viastore continues to grow

Further increases in revenue and order intake, expansion of software business, more innovations for storage systems


The international provider of intralogistics systems and intralogistics software, viastore, has once again posted further gains in its revenue and order intake in 2015. The company expects turnover for 2015 to be 130 million euros. This marks a 10 percent increase compared to 2014 (which saw a 50 percent increase over 2013). “This year we will be achieving the highest turnover in our corporate history,” said viastore CEO Philipp Hahn-Woernle at the company’s annual press conference in Stuttgart in late November. viastore’s order intake (sales) will grow as well. “Based on the current estimates, we expect a 40 percent increase Group-wide,” added COO Detlef Ganz. The number of employees globally rose to 470 in 2015. For 2016 viastore anticipates continued stable business development at a comparably high level.

viastore has set itself ambitious targets for 2016. “At the beginning of the year we will move into our new building here at the Stuttgart headquarters,” Hahn-Woernle said. “We are growing and growth needs space.” The new office building will be equipped with the latest aspects of workplace design and will also offer a stimulating working environment to employees: “We want to intensively promote the focus on our customers, as well as the creativity and collaboration of our colleagues, everyone should feel comfortable with us.”

The company announced more innovations in the fields of intralogistics systems and intralogistics software. “The user interface of our viadat software will change, along with further improvements in its ergonomics and user friendliness. This should also mean faster implementation times,” said Dr. Martin Krebs, Vice President Development, providing some initial insights. “But details will be revealed at the upcoming trade shows only,” he said with a smile. At LogiMAT in Stuttgart in March, viastore will be represented with two booths: one for viastore SYSTEMS GmbH in Hall 3, and another in Hall 7, presenting solutions of viastore SOFTWARE GmbH. At CeMAT, viastore will be displaying its performance spectrum in around 300 square meters in Hall 27 and in addition will also be present as a partner on the SAP booth.

viastore SOFTWARE successful with SAP EWM and viadat

A 2015 spin off into a separate company, the intralogistics software division is operating very successfully, according to Patrick Eichstädt, COO of viastore SOFTWARE GmbH. The company offers its tried and tested international standard WMS (warehouse management system) viadat and, as an SAP partner, can provide solutions relating to all aspects of SAP EWM and WM. “This enables us to advise customers regardless of technology and to offer a WMS for any conceivable warehouse type,” Eichstädt pointed out and presented some of the software projects that have been secured during the course of the year, including projects in China, Brazil, and Nicaragua. “Our WMS solutions can be used on an international scale. viadat for example, is available in 16 languages, and we offer our customers an international 24/7 helpdesk, which provides support to users within a very short time, both for SAP and viadat issues.” In Europe, viastore SOFTWARE is implementing numerous projects, too. For example, the company is installing its viadat WMS at seven sites of trans-o-flex, a provider of express deliveries, logistics services and temperature-controlled transport for the pharmaceutical industry. When implemented, around 250 employees will be picking more than 12 million items per year using viadat.

A pioneer in SAP EWM with HANA

viastore SOFTWARE is also a pioneer in SAP EWM. "We implemented SAP EWM based on HANA in the distribution center of Kaeser Compressors," said Eichstädt. HANA is a SAP technology that enables the analysis of huge amounts of data with even better performance. "That was one of the first projects of its kind worldwide - maybe even the first." With this project, viastore replaced the existing SAP LES/TRM which was used to manage and control the four automatic, four manual and two replenishment warehouse sections. The benefits for Kaeser: "Goods received are processed up to 20 percent faster, the number of picks has risen by 40 percent, the packaging process is 50 percent faster, and warehouse activities and evaluations are carried out 20 times faster than before," reports Eichstädt.

WMS provider PureLoX SOLUTIONS is a premium partner of viastore SOFTWARE

In addition, viastore SOFTWARE GmbH has expanded its partner program, entering into a premium partnership with PureLoX SOLUTIONS GmbH. Headquartered near Koblenz, this company offers IT-based logistics solutions and supports customers from the fields of logistics services, trade and e-commerce, for example, in the planning and control of complex and challenging logistics tasks. As a partner in warehouse management and warehouse control, PureLoX will offer and implement the standard viadat software and help to further refine the system, especially in the field of manually operated logistics centers. “viadat is a stable, international and well-established software solution that we can ideally complement with our add-ons in the areas of reporting, billing or interface mapping,” says PureLoX Managing Partner Florian Schüller. “Moreover, viastore SOFTWARE has recognized SAP expertise, which enables us to provide advice to our customers regardless of the technology,” explains Sales Director Marc Schütz. “We are delighted about this partnership,” emphasizes viastore CEO Philipp Hahn-Woernle. “On one hand, the team has extensive experience in software implementation, intralogistics and product development in the software environment, and on the other hand, we share values such as customer commitment, we have an integrated and hands-on approach, and are a solid company.” And he adds: “This joining of forces also shows that viastore SOFTWARE and our product viadat are partner-ready.”

Systems: technology-independent to the benefit of the customer

“We offer our customers a significant advantage,” says COO Detlef Ganz. “We can provide technology-independent advice and offer the right solution that benefits them the most.” For example, the viaflex shuttle system is used for handling large cartons and plastic containers of different sizes at company Weisser Spulenkörper, based in Neresheim, Württemberg. The system is flexibly scalable and makes optimum use of the existing space. Another example: viastore designed and built an automated warehouse and picking system for COFEL, the French market leader for bedding. For this purpose, viastore designed special carriers for the storage of mattresses, which can be reliably handled by an automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS). The COFEL Group is optimizing its logistical structures with the new logistics center, setting the course for further growth.

“In addition, we have developed a system that allows storage and retrieval machines to be backed up and shut down without suffering wear in the event of power failure,” Detlef Ganz continues. “This is particularly in demand in regions where the power supply is not very stable – incidentally, this is sometimes also the case in our country in these times of energy transition.” An integrated energy store, which automatically recharges during normal operation, brings the AS/RS gently to a controlled standstill during power loss. This reduces the risk of damage to the machine and the load, and provides for a much shorter recovery time after system shutdown. In the past, such power outage presented a particular challenge to storage systems with AS/RS: Due to the interruption of the power supply, the control voltage of the machines was not maintained either. Under such uncontrolled conditions, the AS/RS and the load could be subject to damage.

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John Clark
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