Würth's business idea is so much more than selling products. With smart logistics and service, they want to simplify life for their customers — and that has made them a global leader.
German company Würth is the world's largest supplier of consumable materials for craftspeople, industrial enterprises, construction companies and automotive body shops. The company currently has operations in 83 countries and has 65,000 employees. The offering includes an entire 200,000 items, everything from screws and tools to chemical engineering products and work clothes.
- Our goal is to make things easier for customers and help them save time and money, says Stein Inge Viset, logistics manager for Würth in Norway.
PostNord manages deliveries from the central warehouses in Norway, Sweden and Denmark to customers and stores in each country.
Today, Würth has a delivery precision of 98 percent in the Nordic region.
Viset explains that logistics throughout the Nordic countries function more or less the same way. Each country has a central warehouse that receives deliveries from three main warehouses in Germany, Switzerland and Slovakia. In turn, the central warehouse supplies the customers and Würth's stores in the country.
Today, Würth has a delivery precision of 98 percent in the Nordic region. With InNight deliveries, customers who order items from the central warehouse can receive them the very next day, delivered straight to their own warehouse, workplace or the nearest Würth store for pick-up.
- Our philosophy is to always be located near our customers, so we have many branches with a wide geographical distribution in each country, says Stein Inge Viset.
But certain items must always be on-hand. An essential part of Würth's offering is therefore the ORSY concept, which stands for "order and clarity in the system". It is based on a shelf system placed with the customer that Würth regularly fills, while also managing items, inventory and purchase statistics. This saves the customer from having to search for consumables or send someone out to buy them.
According to Stein Inge Viset, the biggest challenge of having flexible logistics is probably satisfying the various demands of major customers.
- The trend is currently going toward shorter lead times and delivery in a specified time frame. It's also becoming common for customers to want all items for a particular project delivered in the same container to a specific location at a precise time. Some customers also want their items packed in a special way, rather than in their original packaging, he says.
In recent years, Würth has worked a great deal to streamline and bring down logistics costs.
- Long-term, we're working to reduce how many suppliers we have, which will mean smoother deliveries to warehouses and less administration. Efficiency measures take time, but they're incredibly important for us to be able to offer customers the least expensive, most effective logistics possible.