Dewulf, full-line supplier of potato and root crop equipment, has officially inaugurated its new logistics centre (SLC) at its headquarters. With the opening of the logistics centre, the company confirms its continued commitment to its roots in Roeselare (BE). This project fits with the family company's strategy for achieving further organic growth and makes it possible to serve customers even better. The construction of the warehouse, with a price tag of around €10 million, is the company's largest financial investment since its founding in 1946. The building is eye-catching from the outside, with its glass connecting bridge spanning the road, and striking from the inside as well, with the clearly evident emphasis on efficiency, expandability and ergonomics. The grand opening was attended by numerous prominent people.
As a result of growth of the company, Dewulf developed the need for a storage facility close to the production halls for its harvesters that meets the most stringent requirements for storage and can support continued growth of the company. "As a family business, we feel it is important to have a good relationship with our customers and further strengthen that bond in the coming years. Our new logistics centre will play a key role in this," explains Hendrik Decramer, director of sales, marketing & after-sales at Dewulf. The building is a tangible example of the transformation process within the machine manufacturing firm. "Thanks to our new warehouse we can help our customers and dealers grow further by soon providing them with even smoother delivery of machines and replacement parts," Decramer says.
At Dewulf, the logistics centre also creates room for further growth in the production. "Our aim is to ensure that the pace of assembly determines what is picked in the warehouse. The processes in the warehouse are therefore controlled by specialised WMS software," says Wouter Criel, supply chain manager at Dewulf. This software continuously recalculates which parts are needed based on customer orders and the status of the assembly process and automatically passes that data on to the logistics personnel. "The required parts can then be delivered 'just in time' to our assemblers or be prepared for transport," he explains. Automatic integration with the courier service's systems also ensures that all the shipments proceed smoothly on their way to customers and dealers. The machine manufacturer expects the software system to be fully rolled out by the end of this year.
Dewulf also refers to the new facility as a 'smart' logistics centre and has several reasons for this. In addition to the software that controls all the processes, in the warehouse there is a strong focus on expandability, ergonomics and the environment. For example, the 7,800 m2 building can be expanded both in height and in width. Decramer adds, "To remove the heavy items from the shelves, our employees have a special small gantry crane. This greatly reduces the potential for back injuries. The entire warehouse is also well heated and illuminated to create an enjoyable working environment." Moreover, the building has also been constructed with attention for the environment, as evidenced through a shared heating grid with a neighbouring company and lighting sensors in the corridors.
Late last year, tens of thousands of spare and replacement parts were moved from a temporary warehouse to the new logistics centre. The inauguration is the crowning of a project that began in 2016. Numerous prominent politicians and important figures from trade associations attended the event. Following a tour of the company site led by the management, attendees were treated to a festive reception on the building's glass connecting bridge.