01. October 2020
// Inside

New Burmeier logistics centre successfully launched

Move from Lage to Hiddenhausen brings more space and modern digital work processes

Larger, faster, digital – the new Burmeier logistics centre in Hiddenhausen, Germany, has successfully started operations. Exciting months of planning are behind Deputy Sales Manager Irina Dietrich and her team. The move from Lage to Hiddenhausen was completed in just one week in mid-August. As Burmeier delivers up to 250 urgently needed beds for homecare every day, the interruption had to be kept as short as possible. In the meantime everything is on a very good course. Ms Dietrich explains the advantages of the new logistics centre with great conviction in an interview with the FORUM team.

Since Burmeier took over the homecare division of the Stiegelmeyer-Group in 1995, the administration and warehouse have been located in the town of Lage, 25 km from the Stiegelmeyer headquarters in Herford. However, the warehouse in Lage had recently reached its capacity limit – in the meantime, four additional external warehouses had been rented. In addition, many work steps were to be digitised in order to relieve the employees and to meet the modern requirements of the market.

Excellent transport links

Therefore, the decision was made to relocate Burmeier's headquarters completely from Lage to Hiddenhausen. After the logistics centre, the administration will also move in 2021 – its premises are currently under construction. There were good reasons for choosing Hiddenhausen in the Herford district with its 20,000 inhabitants: The 9,000 sqm warehouse of a former furniture manufacturer was for sale there. "In addition, Hiddenhausen has excellent transport links, the lorries can reach the A30 and A2 autobahns very quickly," explains Ms Dietrich. "And of course the greater proximity to Stiegelmeyer is also an advantage." Herford and Hiddenhausen are only 8 km apart.

The newly acquired warehouse was completely modernised. Its elegant façade now resembles the Stiegelmeyer service centre in Herford, so that it is clear at first glance that the companies belong together. The leap into the future is even greater inside the logistics centre. There, the IT department of the Stiegelmeyer-Group has installed a digital warehouse management system, which Irina Dietrich describes as follows: "We can work with it in a more structured manner and with greater accuracy than ever before".

Digital support

If an order is to be delivered, it now appears on the order monitors in the logistics centre. "The employees have a complete overview in their respective areas," explains Ms Dietrich. The delivery orders are picked using scanners. The scanners guide the employees to the consecutively numbered spaces and shelves where the goods are stored. The goods are placed on a transport trolley and brought to one of the three dispatch areas with the help of electrically operated industrial forklifts. General cargo transports – e.g. smaller bed orders – are delivered by Schenker DB. Their trucks dock at the logistics centre throughout the workday and are permanently loaded and rotated several times a day. Large tours are handled by Cityline Express-Spedition GmbH, while the GLS company delivers parcels with spare parts. In future Burmeier will proactively send tracking information to its customers. This will make the planning for medical supply stores much easier.

The entire Burmeier logistics team has moved into the new warehouse and has become familiar with the digital processes with motivation, as Ms Dietrich reports. Many things are now easier for the employees – the system guides them to the correct coordinates in the warehouse and shows them which products are to be stored and retrieved in which quantity. The innovative e-vehicles ensure ergonomic support and are a source of great joy to everyone, says Ms Dietrich.

Challenging year 2020

For Burmeier the move was already the second major challenge in this unusual year. In the spring, orders increased far beyond the expected volume, because homecare beds were also used in Covid treatment centres and many regular patients were transferred home from hospitals. Even then, the logistics team had to perform at full capacity for weeks on end. The Burmeier team has now once again proven how seriously it takes its responsibility for residents and relatives in homecare.

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