WITRON continues to grow
Parkstein, Germany. WITRON looks back to a successful fiscal year: A growth in sales of 6%, 400 additional jobs as well as numerous contracts signed with regular and new customers. True to the credo of company founder, Walter Winkler, “step by step”, the general contractor from Parkstein (Germany) continued its growth course in 2018, which has been deliberately geared towards securing sustainability for decades to come.
546 million Euros in sales were generated by WITRON in the past business year, with services accounting for more than 30% of the total sales of the WITRON Group – trend rising. Meanwhile, the intra-logistics expert employs 3,500 people worldwide. More than 1,500 employees work at the headquarters in Parkstein, which means 100+ additional jobs in the region around the basalt cone. First and foremost, WITRON focuses on the integration of skilled workers, which is the in-house training, and thereby remains a firm pillar in the corporate’s philosophy. This is reflected by the fact that 75 young people started their apprenticeship in 15 different professions at WITRON in the past year.
WITRON as system operator
With revenue of 181 million Euros, which means an increase of 16%, the service department makes a significant contribution to the total turnover of the WITRON Group. The WITRON Service GmbH & Co. KG currently employs 2,000 staff members worldwide. “90% of them are a firm part of the daily warehouse operation at our customers’ sites in 41 OnSite teams in 10 countries and cover a wide range of services”, explains Christian Dietl, CEO of the Service Department. “WITRON has developed further as a general contractor - towards a logistics service provider. Our task is to design, implement and operate plants for our customers in the best possible way - the best WITRON we can be for our customers”.
Basis for success: committed employees and innovative solutions
“Essential success factors are the loyalty, commitment and high work quality of our employees”, says Martin Stich, Technical CEO at WITRON. “In times of a highly competitive job market, it is our goal and our responsibility as an employer to offer our colleagues perspectives with meaningful tasks and forward-looking social benefits and retain them to the company in the long-term”.
Our customers’ satisfaction is reflected in well-filled order books. Companies such as ASKO (Norway), Diapar (France), Festo (USA), Heidelberger Druckmaschinen (Germany), Kroger (USA), Mercadona (Spain), Metro (Canada), Migros (Switzerland), Phoenix Contact (Germany) or Walmart (USA + Canada) expressed their confidence in WITRON with new projects or wide-spreading expansions and modernizations awarded in 2018. Almost 70% of WITRON’s order intake was generated in Europe, 30% in North America. 90% of the orders derive from the retail and distribution sector - with the focus on food retail. According to WITRON, an important innovation driver in this business sector is especially the changing purchase behavior of the customers.
With a large number of system modules for different business sectors and applications, the company from Parkstein considers itself well prepared for all future challenges. “Our OPM system continues to be the benchmark in food retail automation across the globe. The current 4th system generation provides many functionalities that guarantee our customers a holistic end-to-end transparency both inside and outside the logistics center”, explains CEO Helmut Prieschenk, responsible for the distribution of the WITRON logistics systems at WITRON. “In combination with multi-functional piece-picking systems, such as the All-in-One Order Fulfillment (AIO), we are able to optimally map the demands of hybrid logistics centers, from which our customers handle both the store business as well as the E-Commerce business at the same time”. The increasing supply of all distribution channels from one logistics center requires new intellectual approaches as well. The “platform concept” is becoming the focus. Central issues here are warehouse intelligence, usability, open interfaces, data transparency and integrated networking within the entire supply chain.
A reason to celebrate: 1,000 COMs sold
In January 2019, the Australian food retailer, Coles, and WITRON have signed a contract for the construction of two Omni-Channel distribution centers - the first automated WITRON logistics project in the Southern Hemisphere. This has also been a reason for another landmark: the sale of the thousandth COM machine - the center piece of WITRON’s OPM system. OPM is considered the most successful fully automated case storage and order picking system within the logistics processes of food retail across the globe.