A close service relationship over many years, tailoring the complete Yale® range of products to meet the customer’s requirements has been the secret of success for Yale dealer, CLS with Sacchi Elettroforniture.
“Sacchi presented us with their specific logistics operation challenges, requiring the movement of a whole range of different items both inside and outside the warehouse on round-the-clock shifts,” said Mr. Crovetto, CLS-Yale Sales Manager. “At CLS we are very proud of our close supplier-customer relationship, and we have been carefully following the changing needs and development of the logistics requirements for Sacchi for more than a decade so that we can continually adapt to their needs.”
The Client: Sacchi Elettroforniture
Sacchi Elettroforniture was founded in 1957 and today is a leader in wholesale and retail of electrical equipment, lighting equipment, electrical appliances and complete materials. For 60 years Sacchi has been working to offer high quality service, providing the best possible products and solutions, with 56 electrical material sales locations in Lombardy, Piedmont, Liguria, Tuscany and Trentino, 2 consumer electronics megastores, a logistics centre with more than 50,000 goods available in 24 hours and a fleet of 100 vehicles. Over 1,000 people work in perfect synergy, with high levels of experience, to respond promptly to the requests of over 40,000 clients.
The logistics centre in Desio (Monza Brianza, Lombardy) is at the heart of this professional retail network, covering an area of 36,000 square metres, including a 3,000 square metre automated warehouse for pallet stocking and 2,000 square metres of automated warehousing for bulk materials and boxes, with instant availability of 50,000 items and 300,000 items on order. The warehouse structure is designed to facilitate the picking and storage of boxes, pallets and cable reels, even at great heights.
The distribution centre serves Sacchi customers directly as well as through numerous branches located in northern Italy.
Sacchi chooses Yale and CLS
In 2004, the steady growth of Sacchi made it necessary to move from its previous logistics and distribution centre in Lissone, to a more technologically advanced and larger location in Desio. The new features of the warehouse also meant a complete renewal of the fleet, with previous materials handling products being gradually replaced over a four year period with Yale as the official favoured supplier. For over 12 years Yale and CLS have provided logistics solutions to Sacchi, with a substantial increase in their working relationship from 2008.
This has involved a full consultation on requirements, specifying adaptations to the trucks for Sacchi and providing the customised range of Yale products which CLS then supports and maintains. This has meant a close and operationally efficient relationship thanks to specialist knowledge and timely assistance.
Customisation for various load requirements
The logistics management is vertical and the trucks work in teams within a bigger automated warehouse along with the traditional warehouse areas, integrating perfectly in terms of the materials handling tasks of the whole distribution chain.
At the Desio headquarters, more than 80 counterbalance and warehouse range trucks are in operation, in addition to approximately 50 trucks used in the various branches of the client. The fleet is varied in order to meet the multiple handling needs of the customer, inside an impressive storage facility. The traditional counterbalanced trucks with capacities of 1500 to 4000 Kg are assisted by the vertical order pickers with the operator on board, intended for large shelves or pallet shelves in picking and storage operations, which in some cases are provided with specific equipment and specially designed for Sacchi.
The platform and non-platform electric pallet trucks are used for internal handling operations and lifting loads. The reach trucks are used for handling particularly bulky products (pallets or crates) along the warehouse lanes, thanks to the great manoeuvrability of Yale trucks in tight spaces.
Sacchi depends on the trucks’ efficiency to carry out some day-to-day ancillary handling tasks, such as management of waste into big metal bins in the outside area, for which Yale trucks were customised by replacing conventional forks with specific equipment to perform the movement and rotate the container.
The optimization of processes and attention to waste by Sacchi led to the identification of a customized solution in 2008. A recharging area for the forklift truck battery: the use of a dual battery, normally at high frequency, and a personalized Yale truck for the battery changing operation, making it possible to drastically reduce the space used to recharge the trucks and to ensure their continuity of use.
In specific materials handling operations such as for locations where there are containers or reels of different dimensions, shifters and positioners are installed on every truck, which are mostly Yale MR series reach trucks. The handling needs here require reels to be stocked in high shelf units, and this demands high levels of truck stability.
Over the years, thanks to the high efficiency of the logistics centre, Sacchi has reduced the size of its stores whilst maintaining quality of service and product availability. Yale has worked with the client to identify the trucks ideally suited to materials handling in tight spaces, with “user friendly” characteristics for the operator and smaller dimensions (Sacchi changed from reach trucks with a lifting capacity of 2.5 tonnes to trucks with a lifting capacity of 1.6 tonnes).
Operator ergonomics is key
“The ergonomic conditions for our workers are a fundamental value for us, and the choice of the truck includes both the materials handling operation and the driver’s comfort,” confirms Giuseppe Pellegatta, General Service and Logistics Manager at Sacchi. “And this is not to mention the ease of driving, thanks to the presence of joysticks and the ergonomic interior of the cabins.”
Many of the changes requested are aimed at enhancing protection for operators in Sacchi’s specific applications, for example the inclusion of an overhead guard above the operating position to offer protection from falling objects, as well as scheduled tyre changes and ergonomic seats.
Cost-effectiveness, productivity and environmental savings
“We can endorse Yale on all fronts,” continues Pellegatta. “The electronic elements of the trucks are sophisticated, with no difficulties in using the telematics, and the tools to diagnose any anomalies are extremely intuitive and are easily resolved. This undoubtedly aids our productivity.”
Optimising the operation of the trucks and maintenance of the tyres and forks are aspects which CLS and Sacchi monitor closely. Yale and CLS provide an agile and efficient service to Sacchi through the supply of a highly manoeuvrable and dependable fleet with fast response times.
With the general climate of uncertainty in 2008, Sacchi chose to move to a rental agreement, to optimise the number of machines according to the workflow and is grateful to CLS for providing the flexibility and punctuality of service they required. With the opening of the new automated warehouse in 2010, the old trucks were replaced by a complete Yale fleet and the dealer fully satisfied the needs of the customer with a combined rental and purchase solution.
Also, Sacchi has always been very attentive to waste and environmental impact. Ten years ago they installed high frequency batteries instead of the classic heavier and bulkier ones, so as to reduce energy consumption and charging time.
“The product is excellent and working with Yale and CLS provides flexibility and rapid professional assistance, by advising on the choice of trucks for specific needs. This is a service that certainly represents important added value,” concludes Pellegatta. “The high quality of Yale products together with CLS services provide a complete service and ease the logistical burden for us: we can dedicate ourselves to our customers, to our 1,000 employees, to the technical specifications of orders.” www.yale.com