Case Study: How Fiege prepares household appliances with special plugs for Switzerland

In Wiggertal, Fiege Switzerland combines the “replugging” of electrical appliances for Groupe SEB under one roof.

It has happened to most of us at some time or another whilst travelling: The smartphone needs charging and the plug and socket do not match. In this situation, only a travel adapter will help. By contrast, consumer goods for the Swiss market have to be “replugged” at the outset.

Even neighbouring countries such as France, Germany or Austria have other industry standards in the meantime. This is where the company Max Hauri comes in when products have different types of plugs. This well-known company based in Bischofszell in the Canton of Thurgau organises for its customers, among other things, conversion of household appliances for the Swiss market, which are unpacked, replugged and repacked.

In order to make these activities more efficient, Max Hauri cooperates with Fiege for which purpose, the modern logistics facility of the service provider in Oftringen is used. Here, Fiege Switzerland organises logistical supply and disposal processes for the “replugging” service and also provides the appropriate work space for fitting the plugs by skilled workers of the Dock Group commissioned by Max Hauri. Fiege therefore plays an essential role in the supply chain.

“The partnership initially began at several locations. We then worked constantly towards further improving the relevant procedures,” says Christoph Mayer, manager of the subsidiary of Fiege Switzerland in Oftringen. “After a brainstorming session with all those involved, we took the decision this spring to combine all activities in one place.” This is the logistics centre in Oftringen with 30,000 square metres of logistics space.

Some of the products previously manufactured abroad were temporarily stored in Oftringen prior to their conversion before being transferred to the existing assembly lines of the Dock Group in Basel. The activities are now combined in one place. “On the one hand, this saves loading and transport processes, which also relieves the roads. On the other hand, it also increases the availability of goods when ordered by wholesalers,” summarises Christoph Mayer the advantages of the expedited procedures.

In this way, Max Hauri profits from the ideal site conditions provided by Fiege. This logistics facility in Wiggertal not only has direct motorway access, but can, due to the size of the multiuser centre, also allow for flexible planning of the joint client Groupe SEB. In this way, it is possible to provide buffers for seasonal fluctuations to accommodate production from abroad prior to conversion for the Swiss market. This was only possible to a limited extent at the facilities of the Dock Group in Basel.

An interface between the IT programs of the household appliance manufacturer and logistics service provider creates the necessary transparency, in particular related to warehousing. This makes it possible to ascertain the current location of individual products and their “replugging” status at the push of a button.

“In consultation with the client Groupe SEB, we have installed here a terminal with the aid of which we can enter and complete “replug orders” directly in the client’s system. In terms of logistics, this will create added value and increase the level of efficiency on site through greater transparency,” says Christoph Mayer. “All this provided that we use resources effectively, make the logistics supply chain more sustainable and optimise it continuously in order to meet the client’s requirements flexibly.”

About the
FIEGE Group

The Fiege Group, headquartered in Greven/Germany, is one of Europe’s leading logistics providers. Its competence lies particularly in the development and realisation of integrated supply chain systems, and it is considered a pioneer of contract logistics. In 2016, the Group generated a turnover of Euro 1.45 billion world-wide with a workforce of 12,338. 178 locations and co-operations based in 15 countries form a dense supply-chain network. 2.8 million square metres of warehouse and logistics space vouch for the company’s efficiency.