170 TALENTED YOUNG STUDENTS RACK THEIR BRAINS AT THE DRAGONHACK
On 20 and 21 May, the Faculty of Computer and Information Science (FRI) of the University in Ljubljana hosted a Slovene student hackathon entitled DragonHack. A total of 170 students participated in this two-day marathon of “hacking”. With the help of professors and mentors, they sought innovative ideas and creative solutions in both software and hardware, either individually or in groups of four. The goal was to create a project and/or write a code of their own in 24 hours and present it to the jury.
Some 38 teams applied for the presentation, each of which had two minutes to convince the jury with their idea and implementation plan. The Whilly team was deemed to have the most original idea, having invented an alarm on wheels. In the Best Hardware Hack category, the best solution was offered by the PyPhy team, while in the Best Software Hack category the Špohtli team was declared best, and the Best Hack Submitted on a .tech Domain went to Presentio.tech.
Again this year, Epilog supported the event and, through the mentorship of our staff, helped the students to solve the most difficult problems. “We live in a fast, dynamic world. The code written today can be a thing of the past already tomorrow. At Epilog, we are aware that the students of today are our colleagues of tomorrow. I have noticed that the students’ level of initiative and knowledge of IT processes and approaches is improving every year. Given what we’ve seen here, we need not worry about the future of digital development in Slovenia: DragonHack exudes both enthusiasm and a readiness for teamwork”, said our colleague Jakob Režun after the event.
LOGIMAT 2017 BREAKS ALL RECORDS
There were 1,384 exhibitors occupying the 102,000 m2 of space at the New Stuttgart Trade Fair Centre from 14th to 16th March, attracting more than 50,000 visitors in three days. What was all the fuss about? The 15th International Trade Fair LogiMAT 2017, which this year, according to the organisers, broke all records and consolidated its reputation as the most important platform for internal logistics and procurement management. The connecting thread of the fair was global megatrends, and the event took place under the title Digital-Connected-Innovative.
The Epilog team were there yet again with our solutions from the WMSAtlas family of products, as the fair offers an excellent insight into both current trends and forecasts for future development. At the same time, it is a unique opportunity for us to meet with our business partners and clients.
Thank you all for visiting us – we will certainly see you again next year!
IN MARCH WE ARE GOING TO LOGIMAT 2017
“If you don’t find it at LogiMAT, it doesn’t exist.” That is what a participant whispered in the ear of the organisers of the largest International Trade Fair for Distribution, Materials Handling and Information Flow.
And Epilog will be there again this year. From 14 to 16 March, we will present our solutions from the Atlas family of products at the 15th international fair LogiMAT 2017, which will take place at the New Stuttgart Trade Fair Centre. The focus of this event, which recorded 1280 visitors last year, will be the megatrends of today, such as Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things, digitalisation, etc. This is why the organisers have entitled the fair Digital-Connected-Innovative.
You are kindly invited to visit us there!
ATLASWMS SUPPORTS SAPA’s GROWTH ASPIRATIONS
Sapa Building Systems is one of the largest suppliers of aluminium building systems in Europe and is part of the Norwegian group Sapa. It has subsidiaries in 20 countries worldwide and is recognized as one of the leading European manufacturers of aluminium building solutions.
A large scope of operations usually brings about many challenges. Sapa Building Systems Ltd in Tewkesbury (UK) were faced with such challenges when they aspired to optimise the operation of their warehouses and processes. If, at the very beginning, there was still a hint of doubt on the part of our client about our system and operations, it disappeared practically immediately. In their own words, “When selecting a supplier, there are always concerns about how we are going to get along and whether we would be able to establish a long-term partnership. Very soon our fears subsided as Epilog’s team proved that they are experts in warehouse operations, that they are proactive towards work, and are able to find solutions to problems in an innovative way. They understand operational requirements and offer the client even more than what was agreed. They were very patient and resourceful throughout the process. And last but not least, they adapted to Sapa’s way of work in no time!”
WE HAVE AUTOMATED THE STATE-OF-THE-ART SANDOZ-LEK LOGISTICS-PACKAGING CENTRE
In September last year, Lek Pharmaceuticals, a member of the Novartis division for the production of Sandoz generics, opened a new packaging and distribution centre in Lendava, Slovenia. This centre supplies pharmaceutical products from Sandoz’s factories around the world to more than 60 European and world markets.
Epilog provided the “brain” for the logistics part, i.e., an automated high-rack warehouse with a capacity of 11,000 palettes. With Atlas MFCS (Material Flow Control System) we entirely automated the processes for warehousing palettes of intermediate goods, the processes for supplying the packaging plant with intermediate goods, the warehousing of end products, and the automatic preparation of dispatches.
