Just-in-sequence with disabled persons

Steinbeis student plans new logistics center

The GWW, a communal workshop cooperative, is a joint venture between 17 organizations consisting of municipal and rural authorities, and associations of the handicapped in the Böblingen/Calw region of Baden-Württemberg/ Germany. The organization makes it possible for disabled people to find work. To meet growing market demand for contract logistics (such as just-in-sequence, JIS), Alexander Edele planned and implemented the move of two logistics centers to new premises in the Hulb industrial zone in Böblingen. The center will serve as a logistics center. The project was part of his Master of Business and Engineering at Steinbeis University Berlin’s School of Management and Technology.

Alexander Edele’s project objective was to analyze existing JIS divisions and products from sites in Magstadt and the Gültstein area of Herrenberg, to leverage synergies through space and process optimization, and to maximize location advantages offered by the new logistics center in Hulb. The change should make it possible to provide time-critical deliveries and complex logistical services.

Alexander Edele started his project by analyzing the location and processes at both JIS sites and examining existing products and space to identify potential synergies. Both JIS sites had reached full capacity and Daimler, a major client, had asked for further logistical services. As a result, it was time to search for a larger JIS location. Ideally, the new site would be located near – in terms of physical location and delivery times – to the Daimler plant in Sindelfingen.

Just-in-sequence services are extremely demanding. GWW employees have to line up each part as it is called up by the computer – according to the series or car model, and in keeping with the car type, color and specification. Products are then placed in special transportation units. Parts must be delivered to the different production lines at the Daimler plant in Sindelfingen within a specified time frame, at least every 120 minutes. A single wrong delivery or interruption of supply can have serious consequences.

The site on the Hulb industrial estate in Böblingen was identified in July 2011. After receiving building permission, Alexander Edele was able to start planning the fitting of the logistical center for its new tenant. Once construction planning was complete, the layout and floor plans were finalized to match the needs of people with disabilities. After 5 months of construction, the logistics center was opened in December 2011 and the equipment was moved in again, including production lines and work places. A Kanban warehouse and IT system were also put in place, complete with integrated emergency power supply.

After a stressful four-day move and countless shuttling to and fro in trucks, production got underway on January 9, 2012 and goods rolled onto the production line at Daimler.

In hindsight, the merger of the two logistics sites into a single logistics center, spanning a processing and administration area of no less than 6,000 square meters, was the right decision. The original aim of improving the site’s ability to meet customer demand was achieved. The competitiveness of the company was enhanced and the larger facilities have resulted in the creation of new jobs. Moving to the new site has also improved the working environment of more than fifty disabled people. Nearby access to public transport will also make it possible to offer more flexible working hours and different types of positions in the future.


Isabel Lindner
School of Management and Technology Steinbeis University Berlin (SHB, Berlin/Filderstadt)

Alexander Edele
Gemeinnützige Werkstätten und Wohnstätten GmbH (Sindelfingen)

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