Nihad Zaugg, Buyer, Signal AG, Switzerland
"How Bossard is helping us to become and stay lean"
I have used Bossard screws since my apprenticeship as a “polymechanic,” that is, as a toolmaker as it used to be called. You constantly need screws, regardless of the type. You simply cannot do without these fastening elements. Even after nearly ten years in purchasing, I still deal with these products. I am responsible for purchasing the wide range of fastening elements we use to install our signaling systems such as traffic signs and traffic lights, or signal systems used in tunnel safety.
An automated procurement process is the solution
Until a few years ago our warehouse logistics system was analog and manual. Only the most frequently used parts had a barcode that could be scanned when needed. I was still sending out faxes to place some weekly batch orders. That was time-consuming and unproductive work. So I decided there had to be a better, more efficient way. And I knew how to go about it.
In 2011, I contacted the Bossard salesperson assigned to our company because I wanted to introduce the SmartBin system at Signal AG. I quickly realized that an automated procurement process is the solution I had been looking for. Instead of counting screws by barcode and faxing in orders, weight sensors indicate when the minimum stock has been reached and automatically trigger a new order. This frees up our employees to focus on more interesting activities involving our products and clients.
I have now automated the ordering process for 271 products using Bossard’s SmartBin. Every two weeks an employee from Bossard comes by to restock the bins and check the system. Every six months we optimize the system, correct the refilling parameters and adapt the product portfolio. SmartBin is a dynamic system. Our investment includes initial configuration, shelves and boxes – these are on-time expenses. We calculated that with SmartBin we save more than 1 800 hours a year – time that we can use to create added value for our clients. This is a win-win situation for all involved. And it provides me with the confidence of knowing that I’m on the right track.