ZIEHL-ABEGG SE opts for sample inventories. Production warehouses and smaller premises with fewer than 1,000 items are also taken into account. The inventory software used for this purpose comes from Stat Control.
The rules are clearly defined: A warehouse should contain at least 1,000 items or partto- storage-position ratios so that the annual inventory is economical based on fewer samples. Therefore, smaller premises with fewer than 1,000 stock items actually exclude themselves from this time-saving type of inventory.
ZIEHL-ABEGG SE based in Künzelsau would not simply be content with this restriction. The manufacturing firm – which specialises in fans, electric motors and associated control systems – has been relying on sample inventories in its small parts warehouse containing 2,500 to 3,000 items for more than 15 years. It was able to reduce the counting work required by around 80%. The same effect was achieved six years ago in another area with 5,000 item numbers. “The previous full inventory took two whole days with ten employees. Now, five colleagues can complete the exact same work in five hours,” reported Karsten Gaschnitz of the Controlling department, who is responsible for ZIEHL-ABEGG SE’s Inventory division.
However, most of the other storage locations, which number around 180 in total, have fewer than 1,000 items and actually would not be considered for a switchover. “That is, unless we were to combine several small areas to form a single warehouse unit or a collective sample,” explained Mr Gaschnitz. This in turn requires an inventory software capable of summarising several storage locations and thus managing it as a single client. “Stasam 8.1, the program that we use, meets this requirement.
Since the release upgrade in 2007, we have been able to manage several such clients in parallel,” explained the IT department. Three storage areas at the Künzelsau site – where small parts, spare parts and iron are stored – led the way for the additional switchover process. “All the goods stored there were summarised to create a basic population and provided Stasam with a pool for determining samples,” the IT department added. The full count in the three storage areas previously took two-and-a-half days.
The incentive is huge, because in the past four employees worked on the inventory for two whole days. “In this regard, our goal is to have two employees complete the entire process in half a day,” affirmed Mr Gaschnitz.
“This far simpler recording process has helped us save €20,000 to €30,000”. Mr Gaschnitz has recognised further potential in the highbay warehouses. where finished products and components are stored.
In these high-bay warehouses, ZIEHL-ABEGG SE maintains a total of nine areas that are still to be switched over at the Künzelsau sites, at the Hohenlohe Industrial Estate and in Bieringen.
“We started here in Künzelsau with the Würzburger Strasse site,” he stated. The premises has 4,700 storage positions, which are counted in a single day using sample inventories. In addition to the time savings, ZIEHLABEGG SE has only tasked two employees with carrying out the inventory, compared with four previously. “The staff are looking forward to being able to take turns doing the inventory in future and only having to work the Christmas holidays every two to three years,” explained the IT department, before going on to add: “We’re not just making time and cost savings by counting quicker on the inventory day; above all we’re achieving this by doing away with the continuous inventory performed throughout the year too.” Even if these assets aren’t taken into consideration, the cut in annual costs is considerable: “In the past, we incurred around €80,000 to €120,000 in labour costs for inventories,” calculated Mr Gaschnitz. He wants to slash this amount by 60 to 75% by taking appropriate measures.