Körber, the global supply chain technology leader from software to materials handling automation, has contributed to the expansion of the logistics network and implementation of modernized operations for Germany’s leading drugstore chain dm-drogerie markt. With Kӧrber, the retail company capitalizes on the latest innovations to provide the flexibility it needs to overcome supply chain complexities today and beyond.
Supply chains are increasingly complex. Along with more products, the number of suppliers and distribution channels is growing and consumer expectations are ever-changing. New and emerging technologies can help. However, many businesses struggle with implementation, integration, maintenance, training and costs. Körber turns these challenges into opportunities.
As Anja Kircher, project manager at IT subsidiary dmTECH, emphasizes: “At the Wustermark location, the WMS, which is already in use in several other dm logistics centers, was able to be flexibly adapted to the new requirements in a manageable implementation period. Intelligent emulation tools made it possible to test the complex software processes intensively in advance and to guarantee smooth commissioning. An excellent performance by everyone involved.”
The Wustermark site near Berlin, Germany, is one of the most modern distribution centers in Europe. Its go-live in April 2020 created an estimated 200 jobs. In the 30,000 m2 facility, dm also relies on efficient logistics IT in form of Körber’s warehouse management system (WMS), which dm-drogerie markt has banked on for many years at other locations.
Kӧrber’s WMS enables dm-drogerie markt to configure and optimize storage and retrieval on its own. “A highlight is the store-specific distribution of orders on pallets – based on a ‘digital twin’ – to prepare a robots-based process. This saves walking distances in the store,” explains Wilfried Pfuhl, Chief Operating Officer at Körber Supply Chain – Software. “What makes this site stand out are the digital and highly automated logistics processes . These create clear advantages for dm employees in areas such as order picking or goods issue.
The collaboration between Kӧrber and dm-drogerie markt continues in form of a pilot project at a site in Karlsruhe. There, Körber and partner Fetch Robotics enabled the use of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) to support internal goods transport in the picking area. Decisive for the use of an innovative solution from the robotics field were the possibilities resulting from a simultaneously collaborative and scalable solution which supports the further growth of the retail chain.
A highlight was dm-drogerie markt winning the German Logistics Prize, awarded by the Bundesvereinigung Logistik (BVL) in October 2020 for the project “Integrative. Intelligent. Automated.” Its starting point was the new Wustermark distribution center and a continuous data-based planning process.