“We aim to be the number one in high service distribution in five years” says Melanie Lauer, Director, International Marketing at Conrad Business Supplies as we sit down on the company’s stand at electronica. Over ambitious? Maybe not. As a statement of intent the company has just invested 56 million Euro in an extended logistics centre that adds 13,000 sq ft of space taking its warehouse size to 54,000 sq ft.
It began a concerted push into the catalogue space two years ago and it has built an extensive portfolio of products. “We have 26,000 semiconductor items in stock,” says Lauer , “and relationships with leading suppliers including Analog Devices, Fairchild, Texas Instruments and STMicroelectronics.”
It has recognised the importance of supplying development kits in this distribution market space and already has 3000 in stock to entice design engineers as well as pcb design software to support the earlier stages of product design.
Another statement of intent was its acquisition of UK-based distributor Rapid Electronics in July last year. It spread Conrad’s wings internationally and it inherited Rapid’s strong position in supplying the education market.
There are now more than 600,000 items in stock at Conrad’s logistics centre in Wernberg-Köblitz, and the extension which adds more shipping and storage capacity means there will be more to follow.
The two-storey building has a total length of 325 m, is 175 m wide and 23 m high and can boasts of a total warehouse space of 100,000 square metres. The new, fully automated shuttle storage system is equipped with 375 shuttles; 60 shuttle and container jacks have access to 200,000 bin locations.
Besides the higher throughput capacity of up to 100,000 parcels per day, easing the workflow for employees was an additional focus point.
“Until now, employees had to walk to specific product bins and with it to the respective stocking aisle of their area to pick-up individual items. With our new system items will be delivered to the employee. This makes the work for our people in the new logistics area much easier and more efficient”, explained Werner Conrad, Chairman of the Conrad board. “We have also given attention to a friendly working environment and atmosphere. We use special shipping trays for reduced noise levels; light barriers at the conveyor belts preventing bin collision. In this project a particular challenge was the fusion of existing logistics with the new system components to create a streamlined system.”


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