Case Study

How process automation saved Niemann-Laes 28 work days a year

Industriebedarf Niemann-Laes GmbH from Lüneburg is more than just a wholesaler. In addition to selling industrial supplies, the company offers several additional valuable services, such as regular maintenance of security-relevant objects on the customer's premises.

Every item that is subject to regular safety inspections (e.g. fire extinguishers) sold by the company comes with an inspection sticker, which makes it easier for their end-customers to keep track of the item's maintenance and safety inspections.

Due to the rapid growth, Niemann-Laes asked us to help them make the process of sticker production and deployment more scalable and reliable. As the result, we have helped them achieve their goals, but also save the company at least 28 working days a year thanks to automation of manual processes.

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The Challenge

As soon as someone orders an item that is subject to inspection, Niemann-Laes has to generate a corresponding inspection sticker. This sticker then has to be attached to the item in time before it's sent to the customer.

Illustration: A frustrated man is sitting at his desk looking at a stack of papers. An Excel spreadsheet is open on his computer. Next to him is a woman with more paperwork.

In the old process, the employee responsible for the task had to work with Excel lists. After receiving an email, he manually transferred data into the Excel sheet, manually printed stickers, and sent them to the shipping department, where the stickers were attached to the corresponding items.

Oftentimes, if the employee couldn't process an email or print the sticker in time, the items were already on their way to the customer.

In short: the process was prone to failure.

The Solution

In the discovery phase, we thoroughly analysed the process, software, and hardware used. Then we developed and implemented a solution, which helped automate the process.

Thus, all relevant data is now automatically compiled upon the order is placed and inspection stickers are then automatically printed directly in the shipping department. As soon as the order is ready to be shipped, all an employee has to do is attach the corresponding sticker to the package.

Illustration: A man stands at a whiteboard and works while the automated process runs in the background.

The Impact

We were able to help Niemann-Laes achieve a reliable, efficient, and scalable process and:

  • save 28 work days only in the last year;

  • scale the process and make it manageable for increasing order volumes;

  • reduce the print time of inspection stickers from several minutes to seconds;

  • develop a more reliable shipping process;

  • significantly reduce interruptions in everyday work of responsible employees.

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