With increasing shipping volume and continuous expansion of the product range, Bergzeit GmbH, based in Otterfing, Bavaria, is meeting its steady rise with logistical know-how by expanding its storage and shipping capacities. The leading online provider of mountaineering equipment, part of SüdtirolerSportler AG, commissioned Fortna to develop the logistics concept, including implementation support.
The heart of the new processing system, which was integrated during ongoing operations, is a high-performance shuttle warehouse with more than 57,000 new storage locations and an intelligent batch picking system. The new ergonomic goods-to-person workstations also ensure optimized work processes. The new systems were integrated during ongoing operations and successfully commissioned in September 2022, regardless of the diverse stress factors currently affecting the logistics industry.
Founded more than 20 years ago, Bergzeit has established itself as the leading online provider of mountaineering equipment. More than two million customers can choose from a range of over 40,000 items from over 500 brands. Two stores in the south of Munich complement the successful web shop. In 2017, administration and logistics were accommodated in a new building in Otterfing, which has already been realized with the support of Fortna.
Capacity increase for Bergzeit
“We have been growing steadily for years and have in the meantime reached our logistical capacity limits. In addition, since the COVID pandemic, many people have moved their sporting activities outdoors,” explains Holger Cecco-Stark, Head of Projects & CSR, Bergzeit. “We needed a sustainable solution to the resulting increase in shipping volume and inventory. Fortna had already taken our future requirements into account in the 2017 design concept, which was the best reason for us to start the new expansion phase with our proven team.”
As early as 2017, the available site for the Bergzeit company headquarters was fully utilized for the new building. As already planned five years ago, it was therefore necessary to create additional capacities within the existing building in the current project phase. With a growth forecast up to 2025 as an extrapolation, the Fortna team developed a phased solution to integrate a compact shuttle warehouse with up to 3,000 double cycles/hour that can process 800 shipments/hour.
Particularly noteworthy is the excellent cooperation and exchange with the Otterfinger community during the course of the project. “Together we achieved a perfect balance between capacity and dynamism, so that the available space of 2,000 square meters could be used to its full height. With more than 57,000 additional storage locations in the shuttle warehouse, Bergzeit has doubled the total capacity in the warehouse and will remain competitive in the long term,” says Project Manager Andreas Spitzki, Senior Manager, Fortna.
More effective shipping
Fortna has developed a goods-to-person picking solution for more efficient shipping. The solution takes into account the individual requirements of each order type (single item or bulk order, different sized boxes and shipping in bags). It enables powerful sequencing and, if possible, brings together a wide variety of items such as textiles, hard goods and bulky goods.
Articles are picked into containers and then transported to new ergonomic workstations via a conveyor loop. They are scanned and distributed to up to 21 different destinations to make up the shipment. Due to the wide range of manually processed shipment types, the focus is on the ergonomic adaptability of the work areas for the individual workplace design and the occupational health of the employees. The Fortna experts were important idea generators for Bergzeit in relation to the processes, from the initial idea and the 3D drawings to the test setup and the implementation of the new workstations.
“Creating additional capacities and exploiting the existing potential was our top priority,” concludes Holger Cecco-Stark. “Together with Fortna, we have ensured that we can adapt flexibly to the constantly changing requirements with our new logistics and are well positioned for future growth.”