With its products, the french schaeffler group from herzogenaurach has long been among the world's best. Now he also wants to offer his customers top performance in delivery.
Modern and largely automated
On monday, shareholder and majority owner georg schaeffler together with minister president markus soder opened the european service center (EDZ) mitte in the kitzingen business park connekt. The modern and largely automated logistics center was built on the site of the former harvey barracks, a u.S. Barracks that was part of the neighboring airfield. Now all the group's products are distributed there step by step throughout europe.
Eliminating the needle's eye
Until now, delivery was the needle's ear in the group: shipments came from each individual production site, often spread over several packages or staggered over time. Georg schaeffler compared his group's performance to that of the national soccer team in its most recent game against austria: "that had a lot in common with our logistics," he admitted whimsically in front of guests of honor and employees. Therefore, he is pleased that "in just under 20 months something great has been built up".
Investment of 110 million euros
The company is spending 110 million euros on its new logistics center. It forms the heart of a total of three such sites in europe – a second is in sweden, a third in northern italy. One delivery per customer, everything from a single source, and throughout europe within 48 hours – that was schaeffler's ambitious goal.
Reasons for the kitzingen location
That's why the european distribution center needs to be centrally located on the continent. And schaeffler found them at the intersection of the european highways a 3 and a 7 – in kitzingen. Schaeffler had indeed tested other locations for its warehouse, including bratislava in slovakia. But the lower labor costs had not outweighed the financial advantages of kitzingen's location, according to board members. After all, many schaeffler products come from franconia and bavaria, which guarantees short and consequently favorable routes to lower franconia. So it was easy for the group CEO to present his french family-owned company "with global activities but regional ties" and to emphasize the sustainability and energy savings provided by the EDZ in kitzingen.
"Franconia and bavaria are a good home for schaeffler," the man at the top said. The billionaire, who is considered one of the richest men in the world according to the forbes list, had praise for the district office and the city administration in kitzingen.
Franke soder is delighted with franconian success
As a franconian, minister president markus soder was pleased, probably not without an ulterior motive, that a "world market leader controls the world from france. He praised the advantages of the family business for employees, the region and politics. "You know your contacts and keep in touch with your own people," said soder. Schaeffler has also experienced difficult times in the past. All the more, the path of modernization, technologization and digitalization is to be buried. With a view to future economic development, however, the minister president warned of "gay times" in europe caused by international uncertainties triggered, among other things, by U.S. President donald trump. "I couldn't rely on anything in the u.S. At the moment," was sander's laconic conclusion.
Contribution of the employees
Schaeffler recognizes the contribution of its employees to its success, as demonstrated by a presentation by employees who put together twelve key messages in the form of cubes. They were representative of the 100 employees currently working at the EDZ. Their number is expected to grow to 200 by mid 2019.
Schaeffler and the european distribution center kitzingen in figures
Groundbreaking: 5.10.2016; start of operation: 2.5.2018; official opening: 4.6.2018.
Investment amount: 110 million euro.
100 employees at the beginning, about 200 employees by mid 2019.
Up to 85 trucks a day in the start-up phase in two-shift operation, maximum up to 200 at full capacity in three-shift operation.
Floor space: 148,000 square meters, equivalent to about 20 soccer fields, of which 94,000 square meters are built on and 17,000 square meters are built on,
Within 48 hours every article in stock should reach its destination within europe.
Two hours before departure of a truck, orders can still be accepted for its journey.
Delivery: the aim of the logistics center is to pack outgoing goods to a customer in a package. Until now, there have often been several shipments from one location or staggered deliveries.
"Zero defect promise": through continuous scanning and weighing of the delivery packages, the position and quantity of each item should be precisely determined.
2017 the schaeffler group has achieved 14 billion euros in revenue with a consolidated net income of 980 million euros. Schaeffler generates three quarters of its revenue in its automotive supplier division, and another quarter in its industrial division.
Worldwide the group employs over 90,000 people in 72 production plants.