© 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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