Competencies - April 2017

Everything done right

Centralised logistics at Geberit

In logistics, it is not easy to please everyone, but a clever solution is beneficial to all. Geberit has therefore made logistics one of its core competencies, during the course of which the company centralised distribution.

Good results, the constant expansion of the product range and growing customer needs prompted Geberit to take an important step back in 2006, namely to centralise and establish logistics as a core competence. The company opted for the Geberit Group’s largest German site in the southern German town of Pfullendorf, which was then ultimately expanded. In addition to its existing logistics infrastructure, the geographic location also played a decisive role here. In terms of all of Geberit’s flows of goods, Pfullendorf is situated precisely in the location from which customers can be supplied with products in the most economically and ecologically efficient manner possible.

Integrated Group function
With the approval of an investment sum of 27 million euros, the go-ahead was given for the establishment of the central logistics centre in 2008. Logistics was converted into a Group function and the existing logistics infrastructure was significantly expanded. Geberit integrated the logistics tasks – from the procurement of raw materials right through to the distribution logistics and a standardised transport management system – into its value chain. This saw logistics take on a key, clearly defined role in every process stage of the value chain.

Room for long goods
In 2014, work began on another milestone: Geberit invested 40 million euros in the renewed expansion of the site, a step that saw the company forge ahead with the centralisation of Group logistics. In addition to the expansion of capacities, a new concept for the storage of those pipes known as “long goods” was also created. During the course of this process, Pfullendorf took over responsibility for logistics for the Mapress pipe range, which had previously been shipped from the German plant in Langenfeld.

Long goods are handled in two areas: Bundles and partial bundles of pipes with a length of between one and five metres are housed in an automatic long-goods high-rack warehouse (honeycomb warehouse) and a cross-dock warehouse. The six-metre-long Mapress metal pipes are stored in the adjacent crane hall with cantilever warehouse. The new storage areas were inaugurated in March 2017.

Cleverly done
Customers, the environment and Geberit all benefit from the centralisation of logistics. Central logistics makes it possible to bundle orders and use the trucks of Geberit’s haulage partners to their optimum capacity. This reduces the number of kilometres driven and is not only economical but also good for the environment. Customers also have a clearly defined point of contact for questions related to logistics. All these things make Geberit logistics future-proof and guarantee customers a reliable delivery. If you do it right, it is not too difficult to please everyone after all.