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Nedap helps Geberit to optimise freight registration

Nedap helps Geberit to optimise freight registration
Geberit uses SAP as its main system for handling business processes and customer relations. ‘It’s extremely important for us that other systems can be integrated into SAP, because we want our employees to always work with one central system,’ Mr Reck, Geberit’s IT specialist, explains.

Geberit uses SAP as its main system for handling business processes and customer relations. ‘It's extremely important for us that other systems can be integrated into SAP, because we want our employees to always work with one central system,' Mr Reck, Geberit's IT specialist, explains. ‘We also want to be able to install and configure updates and modifications to the system ourselves - something that wasn't possible with our previous access control system, Kaba. That's why we turned to ACEA and they recommended the AEOS access control system. They promised me that, with AEOS, they'd only need to send the hardware and we could do everything else ourselves. They weren't exaggerating – we installed and service the entire system on our own.'

Easy expansion of AEOS access control
Geberit has been using AEOS for several years now and is very satisfied with its flexibility and open architecture. Mr Reck confirms this: ‘We've secured more doors with AEOS than with our previous system because AEOS provides us with a considerably more cost-effective option for adding doors to the system. As our logistics centre wanted to optimise its loading and unloading procedures, we didn't hesitate for a second in incorporating AEOS access control in that area too.'

The challenge in the logistics centre was to optimise the freight registration process, which was entirely manual before the installation of AEOS. The drivers had to park their trucks on company premises and report personally to the warehouse's reception desk, where they were assigned a free dock for loading and unloading. If all the docks were occupied, the driver had to take a beeper and wait until this told him a dock had become free. All the processes involved had to be carried out and recorded manually by reception area staff who were also responsible for checking and preparing shipping documents.

As this multitasking was increasingly overloading Geberit staff, it became clear that the entire freight registration process urgently needed to be improved. So Mr Zimmerman, responsible for the group's project management logistics, turned to Mr Reck and suggested automating the system.

After an in-depth analysis of all the processes involved, the two experts came to the conclusion that AEOS would be ideal to help improve the freight registration process.

Optimisation of the registration process
‘We not only wanted to be able to handle and monitor processes better, we also wanted to know and control who was stopping where and when on our premises, ' Mr Zimmerman explains. ‘In the past, drivers simply drove their trucks onto company premises and parked them close to the logistics centre until they were assigned a free dock. So we didn't know exactly who was on our premises when and where. This situation was becoming increasingly untenable for all concerned.'

Mr Reck adds: ‘Our staff record all freight-related processes with SAP. So we needed a solution that would allow us to continue using SAP and not have to retrain staff or have them switching constantly between programmes. This requirement was met fully with AEOS, which we were able to integrate with our SAP system ourselves.'

All-round control with minimal effort
Each day, around 220 trucks arrive for loading and unloading at Geberit's logistics centre – that's one truck arriving and needing to be dealt with approximately every four minutes. All the related processes that used to be carried out manually were significantly improved by integrating AEOS into the SAP system.

When a driver arrives at the plant, he now waits in a parking space outside the gate until a dock becomes free. He then enters his details in a terminal and receives a ticket, which shows the dock number he's been allocated.

He has to scan the barcode on the ticket to gain entry to the plant and to exit it. AEOS then immediately transmits the relevant information to the SAP system, which records when the truck arrived at the logistics centre and when it left. So Geberit always knows who has been on the premises, and where, and can retain continuous control over all related processes.

‘This improvement has already saved the staff responsible for truck registration a considerable amount of time,' says Mr Zimmerman. ‘The automated freight process also means that, outside of our 5am to 10pm shifts, our guards can now handle any night collections.

One solution for several locations
Geberit's main logistics centre is at Pfullendorf in Baden Württemberg, Germany. This is where all of the company's European freight movements are coordinated. Geberit also has branches in Switzerland and Italy. ‘We prefer our operations to all use the same systems and technical equipment whenever possible - the same card readers, for example,' explains Mr Reck. ‘That's why we've also installed AEOS in our Swiss and Italian plants.'

Geberit installed AEOS at each plant itself, ordering the necessary components from ACEA and calling on its remote support services where necessary. The system in Italy was installed and up and running without problems in two days. Implementation in the Pfullendorf logistics centre also went without a hitch. The system underwent six weeks of testing, during which numerous suggestions for improvements were incorporated, before it was launched officially.

AEOS greatly improved Geberit's freight registration process right from the beginning. It saves staff a significant amount of time and has increased their productivity enormously.

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