For well over ten years, tectraxx has been delivering customised logistics and transport solutions in the area of technical distribution for the hi-tech sector. Handling high-value goods requires not only extensive expertise but also flexibility and a European partner network.
Supermarkets are looking for a partner who are capable of transporting bulky and heavy items such as refrigerators, freezers and ovens to the point of use. Medical suppliers need a logistics specialist who can manage the transport and exchange of high-value and sensitive equipment. Banks need a trustworthy partner to deliver their ATMs. How are the processes behind such sensitive jobs dealt with and by whom? One thing is clear: challenges of this kind require a lot of expertise, an extensive range of customised service and a great deal of flexibility. Many companies in Eastern Europe are not even aware that there are transport and logistics service providers who specialise in such hi-tech assignments. “Not least because they have traditionally been wary of entrusting bulky, heavy, fragile, sensitive or high-value products to an external partner,” explains Karl Köberl, Head of Business Development at the hi-tech logistics company tectraxx. There is, however, an increasing demand in the market for such partners and service providers who offer specialised B2B solutions that go way beyond traditional haulage and logistics – not least because of the ever shorter development cycles and the steady growth in internationalisation. Recognising the need to offer its customers a complete service – including in the area of technical distribution – the Austrian transport and logistics company Gebrüder Weiss (GW) set up its tectraxx business unit more than ten years ago to handle hi-tech contracts.
Three-level system for quality
The term ‘Technical Distribution’ refers to various product groups in the fields of healthcare (e.g. computed tomography or medicine cabinets), printing (e.g. the type of printers found in offices but also the larger machines used by publishers), safes and ATMs, telecommunications (e.g. transmission towers), computer equipment (e.g. server racks for railway safety), fitness equipment (e.g. for gyms), vending and catering equipment (e.g. refrigerators and ovens in supermarkets) and UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) systems. Goods to be transported fall into three categories, though these are not exclusively based on the value of the merchandise. In the first group or level (Basic), the goods are delivered to the point of use, unpacked and, as appropriate, assembled or installed ready for use. At the next level (Technical), delivery crews receive additional training relevant to the product so that they are able to carry out specific installations, for example with photocopiers that have paper feed and sorting trays. Transport of such machines tends to be more complex than in the Basic segment, generally because of their size. The merchandise often comes without any sort of packaging and therefore has to be securely stowed for transport. The Technical level may require the involvement of a project manager who will be responsible for ensuring that the job goes smoothly and to plan. The third and highest level – High End – is entrusted only to drivers who have had specific training for the product type; they will work with a project manager who may make a preliminary visit to carry out an on-site assessment. A High End project will always be a one-off job, e.g. delivery of a complete printing press, of equipment for an operating theatre or of an ATM for a bank. However, the market in Austria for certain groups of products is still in its infancy.
Competitive edge thanks to TENESO European partnership
There is one common factor to all three levels of Technical Distribution: these jobs require a two-man crew who use one of the vehicles from the tectraxx fleet that has been specially fitted out with tools and equipment such as a sack trolley, pallet jack, hydraulic platform, electrical stair climber and lashing straps. Since 1st January 2010, tectraxx has been part of TENESO Europe SE, a Europe-wide network of industry leaders which specialises in transport and logistics for sensitive and costly hi-tech products and which is co-owned by its members. The association offers hi-tech logistics solutions to a uniformly excellent standard throughout Europe, and all from a single source thanks to its unified IT network (including SAP which facilitates seamless tracking in real time), its structured pricing policy and its simplified communication for the customer by virtue of a single point of contact. At the same time, customers still enjoy all the benefits that come from using a local operator with its own national network.
Smoothly functioning collaboration
Since October 2014, tectraxx has been working on behalf of a German company specialising in the sale and servicing of catering equipment. The job involves delivering commercial ovens and other kitchen appliances and accessories to the largest supermarkets in Austria, to petrol stations, schools, kindergartens and military installations. The special challenge is that the devices weigh up to 350 kilos and have to be raised onto a work surface. Careful packaging beforehand also plays an important role in repair logistics. Not a problem for tectraxx, whose service portfolio includes delivery by two-man teams to the point of use, unpacking and proper disposal of the packaging material, new-for-old replacements and the professional removal of unwanted equipment. Furthermore, engineers working for the distributing company receive accurate information from tectraxx on the timing of delivery to the end customer. Often, tectraxx will be on site together with the specialist engineer so that the appliance can immediately be made ready for operation. In the case of repairs, the appliance is collected from the end customer and transported to the sales and service company where it is inspected by a qualified engineer. Repair costs are estimated and the customer informed. If the appliance is deemed beyond economic repair, the item will be professionally disposed of with the customer’s authorisation.
Good prospects for the future
Bernd Breugem, Head of tectraxx Business Unit: “This type of contract gives us the opportunity to grow together with our customers to meet the special challenges. In tectraxx, we have succeeded in developing an overall concept that is equal to the demands of hi-tech logistics, and with the strength and experience of our parent company GW, we knew that we could guarantee high performance and quality right from the outset. As a member and shareholder of Teneso, we can draw on additional expertise and synergies to the benefit of our customers, thereby deriving competitive advantage in the European market.” Fine words, but they are borne out by the regular orders coming in from customers both old and new. There is great enthusiasm for tectraxx, GW and TENESO Europe SE, with all three organisations standing for quality, customer focus and partnership. So the prospects for the future are bright, especially in the area of Technical Distribution.
See also: www.tectraxx.com/en