How Norwegian auto parts supplier Bertel O. Steen quadrupled storage capacity, maximized flexibility, and achieved 99.7% system uptime with AutoStore warehouse automation.
The face of logistics throughout every industry is constantly changing, and one of the few reliable ways companies can achieve their goals and grow is by meeting those changes head-on. That’s why Bertel O. Steen chose AutoStore to provide the automated warehouse solution they needed to stay ahead of the competition.
Bertel O. Steen, one of Norway’s leading importers of cars, car parts, and automotive supplies, is no stranger to getting a head-start on revolutionary logistics technology. In 2002, they were among the earliest companies to implement an automated warehouse management system with help from Element Logic.
Over the following two decades, Bertel O. Steen has added to and refined their automated systems to ensure they get customers the products they need with minimal delay. So when it was determined that their previous warehouse was no longer meeting their needs, the company chose to transfer their operations into a purpose-built automated facility.
The success of the new move depended largely on choosing an automated warehouse system accurate and fast enough to keep up with sudden changes in demand and customer needs. They also required a solution that would integrate seamlessly with their existing automated systems and operations.
As of 2023, the automotive industry — from manufacturers to suppliers like Bertel O. Steen — is still implementing solutions to cope with unpredictable supply chains and shortages of vital materials and parts. However, even before the current sector-wide supply chain challenges emerged, importers and suppliers had to be ready to adapt to changing markets at short notice.
That’s why Bertel O. Steen sought out an automated warehouse solution that could be modified and redirected with minimal downtime or investment to remain competitive in an uncertain marketplace.
“For example, if the market for spare parts for cars is declining, our new warehouse can easily be adapted so that we can distribute other things instead,” explains Rune Kristiansen, Head of Logistics at Bertel O. Steen.
One of the most notable benefits of the AutoStore system is its efficient and creative utilization of space, resulting in a potential 4X increase in storage capacity. In addition, because it’s based on a limited range of modular components, the system can be adapted to any warehouse layout regardless of available space or configuration.
Another key advantage is the system's scalability. It can easily be expanded or contracted based on the evolving needs of the business. By enlarging the Grid, increasing the number of Bins, or deploying more Robots, the AutoStore system can be quickly and effectively adapted to Bertel O. Steen’s changing needs.
The AutoStore system is an innovative, space-saving warehousing solution that uses robotics and algorithm-driven efficiency to store and retrieve products. The automated warehouse system installed in Bertel O. Steen’s new facility covers 15,000 m2 (161,500 ft2) and consists of 47 AutoStore Robots, 48,000 storage Bins in four different sizes, 8 Outbound CarouselPorts, and 16 Inbound ConveyorPorts.
“If, for example, the market for car spare parts declines, it's easy to adjust the new warehouse system so that we can distribute other things instead.”
“It is a very reliable system that ensures continuous operation at all times. For instance, if one operator Port stops working, we still have seven others running – and if a Robot shuts down, there are still 46 in action. AutoStore is also far less vulnerable to technical issues.”
After adopting AutoStore in 2013, Ludwig Meister not only achieved a x3 boost in picking efficiency, but also substantial business growth. With expansions in 2016 and 2022, their system now handles up to 6,000 picks daily, scalable to 13,500, marking continuous advancement in their warehouse operations.
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AutoStore can fit any warehouse or fulfillment center. Make yours the next.