EMP: Successful integration of AutoStore® into EMP’s logistical processes

Name: E.M.P. Merchandising HGmbH

Founded1986

More than 600 employees

Software in use since 2003

Profile

Exclusive Merchandise Products –EMP Merchandising Handelsgesellschaft has its headquarters in Lingen/Ems (Germany); it was founded in 1986 by fans and for fans; since then it has been Europe’s Number One e-commerce company in rock & entertainment merchandising. The product-range consists of textiles, accessories, jewellery, visual images, sound recordings, and much more. From Day One, EMP has stood for a lifestyle shaped by individuality, encouraging people to bring this to life – an approach to life that millions of people worldwide share with the brand. This e-commerce company supplies millions of fans, across almost every European country, with a multi-faceted product range of more than 30,000 articles, including licensed products from major international bands, such as (among others) Metallica, AC/DC and Iron Maiden; this is in addition to film and series merchandise from Star Wars, Harry Potter, The Walking Dead (among others), and much more besides. See the whole product programme and further information at www.emp.de.

Starting-point

Since 2003, EMP has successfully deployed the 360e Business and 360e Logistics software. As part of this, the company’s growth was continually supported by suitably modern software.

In logistics in the past, projects addressed several objectives: to boost flexibility in logistical handling; to react quickly and efficiently to fluctuation in parcel volumes and in the deployment of personnel resources; and to maximise the opportunity to steer activities, in order to match customers‘ needs. From the start, through to today, 360e Logistics has ensured this in a special way.

Because of a growing range of articles and the constant pressure on space in logistics management, a physical extension was planned, as the location for packing activities and a small-parts storage facility. In selecting a suitable technology, the outcome of an evaluation phase was a choice in favour of AutoStore®, using more than 120 robots and approx. 80,000 ‘bins‘ (receptacles).

Implementation / Project

The project encompassed the integration of an AutoStore® system into the existing logistical processes, such as planning of parcels, order-picking, consolidating and packing processes, as well as making ready the necessary (web-based) interfaces for work at the Autostore-Port. This had an impact on goods-in, follow-up supplies, and defragmentation, as well as order-sorting, of single units and multi-units, and also on the reintroduction of returns into stock, on inventory, and on the maintenance of stocks. Communication is managed via the standard interface to the AutoStore®.

A goal in the interface design was to ensure that users interact simply, quickly and securely with AutoStore®, especially including seasonally-hired personnel, who typically have a short initial familiarisation process.

The AutoStore® was successfully brought into service in August 2018. Implementation, based around sprints at two-week intervals, and with continuous delivery, rendered support in stages to the system launch; this was done by adding new functions at short notice and at low risk. The project duration was just short of one year.

The following video gives you a brief summary of the result:

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