Edeka and Cimcorp: Future of Fresh Food Distribution
26th April 2023
Part of Edeka Group, the largest German supermarket chain, Edeka Freienbrink is on a mission to distribute fresh food to its 488 stores around Berlin and Brandenburg quickly and efficiently. The goal is to deliver fresh produce to the stores within 4-5 hours of receiving the order, and Edeka is relying on the automation expertise of Cimcorp Group to achieve this. Edeka Freienbrink is one of five Edeka distribution centres Cimcorp has been modernizing with intralogistics automation designed for fresh food handling.
Mission to deliver fresh and fast
Order data is received at the Freienbrink DC around 11:30 a.m. and picking starts in the system at 12:00 p.m. The drivers arrive an hour later and wait for the goods to be loaded into their vehicles. They usually deliver the produce to the stores in Berlin first, and the goal is to have the goods in the stores by 8:00 a.m. the next morning.
“From Freienbrink’s distribution centre, we serve a total of 488 stores, 416 of which have their fruit and vegetables handled by the Cimcorp solution,” explains Rene Klaus (pictured), Operations Manager at Edeka Minden-Hannover.
Getting fresh food delivered as quickly as possible from field to store is of paramount importance for ensuring its quality and safety. Fresh produce has a limited shelf life and the longer it takes to get to the store, the greater the chance that it will spoil or lose its nutritional value.
“The system has to run – we are very time-bound and any delay in the process could mean that we could not supply our customers with the quantity that they would like to have, and that cannot happen,” Rene Klaus continues.
With Cimcorp’s automation expertise, Edeka experiences fast and efficient deliveries of fresh produce without picking errors or delays.
Safer and healthier work
The system takes care of the heavy lifting and physical work, allowing Edeka to rely on fewer people at the facility and making it easier to manage.
“The picking must be done on time,” says Rene Klaus. “We work from Sunday to Friday. The produce always leaves in the afternoon. In terms of personnel, it means finding people to work weekends and holidays. These positions are becoming harder to fill.”
By taking over monotonous, repetitive and physically demanding tasks, automation can reduce the risk of injuries caused by manual labor. Overall, automation leads to a safer, healthier and more comfortable work environment for employees at Edeka Freienbrink, allowing them to focus on tasks that require problem solving and critical thinking.
Automation is the future
As the demand for faster and more efficient distribution of fresh food continues to grow, the Edeka Freienbrink DC is looking to increase automation. Rene Klaus predicts that all heavy lifting and physically exhausting work will be done by machines in the future, with people needed to handle the control.
“We have a vast quantity and range of products that we need to handle as fast as possible. The Cimcorp system is extremely helpful in moving, distributing and locating them. Automation is definitely the future,” he explains.
Automation in the distribution centre is crucial to meet the demands of Edeka’s customers and ensure that they receive fresh produce quickly and efficiently. As Edeka Freienbrink looks to increase its automation, Cimcorp’s expertise will continue to play a vital role in helping the company meet these demands.