As one of the leading online stores for home & living in Europe and Brazil, customer satisfaction is one of the main focuses of home24, thanks to a well-organised logistical workflow. Therefore, Toyota Material Handling supports home24 in creating better processes in its warehouse in Halle (Saale), Germany. With the help of Toyota’s reliable material handling equipment, home24 manages to deliver to their customers in an efficient and effective way.
home24 is a leading pure-play home & living e-commerce platform in continental Europe and Brazil. With over 100,000 articles sourced from more than 500 manufacturers, they offer a unique selection of large and small pieces of furniture, garden furniture, mattresses and lighting. home24 is headquartered in Berlin and employs more than 1,500 people worldwide. The platform is available in seven European markets: Germany, France, Austria, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium and Italy – and in Brazil.
home24 offers its European customers free delivery and returns regardless of the parcel’s size and weight. “Customer satisfaction is really important to us: they expect the best service. Therefore, it’s essential to deliver even large pieces of furniture to our customers on time,” says Jens Kraska, Project Manager Warehousing at home24. The successful operation of a warehouse is crucial to their business, including perfectly coordinated logistics processes. The new home24 logistics centre in Halle (Saale) makes this possible. It contains 36,000 storage spaces on 70,000 m² with a storage height of up to 10.50 metres.
“Our processes have to run efficiently. Therefore, everything has to be planned and perfectly orchestrated. How is that supposed to work without reasonable technology?” adds Jens Kraska. In order to design the logistics processes in the home24 high-bay warehouse, Toyota was involved in the development at an early stage and designed a customised material handling fleet to meet their technical and logistical requirements.
The special thing about this warehouse is the storage: the shelves don’t contain pallets but roll containers, designed specifically for storing furniture. Therefore, the forklifts that transport the goods within the warehouse have to meet special requirements: “At the moment, 56 vehicles are running around the warehouse, among which electric pallet trucks and reach trucks. We are currently planning to expand our fleet,” explains Jens Kraska. Lars Kalisch, Sales Manager at Toyota Material Handling, has known the company home24 since 2014 and advised them setting up the first two distribution centres in Ludwigsfelde (2014) and Walsrode (2015).
The handling of furniture at a height of 10.5m requires the highest level of safety in combination with a stress-resistant operator. The standard mast control enables smooth lifting and lowering at a constant speed, which allows the driver to operate calmly and precisely at height. To ensure ergonomics and safety, the reach trucks are equipped with a glass roof, as well as a weight and height display.
The excellent all-round view from the driver’s seat prevents bad posture for the operator. The great visibility also allows for easy storage and retrieval of goods at height. Thanks to the fork camera, the operator can store and retrieve all goods precisely with help of the screen.
The success of the entire operation is based on the synergy of all processes. A special service offered by home24 is the customer-specific delivery which requires a reliable internal flow of goods. An appointment is made with the customer before delivering the goods answering the question “When can we deliver? This is necessary to organise logistics and make everything work together seamlessly. We need the right forklift to transport the products, in other words: it is crucial that we can trust the material handling,” emphasizes Jens Kraska.
But it was not just the product technology that convinced Kraska to choose Toyota. “I don’t want to be seen solely as a buyer: I want to be taken seriously as a customer with my specific requirements. For me, it is more a partnership with Toyota than a collaboration.” Toyota and home24 are already planning their next projects to further optimise the logistics processes at home24. In the future they will also use Toyota’s tow tractors at the Halle location.