Züger, a Switzerland-based supplier of mozzarella and other cream cheese specialties, is using an end-to-end software solution from CSB-System International, Willowbrook, Ill., to keep processes at the factory as lean as possible. This enabled the company to efficiently plan and optimize workflows and information throughout all operations and led to a 50% time saving in order picking.

Züger processes milk from 400 vendors for about 700 different products. There are 2,500 packaging components, seven production departments and three high-bay storages. CSB’s EPR software optimally controls all processes in administration and resource management. All data from milk acceptance, production and inventory management to picking and shipping is entered directly in the ERP system for further processing. 

“Today, we have CSB as a turnkey solution,” says Christof Züger, chief executive officer of Züger. “This means we have only one system for financial accounting, human resources, procurement, inventory, sales and quality management.”

For its internal logistics, Züger uses a combination of high-bay storage and mobile picking. Items are stored in a first-in, first out sequence to ensure goods can be delivered as fresh as possible. The system links every pallet with the sell-by date and lot number, and also controls the automatic stock removal of pallets as replenishment for picking.

Customer orders are transmitted directly to the touch panels of the electric forklifts via a wireless connection. The screen shows in which area of the picking zone the pallet with the ordered product is located. The picker scans the pallet label, removes the item and confirms the picked quantity at the scanner. When a pallet is empty, the system automatically requisitions a new pallet from the high-bay storage.

“This ensures permanent replenishment of the picking zone, so that customer orders can be processed in a quick and efficient manner,” says Züger. “Compared to the past, we have been able to save around 50% of the time here. At the same time, our paperless packing methods have minimized error rates.”

In terms of planning, the introduction of CSB Coverage Planning provides availability of materials and capacities and efficiently drives internal processes, so that all orders can be delivered on the requested date and at minimal cost. Important data from procurement, production, inventory and sales is available in real time, and the availability of materials and capacity is monitored permanently, thus reducing inventory capital commitment.

In the event of any returns, CSB-Document Steering provides a standardized procedure that enables the company to quickly identify the reason for the return and respond accordingly.

Züger continues to drive digitalization even further at its plant in Oberbüren and with the upgrade of its German operations. Further CSB solutions to be introduced at Oberbüren include a maintenance module that facilitates early maintenance and repair of machinery and hands-free terminals in goods receiving, so that data is transferred to the EPR system even faster.

“We believe we have already installed a lot here in Oberbüren, so we can efficiently live a kind of Industry 4.0,” adds Züger. “This has many benefits for us, but also for our customers.”