WITRON looks back at a successful fiscal year, registering sales growth of 6%, creating 400 new jobs, and signing numerous contracts with regular and new customers.
True to the credo of the company founder, Walter Winkler – 'step by step' – the general contractor from Parkstein, in Germany, continued its growth course in 2018, which has been deliberately geared towards securing sustainability for decades to come.
WITRON generated €546 million in sales in the past business year, with services accounting for more than 30% of the total sales of the group.
The intra-logistics expert employs around 3,500 people worldwide.
More than 1,500 people work at the headquarters in Parkstein, which means that more than 100 additional jobs were created in the region, around the basalt cone.
WITRON focuses on the integration of skilled workers through its in-house training, which is a firm pillar of its corporate philosophy.
It is reflected in the fact that 75 young people have started their apprenticeships in 15 different professions at WITRON in the past year.
WITRON As A System Operator
With revenue amounting to €181 million – an increase of 16% – the service department made a significant contribution to the total turnover of the WITRON Group.
WITRON Service GmbH & Co. KG currently employs 2,000 people worldwide.
"Ninety per cent [90%] of them are an integral part of the daily warehouse operation at our customers’ sites in 41 OnSite teams in ten countries, and cover a wide range of services," explained 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 loyalty, commitment, and the high work quality of our employees," said 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 in 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) and Walmart (USA + Canada) expressed their confidence in WITRON, with new projects or extensive expansions and modernisations awarded in 2018.
Almost 70% of WITRON’s order intake was generated in Europe, and 30% in North America.
Ninety per cent of the orders were from the retail and distribution sector, with a focus on food retail.
According to WITRON, an important innovation driver in this business sector is the changing purchasing behaviour of 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.
'Benchmark In Food Retail Automation'
"Our OPM system continues to be the benchmark in food retail automation across the globe. The current, fourth system generation provides many functionalities that guarantee our customers holistic, end-to-end transparency, both inside and outside the logistics centre," explained CEO Helmut Prieschenk, responsible for the distribution of the WITRON logistics systems at WITRON.
"In combination with multifunctional piece-picking systems, such as the All-in-One Order Fulfilment (AIO), we are able to optimally map the demands of hybrid logistics centres, 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 centre requires new intellectual approaches as well.
The 'platform concept' is becoming the focus. The 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, WITRON signed a contract with Australian food retailer Coles for the construction of two Omni-Channel distribution centres, which also happen to be the first automated WITRON logistics project in the Southern Hemisphere.
It has also been the reason for another landmark – the sale of the 1000th COM machine, the centrepiece of WITRON’s OPM system.
OPM is considered to be the most successful fully automated case storage and order-picking system within the logistics processes of food retailers across the globe.
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Sponsored content. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.