Logistics by Osculati, the leader of marine accessories
During our recent visit to Osculati’s headquarters, we found out a cutting-edge logistic system.
The Italian company, specialized in the production of marine accessories, supplies over 5,000 professional customers around the world every day that, in their turn, resell Osculati products to thousands of individuals. The supplying process is carried out in record time.
The reason for the success lies in a technological punctual logistic system. Orders can be placed online and, when they have no problems, they pass from the website to the warehouse automatically and in real time. The process is completely digitized.
This advanced logistic system results into an important advantage for other Osculati’s customers. We are talking about boat manufacturers that, thanks to a just-in-time supply method, can keep their manufacturing process lean. This is the business logistics we found out in Segrate with Alberto Osculati.
Storage is the most striking part of logistics to those who, like us, have had the chance to visit Osculati’s headquarters. In particular, we were impressed by the two depots that make up the central building, ie those that are connected to each other and used for the intensive collection of materials.
They house two towers that look like two Trasformers or the famous robots of Holliwood movies not only for their uninterrupted and automatic movement but also for the “cyber” sound they produce.
These are very special machines; they are called “vertical warehouses” and are used for the storage and the rotation management of small and medium products. Then can accommodate items up to 6 meters in height.
At the foot of the vertical warehouses, employees receive orders on a personal digital device and transfer the identification number to the interface of the impressive machine. Inside the latter, the materials, stored in drawers, are first automatically identified by the software, and then picked up and moved by mechanical lifts. Finally, the batches of products are put on a bench for the final withdrawal, which is carried out by employees. It is a fast, tidy and precise process that, in addition to saving time, also optimizes the use of interior spaces.
Even in the peripheral warehouses, where slow-moving products and bulky materials are stored, there is a unique storage method. This happens in the depot that bears the number 2 on the door.
Here, the walls of the shelves move, it seems to be on the stairs of Hogwards. The shelves, arranged in wall rows, are almost as high as the ceiling and occupy practically the whole span. Each wall of shelves rests on guided wheels and is motorized, which allows lateral movement. Of course, this movement is not designed to amaze but to remove the space occupied by corridors and therefore to increase the already large volumes of the warehouse.
Collection and packaging
The company receives an average of 300 orders a day, all represented by marine accessories whose size is usually quite different. They must be all managed, composed and packaged with extreme care before shipping. Far from being simple, this daily process is managed by an advanced information system that reduces human errors and avoids the use of paper.
Every order received by the offices is transmitted electronically to the PDA of employees who are responsible for taking the items from the storage warehouses. When items are all collected and identified by a bar code, employees send the complete order to the packing department.
This final task is carried out with extreme care. The results are well-packed packages of various dimensions.
Order processing: shipping
When items are perfectly packaged, they are also ready for shipping. Most of shipments come from the main depots, ie the two interconnected ones in the middle of the building, thanks to the unloading flaps positioned on the west side. Packages are loaded onto shipping carriers to reach their final destination.
Even this process is controlled by the same information system that supports the staff, speeds us the process and facilitates the decision-making process. Every order coming in or out the warehouse is recorded and the data, together with the information coming from the other departments, are sent to the management system in real time. This way, errors are minimized.
Sales offices thus have an accurate picture of the production trend, of stocks in the warehouse and of the status of shipments. This way, Osculati can provide its customers with precise timing of order fulfillment which, as we have already seen, takes place thanks to a logistics that makes innovation, control and precision its key points.
” We are pleasured and honored of working with types of customers that are completely different from each other. This makes our activity difficult bu interesting at the same time.
Our orders range from a few items to thousands of lines that can be very scary; instead, we are used to them. Of course, the first are processed in a few hours but it’s equally amazing how even the second ones require only the time of collection because everything is immediately available even in significant amounts.
Then, there are also the orders scheduled with just-in-time delivery: they allow boat manufacturers to optimize and keep their warehouse lean. This is due to the trust they can put in two aspects: the fact that planned deliveries are always absolutely confirmed; and the experience that, even in the face of unexpected demand peaks, we are always there”.