The spare parts warehouse in Emmen stores 22,000 items and is worth CHF 7 million. Every day, dozens of items are taken from or newly stored there. When a piece of equipment or a machine malfunctions, it has to be repaired right away. Every minute counts.
Despite the impressive size of the warehouse, it was quite chaotic until a few months ago: the mechanic or electrician noted the defective item in a piece of equipment on a sheet of paper, searched for it on the numerous shelves – and eventually found it. The item was then booked manually in the system. This was tedious, took a lot of time, and could also be frustrating. Instead of just grinning and bearing the situation, the warehouse employees rolled up their sleeves and got to work. They checked every individual item, amended inventory levels and storage locations, standardised the storage containers and gave everything a barcode. Today, the items are entered or signed out using a barcode scanner, meaning they are automatically registered.
The new system saves five working hours per employee per week – which is time that can be used to come up with other good ideas.