Since December 2021, Tom Walther has been supporting the HÖRMANN Intralogistics team as Business Development Manager and is in charge of the current topics in the intralogistics industry; his focus is on the development of the Micro Fulfillment offering.
HÖRMANN Intralogistics (HI): Hello Mr. Walther, how do you experience the development of intralogistics in recent years?
Tom Walther (TW): Intralogistics has gained a great deal of importance in recent years. Many logistics services are currently experiencing strong growth. Due to this increase and the associated need for employees, the labor market is currently very covered, i.e. companies are finding it very difficult to find new employees. As a result, they are forced to retain existing employees on the one hand and to optimize the use of employees for expansions and to question "simple / standardized" work processes and to automate them if necessary.
HI: Where do you see the current topics and trends in the market?
TW: Personally, I see that the topics such as fast delivery of goods (same-day / tomorrow), high availability of goods and innovative user guidance in online retail (topic IT and user experience) have gained a lot of importance!
HI: What is the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic on the market and on our business?
TW: With Covid-19 and the accompanying contact restrictions and lockdowns, people are buying more online than brick-and-mortar. Online retail is currently receiving extreme growth. Above all, driven by the big players such as Amazon, customer expectations for delivery times have been raised further and further (same-day delivery / next-day delivery).
Many people work from their home offices and no longer travel to the cities. As a result, traditional brick-and-mortar business in cities is suffering, among other things. Home deliveries have increased extremely due to contact restrictions, among other things, as can be seen in the enormous growth of delivery services such as Lieferando, Gorilla, Knuspr der der Flaschenpost.
If, with the end of the restrictions, more people have to drive back to the offices and this at the same or even increased business of the delivery services, there will again be traffic chaos in the big cities. This will further complicate the delivery of orders and thus also put a strain on the business case of the delivery companies.
HI: What solutions and innovations are you driving forward? What are customers particularly encouraged to do?
TW: Innovation through automation adapted to customer needs is an important part of our offer. We are not a manufacturer, but a partner and expert for the needs of our customers. We offer innovative automation solutions from small warehouses to highly complex high-bay racking systems.
Our core competence lies not only in the selection of the right technology and optimal material flow, but also in our innovative in-house software "HiLIS", which can be customized to meet individual customer requirements.
HÖRMANN Intralogistics has significant references in a wide range of sectors / industries and very important partnerships with market leaders in their field, including: AutoStore®, Strongpoint, Robominds, Safelog, Actindo. Thus we have strong partners at hand, with whom I would like to create the best micro-fulfillment concept, in order to achieve a significant optimization for our customers.
HI: What do you have to say about sustainability?
TW: Sustainability has a very high priority throughout the HÖRMANN Group. The first sustainability report will be published for 2021 this year together with the Annual Report 2021. Our systems are also planned to be efficient and energy-efficient, e.g. AutoStore®. Ten robots here consume as much electricity as a conventional vacuum cleaner.
HI: What do you think are the USPS of the HI?
TW: HÖRMANN has been a partner to our customers for 35 years and is competent in the field of automation of intralogistics. We have customers from a wide range of industries, and thus a very broad know-how and understanding of our customers' needs. Most important for me are our unique combination of partnerships and the innovative drive in all areas to be close to innovations, but not to leave out proven experience from working systems.
HI: What are your plans for 2022?
TW: The expansion of our market position in the European MFC market - but in general we are open for projects everywhere. Also the further development of our solutions with the partners, but also with the customers is an important goal! In addition, the market launch of the Moving Racks is scheduled for 2022.