© Philipp Reinhardt

A landmark for Hohenlohe

The new distribution center ensures punctual deliveries worldwide — and lots more besides.

With a height of 35 meters, the high-bay warehouse towers above the landscape — and symbolizes a veritable ebm-papst landmark project: the new distribution center in Mulfingen-Hollenbach. Right next to the plant 4 manufacturing facilities, a building complex covering a total of 38,000 square meters has grown up on the Hollenbach hillside in just 15 months.

Logistics hub

“The dramatic rise in our sales figures in recent years has led to a considerable increase in our logistics activities,” explains Thomas Wagner, Managing Director of Production and Materials Management of the ebm-papst Group and responsible for the project. Which is why, in 2015, the company started to make concrete plans to concentrate its logistics operations in one location. “Within the Group we often supply to the same customers from several different production locations,” says Wagner. The consignments from the various plants are now handled in a cross-docking process, in other words virtually without storage, and supplied to around 1,000 customers throughout the world. “Hollenbach is an ideal site, as some 40 per cent of the goods come from plant 4.”

The concentration of all the packaging. shipping and warehousing facilities at this central location cuts out the need to travel to the other plants and so saves the company a transportation distance of more than 500,000 kilometers per year. “Our customers expect full service around the clock. This means fast delivery without any delays, perfect packaging and safe transportation,” stresses Wagner. All this is guaranteed by ultra-modern technology in the distribution center: The average time required to move a truck-load of goods from the shelves to the ramp is just 60 minutes.

Commitment to sustainability

But planning and construction did not just focus on the customers. In keeping with the GreenTech corporate philosophy, particular emphasis was also placed on energy-efficient solutions. The distribution center undercuts the legal requirements for the energy efficiency of new buildings by more than 80 per cent. In recognition of this, the German Sustainable Building Council pre-certified the center with its platinum award — the top label. The employees were also asked in advance about ideas for potential improvements with the aim of creating the best possible working environment for them. Leaving all that aside, an investment of more than 40 million euros is in itself a strong symbol of commitment to the region — and to around 3,500 jobs.

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