Logimat 2022
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Between warehouse and loft

In its report, Möbel Pfister AG shows how it manages its demanding daily logistics routine with the help of our Wanko software.

Möbel | Pfister | Logistik Life | Wanko | | Article by Möbel Pfister AG
Wanko Anwenderbericht ueber den Logistikpartner Moebel Pfister
© Möbel Pfister AG

Logistics for living
Möbel Pfister AG controls warehouse and transport logistics with software from Wanko and can thus offer services that stand out from the competition.
The sofa for the studio or the walk-in closet for the penthouse apartment: If you order your furnishings from Pfister, you don't have to worry about delivery and assembly. The traditional company is the only furniture store in Switzerland to offer a wide range of delivery options, from self-collection and parcel delivery to a nationwide delivery and assembly service with automatic notification. It is also no problem if a chalet in the mountains needs a delivery by cable car. Even during the ordering process, customers can choose whether they want to be notified by e-mail, SMS or telephone.

Optimum capacity utilization
Behind this is the PraCar tour planning program from Wanko, which has been in use at Pfister since 2017 and co-operates with an enterprise resource planning system from SAP. "In the course of the project, Wanko's SAP know-how came in very handy," recalls project manager Andreas Hochuli. Wanko programmed several interfaces for Möbel Pfister AG that ensure the smooth exchange of data between SAP and PraCar in real time. As an example, Hochuli cites an SAP interface that enables PraCar to schedule orders that do not yet have a delivery status in SAP and would therefore not even be available for scheduling.
This affects all orders without a shipment date for which the earliest possible delivery has been agreed upon with the customer. "We distribute these so-called ASAP orders among the daily tours, depending on availability and transport capacity and thus ensure the optimal utilization of our fleet," explains Hochuli. In addition, the delivery conditions, such as the need for a facade lift, can also be checked via a weblink on Streetview.

Accurate forecasts
Besides SAP knowledge, however, Pracar`sfeatures were the primary consideration in the supplier selection process:„PraCar can process a large number of restrictions and criteria, so we can calculate the stop times for each customer precisely," explains Hochuli. The accuracy of the forecasts is of great importance for scheduling, because after all, each of the 40 trucks visits eight to twelve customers per day. The length of stay varies depending on the number of available helpers, the installation times stored in the system, and the number of floors. "Our teams are on site for between a few minutes and several hours," reports Hochuli. As a rule, the teams consist of a driver and a carpenter responsible for the assembly.
Once an order has been assigned to a tour, the customer is notified of the delivery date in the desired manner. Between the message sent automatically by PraCar and the subsequent picking there is a time span of two days within which changes to the tour planning are still possible. "With the message, the customer receives a link to a landing page where he can confirm the appointment," says Hochuli. Only for about one-third of customers an extra phone call is necessary, which significantly reduces the workload of call center employees.

Automatic planning
But Möbel Pfister AG wants to improve the notification process even further. "In the near future, our customers will be able to select their two-hour delivery window themselves during the ordering process and change it later," announces the project manager. This measure is intended not only to enhance the shopping experience, but also to increase the rate of active appointment confirmations, so that telephone notification will become the exception.
In the course of this, tour planning will also be largely automated. Tours will then be calculated and optimized based on the restrictions stored in PraCar and time windows selected by the customers. "However, manual intervention and rescheduling will still be necessary and possible in the future," Hochuli expects. Overall, however, the dispatchers' work will "shift away from short-term route planning to far-sighted resource and tour management." The idea behind this is that dispatchers will be able to take care of additional loading space and adjusted personnel planning even earlier based on the anticipated utilization of the following days. This does not only apply to transports carried out with the company's own trucks, but also to store deliveries by external service providers.

Further optimizations
Tours created with PraCar are already sent by the dispatching department to TomTom data terminals mounted in the vehicles. The devices, equipped with a large touch display, feature the PraBord. telematics software developed by Wanko. It guides drivers safely through the delivery process with clear instructions, simplifies communication with headquarters and assists in navigating to the destination address. Based on the shipment statuses sent with PraBord. PraCar can create a target/actual comparison, analyze deviations and calculate the relationship between driving and standing times. "This provides us with important information for further optimization of our processes," emphasizes Hochuli.
Another major advantage of PraCar is its flexibility, which also allows the planning of multimodal transports: Starting from the central warehouse in Suhr, Pfister supplies its customers via a network with several bases that are delivered daily by rail. "At the base, the containers loaded according to commission are transferred to trucks, which can then immediately start their daily tour," reports Hochuli, who is already familiar with the flexibility of Wanko's software from the warehouse management system (WMS). At the start of the project, the tours were planned from the individual bases. Now this is done from two centers.

Permanent Changes
With the WMS PraMag, Möbel Pfister AG finally relies on a solution from Wanko here as well. The cooperation has already begun in 2001. At Pfister, PraMag is connected to the material flow computer of the automated small parts warehouse (AKL). „PraMag is very well suited for the furniture industry with its high demands on storage space management," says Hochuli. Due to permanent changes in the product range, storage strategies are frequently adapted, which can be easily configured with PraMag without external consultants. In addition, the software enables the management of different packages that are managed under the same article number (colli management).
Conclusion: With PraCar, PraBord and PraMag , Möbel Pfister AG uses the entire solution spectrum from Wanko and thus completes the ERP system from SAP with the industry-specific logistics functions for warehouse and transport.

*Background: Möbel Pfister AG
Möbel Pfister AG is regarded as a leading supplier in the Swiss furnishings market, offering furniture and accessories covering all aspects of living, eating and sleeping. The Suhr-based company has three furnishing centers, twelve furniture stores and five city branches with a total sales area of 175,000 square meters. Pfister also operates the online platform pfister.ch with over 40,000 available items. Möbel Pfister employs around 1,200 people as well as 200 apprentices. From February 2020, Möbel Pfister AG will be part of the Austrian XXXLutz Group.
Further info at www.pfister.ch

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