MAHLE Aftermarket has opened a highly automated warehouse in Olive Branch, Mississippi. The warehouse speeds up deliveries to workshops and distributors, reduces the frequency of returns and enables an order to be commissioned within 30 minutes. MAHLE has invested approximately EUR 6 million (approx. $6.4 million USD) in the 1,200 m² (roughly 12916.69 square feet) fully automated facility. Additional warehouse locations in Europe will be similarly outfitted beginning in 2023.
MAHLE says digitization is an important tool for all group divisions, enabling higher efficiency and better-quality assurance. “MAHLE Aftermarket has been operating digitally in many areas for a long time now. We’re building upon that with automated order-picking, to better serve our customers,” said Olaf Henning, member of the MAHLE Management Committee and director of the Aftermarket business unit.
Scalable, automated warehouses allow MAHLE Aftermarket to react flexibly to fluctuating stock and shipments, ensuring reliability for its customers. In these times of increasingly tighter global supply chains, this is especially important, the company says. Highly automated warehouses are also more sustainable and resource-efficient. The system MAHLE chose uses only about one quarter of the area of a conventional warehouse. This reduces costs and decreases the amount of land needed for logistics locations. In addition, automated warehouses are extremely efficient: 10 of their robotic shuttles use only as much electricity as a vacuum cleaner.
At the Olive Branch location, which encompasses about 30,000 m2 of production and logistics operations, 22,000 different filtration and thermal management products and engine components are currently stocked. Additionally, the logistics center serves as a flexible and scalable way to organize consumables for the on-site production of engine gaskets. In 2023, the next logistics location to be converted will be Décines in France.
MAHLE is driving forward the expansion of its digital offerings for independent workshops and retailers at a rapid pace—ranging from e-commerce solutions, information, technical support and training, all the way to virtual trade shows.