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Use-Case: Cube Bikes increases efficiency in warehouse management with MultiScan

06. September by DIGITAL2GO in Use Case

Digital 2 Go
6 Minutes read

The increasing popularity of e-bikes given the business another boost in recent years. However, a truly pleasurable ride only comes with the right equipment. Pending System GmbH & Co. KG manufactures particularly high-quality bicycles, known across the world as the Cube Bikes brand. They are assembled, packaged and prepared for transport with the related accessories at the company’s headquarters in Waldershof in Upper Palatinate. This space, measuring 35,000  m2, also houses the oversized goods storage. The MultiScan master data acquisition station helps with warehouse management, enabling Cube Bikes to use storage space and pack orders more efficiently.

Cube Bikes is one of the largest bicycle manufacturers, selling more than 500,000 bikes a year in over 60 countries. Since the end of the 1990s, the company has assembled and tested every one of its bicycles at its headquarters in Waldershof in Upper Palatinate. In addition to approximately 350 bike models, their product range includes accessories and sportswear. Orders for specialized retailers are prepared for dispatch in Waldershof. Many of the items are bulky and unwieldy, which complicates space-saving storage and the mostly manual picking process. In order to manage the inventory more effectively, the company’s IT department developed a warehouse management system (WMS) last year. However, the system had still been lacking the necessary master data to work efficiently. Christian Lotze, managing director of the Cube Bikes subsidiary Sport Equipment ACS GmbH & Co. KG, explains: “For storing and shipping accessories and clothing, we need precise information about each item to select the optimal storage locations or packaging, for example. However, neither weight nor volume were recorded in our warehouse management system. As a result, we have often not utilized our capacity as well as we could.”

MultiScan delivers precise item master data to Cube Bikes WMS

Manually entering the data into the WMS would have required too much time. The bicycle manufacturer was therefore looking for a complete solution that fully captures the master data and transmits it to the system. The decision to use MultiScan did not take long. “There are hardly any devices on the market that can automatically measure weight and volume. Besides, some of our customers were already using this device and recommended it to us,” Lotze added by way of explaining the decision.

The MultiScan is a master data collection station specially designed for industrial use. The device measures all master data relevant for logistics with millimeter precision using a calibratable scale and infrared light barriers—all at the push of a button and in a matter of seconds. This information, such as volume, weight, content quantities or stacking factors, is then automatically transferred along with the associated EAN code to Cube Bikes’ WMS.   “The MultiScan provides us with exactly the data we need, with no fuss. In our view, it perfectly meets the requirements of the new world of digital logistics in the age of industry 4.0,” emphasizes Lotze.

The MultiScan is available either in a stationary or a mobile model, with a freely configurable software package. In the mobile version, the data collection station is delivered on a network-independent transport trolley, which enables use throughout the storage facility. This is the model Cube Bikes uses, although the device measuring 1200 x 640 x 480 millimeters usually remains stationary. In addition to master data acquisition, employees can call up additional functions with the intuitive user interface, such as taking photos with the built-in camera. “This information is the foundation for our optimizing our supply chain. For example, we can now initiate packaging selection directly from the customer order,” says Lotze.

More efficient picking and accurate overview of inventory utilization

Cube Bikes mainly pick and pack based on order compilations. This means that several individual orders are bundled into one shipment, picked by the employees using hand-held scanners and transported on a cart for dispatch or to the production area. The entire picking process at Cube Bikes has already noticeably improved, according to Lotze: “We can now catalog all items and bundle orders optimally according to their volume. This allows us to process more orders faster.” The automatic data transfer via an interface compatible with all common WMS also prevents incorrect inputs in the article master data. “In addition, with changing packaging or constructions, we constantly have an precise overview of our storage utilization and can accurately calculate space requirements at any time,” summarizes Lotze.

Cube Bikes benefits from more effective processes in intralogistics and shipping

Lotze is completely satisfied with the MultiScan after the first few weeks: “The entire process with KHT was remarkably successful, smooth and streamlined. After delivery, only a few consultations or short training sessions were required, as the device is very intuitive to operate.” Within a few days of the contract being signed, KHT provided the company with a temporary device for testing. A KHT employee presented the MultiScan and its range of functions to the warehouse manager, who then trained the employees who work with the device. The bottom line: Cube Bikes benefits from “more effective processes in intralogistics and shipping”, and the system also lightens employees’ workloads: Several decisions that warehouse managers were required to make themselves are now managed by the MultiScan.

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