Büromarkt Böttcher AG has posted steady growth in recent years. To enable the Jena-based online retailer to continue to cope with the increasing volume of packages, the company is currently investing around 85 million Euros in a multi-story logistics center and office complex in the German city of Jena. The new build project is being supervised by the planning and consulting company Drees & Sommer SE with headquarters in Stuttgart.
Logistics space has long been a scarce commodity in Jena. The continuing strong demand for new buildings is faced with a lack of space and high prices for land. In order to make optimum use of the existing space, the new logistics center for Böttcher will be four stories high. This not only saves costs, but also time: instead of distributing the goods to several space-consuming buildings in the surrounding area, the goods in transit remain in a central warehouse.
Automated High-Rise Racks Maximize Efficiency
What at first sounds easy is in reality a complex planning process. ‘The operating costs of a logistics property are mainly composed of goods picking and staff walking distances. If the goods are distributed over several floors, new building designs are required for cost-effective operation. Automation solutions, in particular, are becoming increasingly important in order to streamline processes,’ explained Janine Zimmermann, Head of Logistics at Drees & Sommer. This is also the case at Böttcher. To reach the target of up to 100,000 packages per day, an automated high-bay warehouse is key. In future, driverless, computer-controlled storage and retrieval vehicles will also move between the shelves to transport the goods from A to B. In order to maximize goods throughput and optimize utilization of the high-bay warehouse, special software handles coordination. This not only saves time, but also helps to take the pressure off employees. Heavy packages no longer have to be lifted and sorted by hand. This task is performed by automated helpers.
Focus on Employees
The around 600 employees are at the center of building planning not only in the logistics warehouse, but also in the new administration building. The increasingly complex structure of tasks determines the exact design of the workplace. Those holding telephone or video conferences need a different environment than someone who wants to focus on the work. Comprehensive workplace consulting establishes the appropriate mix of base areas, communication, concentration and infrastructure space. The new building also offers recreation rooms, restaurants and parking facilities for bicycles and electric cars. ‘The employees play an important role in the design of the new building and can actively contribute their opinions and suggestions,’ said CEO Udo Böttcher.‘ In addition to a modern workplace, we provide the workforce with a wide range of benefits such as a large roof terrace, fitness studio, massages, relaxation room, hairdresser as well as a staff restaurant and cafeteria.’ Completion of the logistics center and office complex is scheduled for mid-2021. Full commissioning will begin in mid-2022 after a run-in phase for logistics.