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Fiege automates Esprit Distribution Center in Europe
01
Aug '12
Esprit, a leading international fashion brand and the Fiege Group, one of Europe's foremost logistics providers, took up operations of the new, highly-automated Esprit Distribution Center Europe (DCE) located at the Moenchengladbach Regiopark in Germany, at the beginning of July.

On around 76,000 square metres a warehouse with a total base area of 32,000 sqm was built. The new distribution centre constitutes the future starting point for the pan-European B2B distribution to some 350 retail outlets run be Esprit, as well as to over 10,000 wholesale POS.

On a total length of 23 kilometres the garments to be processed are automatically conveyed. An automated box storage with a capacity for 220,000 boxes ensures that replenishments are always guaranteed. Every year, Fiege will handle up to 150 million items by Esprit in Moenchengladbach. The warehouse is managed with Fiege's own SAP-based warehouse management system.

Eric Berben, Head of Global Supply Chain/Logistics at Esprit, said: "The new DCE allows us to advance what in the past were mainly manual processes into highly-automated process flows. This means we will not only increase our efficiency but will be able to adapt even more effectively to the requirements of our customers." With the introduction of a reusable eco-crate, the so-called Retail Box, used to supply Esprit's own stores, the Moenchengladbach facility will furthermore be able to increase the eco-rating of the process flows. The boxes have already been tested at the DCE and combine economic aspects with ecological benefits since, in addition to saving costs with regard to procurement and disposal, the Retail Box preserves tremendous amounts of resources during its five- to eight-year life cycle as large quantities of cardboard boxes can be eliminated.

 "With the DCE Esprit and Fiege are further consolidating their more than 12-year old successful partnership. The jointly developed logistics centre boasts a particularly high degree of automation, to ensure an even more efficient organisation of logistics. The efficiency thus achieved not only sets standards for the fashion industry but for the entire logistics segment. Specifics such as the Retail Box further emphasise the commitment of both partners towards resource-preserving logistics", explains Jens Fiege, member of the board of the Fiege Group.

 Fiege was in charge of the construction of the logistics centre jointly with the logistics real estate specialist from Fiege Engineering, as general contractor. Esprit footed all investments into technical equipment. The real property is owned by Union Investment, an investment company with whom Esprit has signed long-term leases for the property. The location at Regiopark also provides for the opportunity to expand the new distribution centre at short notice.

Within the framework of the new distribution centre taking up operations, a major share of current operations for Esprit at the Fiege Mega Center Ibbenbueren will relocate to Moenchengladbach during a long-term migration process. This migration, a project of Esprit and Fiege scheduled to be completed in 2013, is currently very much on time. After relocating to Moenchengladbach the Distribution Center Europe will provide up to 600 jobs.

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