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A Smarter Look Into Future Logistics

While many other companies are still busy discussing the possibilities of digital transformation, IT service provider Bechtle AG is already using data glasses in its daily operations – automating its logistics processes and increasing efficiency.

Feature_Bechtle_1-248x177.jpgDo you remember which part of your body your personal bar code is attached to? Kidding aside: The cool glasses that you see on more and more Bechtle warehouse staff these days just look like they’ve been designed personally by James Bond’s resident tekkie “Q”. In truth, they’re completely harmless – yet extremely important. Built by Vuzix, the heart of the smart glasses is a mini monitor with integrated camera that supports staff at the Bechtle Logistics Center digitally when picking orders. The integrated SAP AR (Augmented Reality) Warehouse Picker software then transfers the scans automatically to the SAP retailing system.

With 66 IT system houses in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland and e-commerce subsidiaries in 14 countries across Europe, the Bechtle Group provides midsize companies, large corporations, and institutions such as the European Commission with IT equipment of all kinds. Its business model boasts an effective combination of IT sales and services, with a portfolio of more than 68,000 hardware and software products that customers can order either online or through telesales. An average of 7,500 packages leaves its main distribution center near Heilbronn daily. But sometimes even 210,000 square feet of space aren’t enough anymore: The Group just kicked off construction of a new, 60,000-square-foot expansion of its warehouse. And once that’s done, you’ll see even more data glasses around. The joint project innovation project recently launched between Bechtle and SAP is the continuation of a successful partnership. Back in 2011, Bechtle was an SAP ERP customer and wanted to modernize its central warehouse. It chose SAP Extended Warehouse Management (SAP EWM). Area manager Klaus Kratz remembers the time well. “Wearable computers” were still in their infancy back then, he recalls.

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