Night and Day and Night and Day
In the beginning there was the (printed) word: He who reads the morning newspaper starts the day well informed. To ensure that printed products arrive for their readers hot off the press, Logwin has developed the “Sprinter Network”.
Overnight vans deliver printed products and other vital documents to their destinations. But the logistics service wouldn’t live up to its name if it wasn’t constantly on the lookout for synergies: Why not use the vehicles during the day as well? For example, for the same day delivery of original parts to automotive dealers and workshops. The Sprinter Network has been a media success story. Anyone buying the DIE WELT newspaper at the train station or receiving the Handelsblatt business daily on a plane is doing so thanks to Logwin’s logistic performance. The basis for the flexible, reliable delivery: Clever scheduling, professional drivers, access to a large fleet of modern vehicles and 11 locations throughout Germany. But it is not only printed products and other vital documents that need to arrive safely and quickly: Rapid delivery is also decisive in the automotive world. Why? Let’s have a closer look ...
Cars must be driven
Stefan Berger, an employee in the field for an agricultural machinery manufacturer covers 2,500 km each week. Today his company car is due for a service. His BMW is booked in at the workshop for eight o’clock on the dot. The car must be ready again at 1 p.m. – then off to the next customer. At 9:30 a.m. the head mechanic calls:
“Mr Berger, have you noticed the crack in the rear window?” A repair is no longer a real option. Whether they should replace the window? “Have you got an original window in stock?” asks Mr Berger. No, but they could get one, the head mechanic assures him. Within the next three hours, guaranteed. How is that possible? A quick response in the automotive world is not the exception, but rather the rule. “A stationary vehicle costs money”, states Kai Albus, Head of Logistics Engineering|Warehousing Industrial at Logwin. “Regardless of whether it is a company vehicle or a private one, rapid repair is always the most efficient solution. This is because when the costs associated with a rental vehicle are included, things can get expensive.” Mr Berger won’t need a replacement vehicle. After the call the head mechanic immediately orders the new rear window from the regional BMW warehouse. The logistics service provider Logwin is responsible for de livery: When the Sprinter leaves the yard for the next tour at 10:45 a.m., the original part is already on board. This Logwin service even has its own name: “PartsDirect”.
One example: Original parts distribution from Berlin
The logistics provider operates 40 routes from Berlin for BMW. The starting point is the Dealer Metro Distribution Centre (DMDC) at No. 4 Naumburger Strasse. Within 15 minutes the van has been loaded with original parts of every size and type. Small items are packed in crates and all consignments sorted according to their recipients.
The sprinters have a fixed route. But no driver turns the key until he has gone through the current schedule very carefully. This is because variations due to urgent orders such as the one for Stefan Berger are not uncommon. Sometimes, other consignees are added to the list or certain regulars are absent when they are fully stocked at the present time. Each driver will have visited up to 15 car dealers and workshops along a route before he pulls up at the DMDC site again. The sprinters set off from here a total of seven times; the first tour starts at 8:45 a.m., the last at 2:45 p.m. Some dealers may receive deliveries four times a day, others twice, and some only once depending on their needs. Sometimes drivers cover up to 450 km. Logwin only employs sub-contractors with their own vehicles for the Sprinter Network. A groomed appearance applies equally to both equipment and personnel. “Ultimately we are representing our customers at the dealers’ premises”, says Kai Albus. “Consequently, we also value continuity: We have been working together with most sub-contractors for a number of years. The advantage is not only in terms of trust, but above all experience. The drivers know how to avoid traffic jams and where they need to leave consignments with each recipient.” The drivers return between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. The last sprinter is now ready at the agreed changeover point to be deployed on its nightly media shift.
Evening printing, nightly delivery, morning read
Hundreds of vans pick up printed products from printing houses and publishers right across Germany every evening on behalf of Logwin, operating like a relay. The vehicles that have just picked up printed materials and delivered them to one of the Logwin distribution centres, then set off shortly after to railway stations, airports, media wholesalers and Post Office mail centres to deliver the newspapers. “We bundle the consignments in our distribution centres”, explains Lutz Westphal, project manager for Logwin’s Transport and Retail Networks business unit. “The consignees receive magazines and newspapers from various publishers and printing houses. We bundle the specific media for each recipient from the deliveries we receive in our logistics centres.”
For example Neu Isenburg: 200 vehicles are deployed for Logwin customers from 6 p.m. until the early hours of the morning. “The drivers come from the Frankfurt/Main region”, says Lutz Westphal. “This huge area is where the Frankfurter Rundschau, DIE WELT kompakt, Hürriyet and other publications are printed for domestic and international consumption.” The printing and publishing houses are only a stone’s throw away from the Logwin facility. On average it takes 15 minutes for the sprinters to return with their freight. As soon as the consignments have been assembled, the drivers deliver to the railway station kiosks in Darmstadt first, then the press wholesaler in Langen or Frankfurt Airport - the scheduled routes are planned in accordance with the needs of individual customers. “The newspaper must be there when the shops open in the morning”, declares Lutz Westphal. “Currency counts more than ever before in the Internet age. If the front page needs to be modified in response to breaking news immediately prior toprinting, logistics companies need to respond accordingly.” Logwin’s Sprinter Network is so flexible that urgent and/or immediate consignments arrive reliably and quickly. In this case the secret lies largely in its size: Logwin has so many vehicles and drivers across Germany that it is able to respond spontaneously anywhere.
SPRINTER NETWORK - FEATURES AND SERVICES
- Fixed and exclusive routes in response to customer requests
- Centralised fleet planning for maximum availability
- IT tools for planning, monitoring and evaluating the routes; Reporting
- Regional service centres ensure local presence
- 26 locations in Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland
- 200 employees
- Over 500 Sprinter vehicles