Porsche Parts Distribution Centre
Every Part at the Right Time, at the Right Place
Porsche Parts Distribution Centre organises parts distribution using a Zebra® 220XiIIIPlus™ barcode printing solution.
In the highly competitive automotive industry, parts distribution and the after-sales market are of increasing importance when it comes to generating additional revenue. Drivers of Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, Skoda, or Porsche vehicles in Austria and Eastern Europe quite often obtain replacement parts from the Porsche PDC in Austria. Headquartered in Salzburg, this international automotive business enterprise oversees the brand portfolio in Austria and South-East Europe for both wholesale and retail. The Porsche Konstruktionen GmbH & Co KG Parts Distribution Centre (PDC) is responsible for supplying replacement parts in Austria, eleven other countries in South-East Europe and it also organises storage for these markets. Smooth-running logistics are essential to the success of the PDC. Every month, it uses sophisticated systems and technology to send around 600,000 items to Austrian and Eastern- European business partners and the Zebra's 220XiIIIPlus printer plays a key role in this.
Barcodes for complete control
All incoming and outgoing parts—from disc brakes to spark plugs—are marked with a barcode. Without barcode labels, managing a distribution system of this magnitude would be almost unachievable. To cope with the sheer number of labels a high-performance printer was needed. With the help of its channel partner in Salzburg, the PDC identified its solution with Zebra Technologies. The Zebra 200XiIIIPlus printer has a printing speed of 254 mm per second (55 DIN A4 pages a minute). With a resolution of either 300 or 200 dpi and a print width of up to 216 mm, this specific printer can be adjusted to suit a variety of different requirements. In addition, it is very user-friendly: once connected to the local network, the printer can reliably store and process the largest of print jobs due to it's large in-built memory. A back-lit display shows the current processing status. Changing the consumable materials requires no IT support. The printer can automatically alert the operator when ink ribbons or printer heads need replacing and these elements can be replaced quickly and easily. For Porsche, high-speed printing and user- friendliness are some of these Zebra printers' most important features.
Streamlined processes for incoming and outgoing goods
The PDC chose to use Zebra printers twelve years ago. Today at the PDC, the third generation of this printer is being used today - and is still a key component in ensuring the smooth running of logistical processes. These printers receive the information to be printed from the goods management system over the LAN. The 13-digit barcode number controls the flow of goods. Parts can be traced at any time - during the ordering, commissioning or delivery process. Zebra printers produce self-adhesive labels that PDC employees stick directly onto the parts' packaging. The PDC has also configured the printers in such a way that other pertinent information order and delivery information can be included on the labels as well. The image to be printed can be designed using intuitive software that requires minimal programming.
Dealing with errors
To help process all deliveries on time and to guarantee as low an error rate as possible, barcodes must be produced accurately and legibly. Here, the PDC benefited from the Salzburg-based consulting firm's long-standing experience with identification and barcode systems. For maximum reliability the channel partner recommended combining the Zebra printers with barcode verifiers. If an illegible barcode is produced, the verifier identifies the error visually and audibly. With a monthly printing volume of 600,000 labels for outgoing goods, this reduced errors to a minimum. The advantage for the PDC is that their channel partner implemented the solution with minimal programming that the Zebra printers were still available to perform at maximum capacity despite the verification process. The PDC values its channel partner's knowledge of Zebra's products and benefits from having their expert opinion close at hand. Additionally it is also an authorised repair centre for all Zebra product lines meaning that any problems that arise can be quickly eliminated.
A choice with a future
As the business of replacement parts grows in Eastern Europe, more Zebra printers will be used. Zebra's twelve-year history in Salzburg is now also being matched in neighbouring Hungary. In 2008, the Hungarian importer Part Centre Budapest was also equipped with Zebra printers to accurately handle its incoming and outgoing goods. They are now benefitting from improved quality and lower manual intervention