Construction machinery distributor, Kiesel, uses sampling methods and the software solution Stasam for its newly erected central warehouse. The solution is supplied by
Stat Control GmbH.
Wilhelm Houben’s wish for planning and building without making any compromises “on a greenfield site” has been granted. Mr Houben, who holds a degree in Engineering, is responsible for the Materials Management division at Kiesel GmbH and supervised the construction of the new logistics centre in Stockstadt am Rhein. The building, which was completed in 2012, is used to store and distribute around 25,000 different spare parts with a total value in excess of €10 million. The stocks of V-belts, screws or lamps were previously distributed across the company’s own 28 sites. With its central stocking strategy, the trading and services company has reduced its inventories by 70%, cut the inventory capital by around €5 million and, at the same time, substantially increased availability and delivery quality too.
Panopa, the logistics service provider with which Kiesel GmbH has concluded a longterm contract, ensures swift shipment of ordered parts. The forwarding agent has taken up tenancy in Kiesel’s central warehouse and organises both order transport and order picking. 1,000 items for 250 orders are collected from these premises and delivered to subsidiaries and end customers per day. Mr Houben only ever considered using the random sample method for the inventory that was just around the corner in January 2014. He was aware of the alternative to the timeconsuming and costly full count from the time he spent working as a corporate consultant. For 15 years, he convinced several customers of the advantages offered by sample inventories and saved the companies in question a great deal of money. Companies can expect to make cost savings of 95% by making the switch from full inventories to sample inventories.
Of course, this “before and after” effect does not exist if you’re like Mr Houben and do things right from the very beginning, by relying on sample inventories when setting up a new warehouse. Therefore, the software required for sample inventories was introduced very quickly at Kiesel. Mr Houben started the selection process – in which the three biggest suppliers took part – in October 2013. Hamburg-based Stat Control GmbH secured the order with its solution, Stasam. The software enables the performance of sample inventories with a computer-controlled warehouse management system and with all four permissible extrapolation methods, and it is suitable for warehouses containing around 1,000 inventory items at least. In this regard, Kiesel relies on a solution that is integrated in the “TopLog” inventory control system and associated with Panopa’s SAP-based warehouse management system. TopLog was developed by Logis GmbH, and Kiesel GmbH was one of its first customers more than 25 years ago.
“Stat Control was the only supplier to focus exclusively on developing inventory software and was able to demonstrate a correspondingly high level of expertise in terms of introduction and support,” explained Mr Houben, justifying the decision made in November. The software installation process shortly afterwards went just as smoothly as the first count did in January of the following year. “The collaborative relationship with the Stat Control experts is excellent and the first inventory was successful straight off the bat,” recalled Mr Houben. Only 581 of the 25,000 items had to be counted, so ten Panopa employees from the logistics centre only had to work a half-day on the Saturday.
With regard to the expenditure associated with a full inventory, a direct comparison cannot be made in Stockstadt. It is certain that there would have been far more counting work involved, especially as most of the items are located in an automatic small parts warehouse. However, higher sample inventory quality is far more important to Kiesel than pure counting work. “Someone who spends days on end counting small parts will inevitably make mistakes,” said Mr Houben. In contrast, he indicated that the sample inventory was “completed a great deal faster and therefore more reliably too”. And since Kiesel GmbH has concluded a maintenance contract with Stat Control, there’s no need to worry about upcoming annual financial statements in Stockstadt. Any changes that Stasam makes to the updates of the corresponding systems, such as TopLog, are adopted automatically by Stat Control.