Fashion group s.Oliver is taking another major step in its growth strategy by opening a logistics centre in Dettelbach in 2024 with a hub function for the whole of Europe. As general contractor, Ferag AG is responsible for the overall coordination of intralogistics and the automated handling of the ordering and returns processes.
A European hub for around 60 million goods per year in online retail is being built in Dettelbach in Lower Franconia, Bavaria. The German fashion company s.Oliver plans to locate the entire logistics processing of its B2C business at this site. The reorder process and the supply of self-managed areas for the B2B sector are also to be integrated, according to a group release. The new logistics centre is a consistent next step in s.Oliver’s growth strategy and a reaction to the significantly increased demands on automated processes in e-commerce retailing.
Maximum process reliability
A key project with significant dimensions has begun for Ferag AG with the start at the beginning of January 2022. Several teams will work exclusively on this project for almost two years. More than 16km of conveyor systems will be supplied. They will run on three levels, connect several halls and ensure seamless process handling.
Ferag’s proven pouch sorter system Skyfall is loaded with 125,000 pouches and ensures all steps in the ordering and returns processes: receiving goods from the hanging garment warehouse; fully automated pouch loading with prepared returns; dynamic buffering for efficient material flow and on-time availability of goods; automatic pouch emptying and distribution of picked and sorted goods to packing stations; delivery of goods for shipping.
In addition to the impressive technological solution, Ferag also convinced those responsible at s.Oliver with its proactive input of its own flexible approaches and their feasible implementation in the existing concept.
“In addition, Ferag recognised and understood the importance and scope of the project for our company,” stated Dennis Prandl, Director Global Logistics Service Centre at s.Oliver, explaining why Ferag was awarded the contract. Ensuring a high degree of automation is a key requirement. Another is unrestricted flexibility. The concept must be able to react quickly to the demands of the market. Finally, s.Oliver wants to guarantee its customers maximum delivery capability and raise its service level so that goods ordered by 3 p.m. are shipped the same day.
To ensure a successful project, the coordination of all parties involved becomes a key task. Ferag assumes responsibility as integrator and organises cooperation with supplier companies, including major ones such as Heber Fördertechnik GmbH & Co. KG (container conveyor technology, outgoing goods sortation), MHart Srl (overhead conveyor technology) and Westernacher Business Management Consulting GmbH (SAP system).
Asked about the major challenges, Ferag project manager Fabian Schulz names the exact assembly planning and the on-time provision of all components. The final phase of the project then involves integrating all the mechanical and digital components, including some new developments, into a functioning overall system.
Ferag has started the project in Dettelbach with enthusiasm and a huge quantity of expertise. The fashion group’s logistics centre is scheduled to open in February 2024.