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Paper replenishment ensured: LFS 400 integrated in ten Antalis warehouses


More than 200,000 tons of paper in over 200 different qualities are sold by the paper wholesaler Antalis GmbH every year. LFS 400 takes care of the optimal storage of the goods.

The warehouses of ten of the 13 German sites are equipped with the flexible warehouse management software of the warehouse expert group Ehrhardt + Partner. Through the implementation of LFS 400, the Antalis GmbH optimises and accelerates all warehouse processes. A central data base allows the paper specialist a high transparency with regards to the inventory in the different warehouse sites. The E+P warehouse management software minimises error rates in picking and increases the performance in all warehouses. Furthermore, LFS 400 allows radio frequency based picking for the first time.

More than 12,000 customers per year buy their paper from the Antalis GmbH. In Germany, the subsidiary of the French Paper wholesaler Antalis International is based in Frechen near Cologne. The company supplies their customers with more than 200,000 tons of paper every year. Part of their assortment are more than 15,000 different paper and carton qualities – among them for instance graphical and office papers as well as packing and advertising material. The paper retail in Germany stores their goods at 13 sites with a total capacity of 89,000 pallet places. The biggest and newest Antalis warehouse is located in Frechen near Cologne. Inaugurated early in 2007, the 20,000 m² big central warehouse and logistics centre of Antalis stores 4,000 items. For storage, there are 32,000 bin locations available in the high bay or, respectively, picking warehouse as well as in bulk storage. A part of their goods is stored in completely automated mobile rack which can be loaded with a weight of up to 300 tons. The over all 50 warehouse employees in Frechen are charged with the transfer of 350 to 400 tons of material – with the help of LFS 400. The central computer for all German warehouse sites is located in Frechen, from where LFS 400 manages all warehousing processes of all sites in Germany with only one software installation via a leased line. The first site where the experts of Ehrhardt + Partner implemented LFS 400 is the second largest subsidiary of the paper wholesaler in Fellbach near Suttgart. In all other subsidiaries, the Antalis employees implemented the E+P warehouse management system themselves within the frame of a roll-out. The basis package of LFS 400 is already designed and pre-configured in a way that it can be easily integrated into the existing IT structure of the single company. Furthermore, LFS 400 provides of a high parameterization degree which allows an adaptation to customer-specific processes as well as a modular design. This allows an individual layout of the software for the according company requirements. Thanks to the high degree of parameterization, the software can be flexibly adapted to the changed business processes.


The intention of the comprehensive warehouse modernisation project at the Antalis GmbH was the optimisation and acceleration of the warehouse processes. All the processes in the Antalis warehouses – from goods receiving to goods dispatch - were realised with lists before the implementation of LFS 400. A direct connection to the enterprise resource planning system SoftM allows a highly integrative solution. Especially in the domain of item picking, there were a lot of imprecise retrievals before the application of the new warehouse management software, as a control of the remaining inventories at the picking bin was not possible. “A central intention of the LFS 400 integration was to reduce the error rates in picking significantly. The introduction of radio frequency based picking is part of this”, Marco Ehrhardt, managing director of the warehouse expert group E+P, explains.

 Picking open Rieses, cutting and repacking

The quantity unit “Ries” depicts a variable quantity of form papers in the paper industry, which are packed in wrapping paper. Before the switch to LFS 400, the open packing units of the high quality paper were stored on the according picking pallet. In the past, when a customer ordered smaller units or single sheets, the employees picked the loose sheets directly out of the open Ries. The disadvantage of this solution, next to the quick contamination of the open packing units, was above all the damages of the material due to constant relocation. Together with the LFS 400 implementation, a central storage location for open Rieses was introduced for all warehouses with single sheet picking. If a customer now orders paper quantities in smaller formats, LFS 400 retrieves the necessary raw material – those can be small quantity units or complete pallets – to the cutting and/or the repacking area. After cutting and repacking the confectioned goods, LFS 400 automatically leads the goods to the disposition area. The warehouse management system also realises the replenishment of the storage locations with the open Rieses. Open Rieses are today treated with more care and are not damaged by picking closed Rieses.

 Minimised picking errors thanks to LFS 400

Every day, the Antalis employees deliver more than 1,500 paper orders to their customers. The paper wholesaler stores office papers in the formats A4 and A3 as well as sheet material in various qualities and formats for printing shops. The goods are packed in paper – which means packed in Rieses – or stored loosely on up to two meter high pallets. Furthermore, Antalis offers plotter paper on a roll. Through the composition of the items on the pick lists, in the past it could happen that there were errors and consequential costs. LFS 400 records and checks the remaining quantities on the according bin location directly after picking. If the system detects a discrepancy, there is a new check of the goods on the bin. “LFS 400 guarantees permanent stocktaking and inventory control in our warehouses. The number of faulty picks was minimised this way. At the same time, we have significantly increased our productivity“, Laurent Bosmans, logistics director of the Antalis GmbH, rejoices.
Another special characteristic of picking is the pyramid building on the pallets. LFS 400 firstly checks the paper sizes and manages the items to be picked being sorted according to the formats. At the same time, there is a quality-related composition of the different papers – which avoids damaging the goods. Furthermore, the flexible warehouse management software manages the items ordered by the customers to be kept together on a pallet and not be picked from several pallets. The Antalis employees pick the goods with 78 radio frequency terminals of the producer Teklogix, which were also delivered and installed by Ehrhardt + Partner.

 Flexibility is the key

Decisive for the selection of the E+P system for Antalis was the high flexibility of the modular standard software. “At our sites, we work with different storage locations like for instance high bay warehouses, bulk storages or mobile racks. With the adaptable E+P software, we can optimally depict the different processes and LFS 400 meets our requirements to the full extent”, Andreas Heim, IT manager of the Antalis GmbH, rejoices. In addition to that, Antalis was convinced by the option of implementing the software themselves within the frame of a roll-out in nine of their subsidiaries. The contract with the warehouse expert was awarded in June 2005 and in early November, the first subsidiary in Fellbach near Stuttgart was put into operation. Since the end of 2006, LFS 400 is also implemented in Frechen and with that at ten of 13 sites. “Thanks to the comprehensive key user training of our employees at the E+P training centre, there were no problems when switching to LFS 400. After a short adaptation phase, the new software was completely accepted by our employees”, Heim explains.

The results in an overview

With LFS 400, the Antalis GmbH attains the following advantages:

  • The warehouse management software allows a significant optimisation of all warehousing processes.
  • LFS 400 was connected to the enterprise resource planning system SoftM.
  • Thanks to the integrated control mechanism of the picking process, the number of picking errors and faulty deliveries could be minimised, which significantly increased productivity.
  • Open Rieses are today stored appropriately with regards to the material. The improved treatment of the material pays off and waste is minimised.
  • Antalis integrated the standard software economically in ten of the 13 subsidiaries – at nine sites, the integration was realised by the IT employees of the paper wholesaler with telephone support by the E+P experts.

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