May 25, 2019

Futureproof logistics: flexible, scalable and digitial



Last week we opened the doors of our headquarters in Houten for logistics and supply chain consultants. During the very first edition of our ‘Intralogistics Inspiration Session’, consultants from Germany, The Netherlands and South-Africa enjoyed insights from industry expert Jeroen van den Berg, who shared his vision on the impact of E-Commerce on warehouses. An overview of how the distribution-chain is developing itself continuously and the daily challenge of E-Commerce players to keep being relevant for its demanding customers. Shorter response times in combination with the risk of losing sales due to inventory risks being just a few of his views on the industry. Companies shifting towards a more integrated, controlled and consolidated environment, capitalizing on the best available automation systems in combination with mechanized transport and sorting solutions is clearly the way to go. Real-time WMS systems being just one powerful part of an integrated and scalable IT environment. The future is digital, this is more clear than ever before.


The audience agreed three factors will be of major influence on ‘Futureproof Logistics’: Digitalization, Flexibility and Scalability. Continuously optimize best practices or risk falling behind, a clear message. This is where Bart Stoffelsen, System Engineer Sales at VanRiet, steps in. He explains how VanRiet established its own unique way of integrated design and engineering over the last years: The VanRiet Standard 4.0. The development of integrated and connected design tools, gives engineers the possibility to simultaneously design and calculate customer solutions. All in much less time compared to a conventional approach, but always including the latest innovations and improvements. Being able to investigate multiple relevant configurations without the danger of losing valuable time.



To experience the way VanRiet keeps innovating its products and systems, Product Manager Frank Engelen shows the way of working in the factory as well as a sneak peak in the secret R&D area. In this normally closed area of the factory, exciting new additions to the VanRiet portfolio are being tested and optimized. A live demonstration with of our HC Sorter showed how this shoe sorter is able to handle a very wide range of products. Especially the recent development of handling polybags more smoothly than every other available solution in the market.



With the newly gained knowledge in the morning still top of mind, a bus takes the group to the warehouse of Van Haren in Waalwijk. Both Van Haren and its mother company Deichmann are great examples of how VanRiet and its customers value a close relationship and really being able to act as a team and maximize competitiveness. During the site visit this is also emphasized by Arthur Bontekoe, Logistics Manager at Van Haren. Together with Frans de Wit, Account & Project Manager at VanRiet, he shows its current operation, with a VanRiet system as the heart of the solution. He explains how the van Haren keeps growing and therefore the warehouse and its intralogistics system will be expanded later this year. Outside, construction works are already clearly visible.



The day is closed with an open minded and energetic forum, based on several sharp statements on the fast developing world and the possible impact on the industry. The capitalized question: ‘Are fully automated and robotized warehouses still mostly science-fiction, or simply a must for competitiveness’, is met with very different views and arguments, but everybody seems to agree on the fact which Jeroen van den Berg already stated in the morning: the future is digital.

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