Industrial manufacturing

Success Story Schneider Electric

How Schneider Electric and 4flow designed a new logistics site

Integrating and optimizing regional materials supply and finished product distribution for leading industrial manufacturer

As an expert in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, Schneider Electric has a global presence with more than 135,000 employees in over 100 countries and regions. With leading energy and automation digital solutions for its customers, the company aims to empower all to make the most of energy and resources by bridging progress and sustainability.

To regroup existing plant warehousing activities for raw materials and finished goods, Schneider Electric is establishing a new logistics site in Beijing, China.

With a total size of 12,000 square meters, the site is adjacent to Schneider Electric China’s biggest plant. However, discrete manufacturing with rapid product iteration has increased the complexity of material management for over 16,000 SKUs. In addition, high picking throughput with over 12,500 order-lines per day called for high-automated warehouse solutions to optimize labor efficiency. To maximize cost effectiveness as well as operational efficiency, Schneider Electric partnered with 4flow to collaborate in developing a Schneider-tailored warehouse concept.

Planning step 1 – Preparation of solid planning database

With joint data collection and validation by Schneider Electric and 4flow, master data, transactions, inventory and forecasts were aligned and frozen for data analysis. Planning premises were defined for specific cases, such as building restrictions, special packaging, and storage conditions. The holistic planning database also points out the strategic direction of the future concept.

Planning step 2 – Definition and evaluation of scenarios

Based on the solid planning database, the warehouse concept was defined with various solution portfolios by automation degree, process maturity, layout fitness etc. Advanced storage and picking automation solutions for small case warehouse, such as, multiple shuttle, mini load, auto store, Skypod and Kiva were all evaluated to look for the best fit. To cope with the uncertainty of future growth, “modular, scalable, and adaptable” key principles were used to evaluate the different design scenarios.

Planning step 3 – Development of detailed plan

The detailed plan was developed based on decisions about conceptual design. 3D layout modelling was designed for better visualization and feasibility checks, while 2D material flow simulation was developed with real time data to determine traffic bottlenecks. The detailed plan was also proven in a positive commercial business case including financial indicators such as return on investment (ROI) and payback period.

Planning step 4 – Road map to the new logistics site

Together, Schneider Electric and 4flow applied a systematic and iterative planning approach for the new site including target planning, conceptual design, and detailed planning. Within the 3-month project period, the warehouse processes, site layout, IT landscape and the operational organization were comprehensively designed and optimized. The final concept was transferred into an implementation plan with full consideration of required investment and operating costs.

“Working with 4flow, Schneider Electric will be able to maximize cost effectiveness and operational efficiency at our new logistics and warehouse site. Our labor efficiency is expected to improve by 30%, thanks to 4flow and the selection of the right automation solutions for us,” said Cyrille Pacaud, Schneider Electric Project Manager.

At a glance

Customer

Schneider Electric

  • World-leader in digital energy transformation management and automation
  • Over 135,000 employees worldwide
  • Present in over 100 countries and regions

Project scope

4flow worked with Schneider Electric on the conceptual and detailed design planning for a new logistics site in Beijing, China.

Results 

  • Warehouse processes, site layout and IT landscape designed and optimized in 3 months
  • Cost effectiveness and operational efficiency maximized
  • Expected labor efficiency improvement of 30%

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