SCHULTE Lagertechnik is a specialist for customised shelving systems. Managing Director Andrea Schulte explains in an interview what makes the company special and what ultimately benefits customers.
Mrs Schulte, in 2021 you will celebrate your 100-year company anniversary. How has your company developed into to what it is today?
Andrea Schulte: Since the foundation of our company in 1921 by my grandfather and his brother as a metal goods factory, Gebrüder Schulte has been developing steadily. From the original operation of the tannery to our first products such as the curtain rods or shopping trolleys in the 1950s and the household and cellar shelves in the 1960s. We have always looked around to see which products are needed in the home. The growth of our company has gone hand in hand with the market and the requirements of our customers.
Where does SCHULTE Lagertechnik stand today?
After my uncle successfully led the company for many years, the Schulte brothers are now managed by my cousin and myself in the third generation. Today's main pillar of the company Gebrüder Schulte are our industrial racks, which are sold under the brand name SCHULTE Lagertechnik. The portfolio includes cantilever racking, pallet racking, wide-span shelving, shelving systems and small to large systems and mezzanine systems. We are particularly well positioned in the shelving sector with the MULTIplus system. With this entire portfolio, exactly what customers need for their warehouse products and processes in intralogistics can be implemented – from screws and online shop goods to machine parts weighing several tons: everything can be stored perfectly. And: All this is still "Made in Germany" – produced in Sauerland, absolutely high quality with top price performance.
What is special about SCHULTE Lagertechnik? What can customers and clients look forward to?
We are not simply a shelf manufacturer and shelf supplier, but a system provider. It is important to us to offer complete solutions – everything from one source. This includes initial consultation at the beginning, professional project planning in the sense of creative engineering as well as complete assembly and final acceptance. Our consultants are close to the customer, look closely at what is needed and try to work out the best possible solution in cooperation with our research and development department, even if it has to be a special solution that does not yet exist today. We are partners at eye level and attach great importance to close cooperation and coordination with the customer. Our credo: "make smart". A SCHULTE shelving system is characterised by many clever details which create more space on the same area, simplify and speed up storage, order picking, dispatch or contribute to improved ergonomics. For example, if our planners design an e-commerce warehouse, they optimally coordinate routes and storage options and integrate returns management. This brings time and cost advantages.
Where do you currently see the largest challenges of the market?
We have the "Amazon Prime" effect on the market. Fast delivery, best possible service and top quality at a good price. Customers and end users expect goods ordered online to be available the next day if possible. This means that e-commerce warehouses must be trimmed for structure, clarity, easy picking, short distances and speed. In times of digitalisation, service and integrated services have also become increasingly important factors for the customer. This includes professional and fast advice on the phone and on site as well as digital tools and processes to support our customers. That’s why we must continue to develop steadily in the future and not lose sight of the customer.
How do you regard the position of SCHULTE Lagertechnik on the topics of Industry 4.0 and Intralogistics 4.0?
Our own workflow in production and logistics at the Sundern site is already integrated in the process of digitalisation. This enables us to manufacture to customer specifications and to deliver just-in-time, largely using our own fleet of vehicles. For our customers, we develop shelving solutions in such a way that they are optimally integrated into the respective intralogistics concept. That is to say: We ensure that the physical warehouse and the respective data management in the form of inventory management & Co. go hand in hand in the best possible way. In addition, we are continuously expanding the SCHULTE service digitally. Examples are our software solutions pCon-Planner and our SCHULTE 3D-Configurator, with which we support our specialist dealers. But we are also increasingly using digital solutions in sales and marketing to improve service and communication. This helps our customers and us – and saves time and costs in the long term
Mrs Schulte, what are your entrepreneurial goals? In which direction is SCHULTE Lagertechnik developing?
We will continue on our path as a solid family business in Sauerland. We continue to focus on research and development as well as innovation development for the benefit of our customers. Also in the future we will be the shelving specialist at the side of our customers, delivering, with our "clever" shelving and customised solutions, the best possible performance. We keep a close eye on how the market and the industry are developing and provide appropriate impetus. It is important to us, even as a 100-year-old company, to move with the times and always be one step ahead. I am looking forward to continuing to offer clever storage solutions with a strong team in exciting times.