from viaLog. Solutions accepted by all departments were developed and implemented jointly according to the viaLog standard.