VALIDATION BY FRAUNHOFER INSTITUTE
In 2010, Epilog’s system for automated warehouse management AtlasWMS received the certificate of validation of quality from the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics.
This is recognition by a renowned German scientific and research institute that, in cooperation with the Dortmund University of Technology, carries out research for the needs of the university and companies alike. It carries out research on material flows, logistic processes in companies, logistics in general, traffic and environmental protection. The institute’s activities are partly supported by the German government, while the institute also finances itself by offering its services in the market as a non–profit organisation.
One of the activities of Fraunhofer IML is managing the Warehouse Logistics Database, pooling some 100 suppliers of services and systems for warehouse logistics management from around the world.
“The German institute only includes in the database those companies that fulfil strict placement criteria. A two-day validation workshop of the company's adequacy and of its processes is performed in order to establish whether these criteria are fulfilled; the institute’s experts perform this on location, i.e., in the company,” explained Tomaž Bezeljak, Head of Systems Analysis, who led the validation process on the part of Epilog. He underlined that “Becoming a participant in the database is certainly recognition of the way we work and it means that we are comparable to the best in the industry. At the same time, this provides assurance to existing and potential customers that we are developing and marketing a high-quality product that can be compared on the basis of uniform criteria to all other similar products by other companies participating in the database.”
The first step during the two–day validation workshop was a visit to the reference solution in Ljubljana. This was followed by a brief description of the company’s organisation and operations.
“Then we had to demonstrate everything that we indicated in the answers to a special and rather comprehensive questionnaire that had to be filled out in advance. This means that for each specific topic or question we had to demonstrate how this aspect works in AtlasWMS, both in substantive terms (very concrete questions on specific system functionalities), strategic terms (development in the future, which functionalities will be given priority, etc.), and from the financial aspect; the institute's experts were also interested to know how we see the future of the industry and the development of such tools in the future (business models, technology, etc.),” Bezeljak describes the demanding two–day process.
As the first Slovene company that has been validated by Fraunhofer IML, Epilog has become a participating company in the Warehouse Logistics Database and thus a member of a community offering the round-the-clock and continual support that is necessary and that enables an up–to–date flow of the latest information and achievements of members’ know-how.
All of the above, however, supports the fundamental aim of the database, that is, much like our own aim, to ensure the best possible level of connectedness among suppliers and their customers, which, after all, is a prerequisite for the provision and development of state–of–the–art services and solutions.