Dedon manufactures an extensive range of luxury outdoor garden furniture. The company pioneered the process of weaving synthetic fibre to produce stylish yet functional tables, chairs and other accessories and the quality of its products has established Dedon as a premier global brand.
As part of a major overhaul of its supply chain process, Dedon recently took the decision to rationalize its four German warehouses along with other sites in Belgium and Switzerland into one purpose-built centralised distribution facility in Germany.
Featuring a combination of wide and narrow aisle storage, the new store was designed by Jungheinrich – who also supplied the warehouse management system that controls material flow around the site, the materials handling equipment and racking as a turn-key solution.
"Planning a warehouse for our furniture posed a particular challenge – largely because of the widely differing sizes of the products that we store and their awkward shapes," says Stefan Zander, Logistics Manager at the new distribution centre.
The new store features nine aisles of narrow aisle storage – with a top beam level of over 12 metres – served by guided Jungheinrich EKX 515 electric order pickers/stackers.
The EKX 515 uses RFID transponders embedded in the warehouse floor to navigate its route around the store. The warehouse management system (WMS) issues picking instructions to the truck which then automatically takes the shortest route to its destination.
Jungheinrich estimates that the RFID-based warehouse navigation system technology allows 25 percent more efficient throughput than traditional narrow aisle truck technology.
All stock movement within the new facility is controlled by a warehouse management system which Jungheinrich developed to meet Dedon’s precise needs.
Stefan Zander comments: "Jungheinrich has developed the standard modules of its WMS to meet our specific needs. Gone are the days when we had to create delivery notes manually, shipping papers and other documents. The Jungheinrich WMS now takes over this task in cooperation with the ERP system. And it is our design."
In addition to the trucks and the WMS, Jungheinrich also supplied and installed the racking at the new store. The system had to be able to support boxes of furniture measuring some 2700mm long x 1,150 mm wide and 2,750mm high as well as traditional Euro pallets.
By choosing Jungheinrich as its single supplier for the new facility Dedon had the peace of mind of knowing that all aspects of the project would integrate seamlessly.
"Jungheinrich was more committed than its competitors and, in contrast to them, was able to communicate that it truly wanted to support the project<' says Stefan Zander . Apart from this, Jungheinrich's considerable experience in providing complete solutions was an argument in their favour." With the introduction of the new store Dedon has been able to reduce its stock holding by 30 per cent and cut delivery times from six to two weeks.