Pets have been the focus of TRIXIE for over 40 years. With a lot of interest, expertise and passion for animals and their owners, the company has grown steadily. As European market leader, the TRIXIE Heimtierbedarf GmbH & Co. KG serves today more than 5,000 trade customers in Germany. Customers can choose from an extensive product range of around 6,500 articles for dogs, cats, birds, small animals, fish and reptiles.
The company employs more than 350 people on a permanent basis and about 90 temporary employees. To ensure the availability of skilled employees in the future, the company offer vocational training in seven different professions.
The extensive product range is exported to over 80 countries. For the support in Germany and Austria, 24 employees act in the field service and three as merchandisers. Seven employees support the direct sales in England and eleven on the French market.
“The distribution of the future” has been introduced at TRIXIE already and the staff is being supported by multimedia information systems. The technology should not hinder staff but give them the freedom to concentrate on what they do best: inform, persuade, promote decision-making processes and prepare as well as perform transactions.
Company headquarter of TRIXIE is Tarp, a town in the Schleswig-Flensburg region in Schleswig-Holstein. Here, the company owns more than 84,000 square meters and coordinates the complete logistics and distribution from its headquarter. Modern technology, fast delivery, a customer-oriented service and motivated employees are among the factors that contribute to business success.
Despite growth and success, TRIXIE remains down-to-earth. The company’s philosophy involves supporting social projects at home and abroad. Therefore, TRIXIE regularly donates to animal welfare, invests in the education of pupils and sponsors the equipment of search and rescue dog teams.
The company grows year after year and has constantly improved the efficiency of its processes to the benefit of customers. Because customer satisfaction is a primary concern for TRIXIE, processes have been adapted to allow the dispatch of goods on the same day an order is received. Many product lines are developed, inspected and tested by experts in-house. High quality standards and the careful handling of complaints are self-evident for TRIXIE.
“We are customer- and supplier-oriented […] because we face customers and suppliers friendly and take their wishes, suggestions, questions and complaints seriously. We are reliable, know our strengths and weaknesses and are willing to admit mistakes. We share a cooperative relationship based on trust and fairness with many of our customers and suppliers,” reads the TRIXIE value statement on customers and suppliers.
Most of the more than 5,000 customers are pet shops, zoo specialist stores and chains as well as construction and gardening markets. What do customers expect? Fast and reliable delivery, good products with a high quality and, of course, an excellent price-performance ratio. In particular, the high availability of the products is distinctive factor – and the bar is set high. Treating complaints fairly creates trust. Moreover, the retail segment receives sales support when stacking shelves and in inventory management. Last but not least, TRIXIE offers an extensive catalogue, which customer can also browse on the internet.
The heart of TRIXIE: The logistics centre
Logistics centres are always a big challenge for businesses. Goods have to be stored, controlled and administrated in automated high rack systems and computers design optimal processes for material flow and ensures their efficient execution. With a warehouse with more than 43,000 square meters, a storage capacity of more than 60,000 pallets and a shuttle system with over than 18,000 storage positions, the challenge for TRIXIE is huge already. The requirements on logistics are further increased by an average of 2,000 orders, the dispatch of over 1,000 parcels and 6000 pallets every day. The shuttle system conveys a length of more than 1,000 meters, buffers order parts and supplies goods to storage areas, and has a direct connection to workspaces. To understand these dimension, image that the conveyor belt covers two football fields to ensure the automated transportation and storage in the warehouse. Another highlight is the completely paperless commissioning. As a result, the diverse logistical processes in the warehouse are performed simple and secure but in any case, the optimisation of logistic processes at TRIXIE is a major challenge for both, employees and machines.
An IT environment that connects humans and machines
To ensure that man and machine can master these challenges, TRIXIE relies on a sophisticated IT concept. The IT landscape consists mainly of Dell systems and an ERP solution from Microsoft, which provide a high availability and perfect processes. The ERP solution openPR.de/t761166openPR.de/t761166Microsoft Dynamics NAV allows controlling all aspects of the business activity comprehensively – from financial management to procurement, sales, storage and logistics to manufacturing and service management. Despite, the ERP system is characterised by its ease of use and the option of interlocking it with modern technologies. It covers all relevant applications including governance, accounting, purchasing, sales and logistics as well as multi-currency support, which is important for a global company such as TRIXIE.
TRIXIE has adjusted the standardised software based on own experiences and existing know-how to the specific requirements of the company and especially to the high demands of the sophisticated logistics centre to further improve its operations and accelerate the underlying processes. Thereby, new ideas and processes can directly be deployed. That the development and adjustments are made in-house creates significant competitive advantages for the company.
The IT department with its employees is led by Thorben Jensen. The department fulfils the tasks of software development, administration with hardware procurement and support as well as domain administration and end-user support.
Controlling critical applications
Answering the question of which application of TRIXIE are of particular importance or are categorised as critical at TRIXIE, Eric Biehl says: “Of course, our focus is the ERP system, which controls the logistics processes. Any failure of this core application would require to switch to paper. That would be the maximum credible accident.”
It is obvious that such a worst-case scenario would involve a number of negative consequence ranging from a loss of production over delayed deliveries to stoppage of goods receipt and releases, whereby the physical damage is accompanied by the image loss as a reliable supplier.
To prevent this scenario from happening and ensure the timely delivery of more than 2,000 orders every day, the data and processes are backed up. The backup process is structured in several stages and involves a private storage system and an external data centre. “We are pleased with the accomplishments so far, but it remains our goal to minimise the likelihood of a worst-case scenario to occur even further,” summarises Eric Biehl to the point.
To ensure that the IT meets the high demands and no interferences occur – such as a loss of production or scanner failure on forklifts so trucks can no longer be loaded – IT managers at TRIXIE have taken every precaution to meet the requirements together with Technogroup.
TRIXIE has also integrated their values into the demand for smooth warehouse operations and IT processes: “We are a forward-looking company […] because we do not stand still and continuously strive for further improvements and optimisation. We are vigilant, consider the current situation critically and accept new challenges. We provide modern workplaces and invest in education, training and personnel development.”
TRIXIE finds Technogroup
“It has been alleged that the tender for IT maintenance at TRIXIE included the question, how many pets are kept by Technogroup employees,” grins Thorben Jensen from TRIXIE. “Reality is that the cooperation with Technogroup exists since 2014. The approach of Technogroup was extraordinarily professional, and the price-performance ratio is fair. A successful cooperation includes to get along well. Taking the initiative, defining objectives, proposing measures, coordinating ideas, giving structure, all these steps go hand in hand. We don’t regret the cooperation at all and would not hesitate to choose the Technogroup again”, he comments on the partnership.
“I can confirm that pets in the Technogroup staff are very abundant. But as mentioned before, this aspect has not been taken into account. But to us, satisfied customers that appreciate our services are very important. We at Technogroup have values too, which are similar to those at TRIXIE. We know that our strength are our employees and that we are that strong and authentic because we operate as a team. We too always prioritise the customer because the customer is the best reference to create trust. This is a new challenge over and over again,” explains Claus Fischer, Managing Director and Founder of Technogroup, on the partnership with TRIXIE.