Good air and clean water thanks to partnership. Westaflex is now one of the market leaders for building services products in the field of ventilation, air-conditioning and exhaust technology based on stainless steel pipes from its own production. The company has decided torely on logistics service providers for procurement logistics and intercompany transports - the beginning of a successful relationship with RABEN dating back to 1987.
Let us take a look back on the year 1987: Borders and different currencies make it difficult for supply chains to operate within Europe. Standardised forms of packages and labels are still yet to be found. Under these conditions, the company Westaflex from Germany’s Gütersloh, an internationally renowned manufacturer of pneumatic and system technlogy, to not invest in their own vehicle pool any more, and to bet on a logistics service provider when speaking of purchase logistics and intercompany transport – it was to be the start of a successful business. Because even today, Westaflex cannot imagine a better partner than Westaflex in terms of land, sea and air transport.
Good air and clean water thanks to Westaflex
Founded in 1953 as a classic automotive industry supplier, Westaflex had in the meantime become a market leader in home technology products in the areas of air, air conditioning and exhaust technology, thanks to stainless steel piping manufactured in house. Solutions in acoustics as well as a patented filter system round the portfolio off. Renowned companies from the areas of domestic engineering, automotive and railway – national as well as international brands – rely on the top-quality products of the Westaflex Group.
Nothing compares to joint experiences
From the very beginning, the perspective of Westaflex included the supply chain in its entirety – starting with their own vehicle pool and the different relations within Europe. However, there could be no flexibility under the described conditions: Paper-based customs declarations as well as works-specific and quite varied delivery conditions as well as transport containers meant that the carriers of Westaflex had to face numerous challenges. The company was not satisfied with this, however, and actively searched for options of improvement: Within the scope of cooperation with the RWTH Aachen University, Westaflex was able to not only establish a seamless status and label system based on bar codes, but at the same time it commenced the process of optimisation of the production control centre using previews of shipments and parts pooling to create comprehensive charges. The results achieved by the RWTH University show that Westaflex needed a reliable logistics partner that would understand the coming challenges, and accompany them on the way.
„The creation of the company City GT Logistik-Gütersloh Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH, of the customs office and the company P&O Trans European GmbH right on our doorstep took place at the same time. That’s what you call perfect timing“ - recalls Mr. Jan Westerbarkey (GF, Westaflex).
Whatever lasts long, stays good
Westaflex and the predecessor of Raben, P&O, jointly created the foundation of a lasting partnership: A high-speed data link to secure continued information exchange – operating together with Raben since 1999. Thanks to tight cooperation, the AEO certification offered since 2008 by the EU was also successful. This, step by step, Westaflex is able to offer itc customers and suppliers transport execution from the very factory, thanks to a regional carrier, relying across all Europe on mostly fixed cycles and relations in general cargo as well as round-trip logistics. Thanks to a transshipment warehouse of over 4,000 sq m and three logistics halls offering space for over 10,000 Euro-Pallets, Raben has created in Gütersloh the optimal conditions for hassle-free shipping over land, sea and air. And Westaflex profits from this – and from the digital interlink - every day. After all, the challenge is to make available to Westaflex customers 70,000 articles and relevant variants across 70 assemblies as well as their packaging and repackaging under 30 individual postage systems – all of this just-in-time!
„Successful logistics operators are able to adapt their procedures and processes flexibly to changes and unforeseen events. Here, in Gütersloh, customers like Westaflex know to appreciate our strength in this flexibility“, says Raben.
„The feeding of our shipment data according to current Raben event codes interlinked just like the tracking monitor for our dispatchers. The structures at Raben are exquisitely professional“, says Westaflex.
Common goals for the future
The regional and international growth of Westaflex has been aligned with that of the Raben Group for about 36 years now. Digital solutions on the one hand create new distribution channels, which, on the other hand, give rise to new logistics concepts. Raben is able to continuously, efficiently and flexibly adapt itself to new conditions, such as the growing product range of Westaflex, statutory requirements and the continued improvement of resilience of global logistics networks.
„This cooperation is characterised by joint developments, transparency and trust. At Raben, we are in good hands, and we couldn’t imagine a better partner!“ – Jan Westerbarkey (CEO, Westaflex).
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