A major challenge for us was the extremely short implementation deadline – only nine months from the signing of the contract to the opening of the centre. Before signing the contract, we successfully passed a particularly strict evaluation by the suppliers of the Novartis department for QA. In the implementation phase, Atlas was modified so as to ensure 100% traceability of user interactions in addition to the existing 100% traceability of material flow.
SUCCESSFUL PARTICIPATION AT THE LOGIMAT 2016 INTERNATIONAL TRADE FAIRTRADE FAIR
From 8 to 10 March, Epilog successfully presented its solutions at the 14th International Trade Fair LogiMAT 2016 in Stuttgart. In the three days, more than 43,000 visitors attended the International Trade Fair for Distribution, Materials Handling and Information Flow. The vast premises of the New Stuttgart Trade Fair Centre spreading over 95,400 m² featured the presentations of 1,280 exhibitors from 32 countries.
At our exhibition stand where we presented the solutions from the Atlas family of products, Epilog forged many new business links and examined which trends are about to shape our activities in the future. We are determined to return to the fair next year as well!
EPILOG RECEIVES DOOR–OPENING AWARD
On Thursday 23 April 2015, the Slovenian-German Chamber of Commerce and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Slovenia granted the German Economy Award to Epilog. The award, which recognises the most important technical, entrepreneurial and intellectual innovations of companies in Slovenia, was granted for the third consecutive time. Despite a great deal of competition between Slovenian companies that do business in Germany, the selection jury decided unanimously to give the award to Epilog, stating that “the German economy is based on small and medium-sized companies, as well as family-run companies”. Receiving the laurel was the result of more than 90% exports and an innovative product that actually upgrades global trends.
“For us, the German Economy Award is the ultimate reference”, said Damjan Širca on receiving the award, underlining the fact that, in business, references are of paramount importance in acquiring new orders. According to Širca, German references are the most valued and appreciated everywhere, as German clients are regarded as being the most demanding. “We see this award as an incentive to work even better in the future. We hope that it will open more new doors for us, not only in Germany, but also in other markets”, added Širca.
EPILOG AGAIN AMONGST THE BEST. CONFIRMED!
In 2014, the Bisnode Slovenija rating agency again recognised our company as one of the best legal entities in Slovenia by awarding us an AAA credit rating. Epilog thus remains amongst the select few companies to achieve this highest rating. For 2014, the AAA rating was granted to only 1.6% of business entities in Slovenia, or 2,521 of the 156,744 registered companies. Only 970 business entities from the central Slovenian region were granted this highest rating.
The AAA credit rating underscores our credibility, gives our business partners a feeling of security and builds trust in our company. Our financial stability represents an assurance to our partners for long-term cooperation, while at the same time serving as confirmation to our employees that our work is both high quality and widely recognised
ATLAS GLOBAL CONNECTS ALL WAREHOUSES INTO AN INTEGRATED SYSTEM AT RICHARD KÖSTNER AG
Towards the end of January, we successfully put into operation the central warehouse of the German company Richard Köstner AG, one of the largest technical equipment companies in northern Bavaria, established as early as 1934.
With our AtlasWMS software, Richard Köstner AG will supervise and manage their warehouses more easily. In May 2014, we successfully put into operation their automated warehouse in Bamberg, Germany, while at the end of January we connected the first of four of their manual warehouses in different locations into an integrated system with Atlas Global. The latter is a module of the AtlasWMS software that now offers Richard Köstner AG one-stop-shop central management of several warehouses in different locations – with a single application and from a single central server. The system provides the company with a simple management process and enables an insight into stock and order status, as well as other important information – for all of the warehouses together, and for each of them individually. Thus all key information is gathered immediately and at one place, which leads to more efficient and transparent operation. With the aid of the implemented system, the stocktaking of the company’s entire stock, which includes around 30,000 items, was a truly simple exercise.
The client’s wish to have a more transparent and simple purchase process posed a particular challenge. This is why the Atlas system was upgraded with a new process that, in addition to the regular warehousing processes (receipt, warehousing, overview of goods flow, packaging, etc.), also takes care of the stock in the individual shop in Richard Köstner AG, and supports the process of picking during the buying process itself. The buyer simply collects the goods in a basket equipped with a special bar code. The selected articles in the basket are 100% traceable, and at the counter the sales clerk links the data on the selected goods with the ERP system by merely scanning a barcode. The ERP system collects the data on the material and quantity, and creates the final invoice. With the Atlas system, the purchase process is thus even faster, simpler and more transparent.
Having introduced AtlasWMS in the central warehouse of Richard Köstner AG and in the first of several warehouse units in different locations, we will proceed to equip other branches with our software solutions in the coming months.
ATLAS PICKBYGLASS THE BEST SERVICE INNOVATION AT THE 9TH SLOVENIAN INNOVATION FORUM
At the recent Slovenskem forumu inovacij 2014 Epilog’s youngest solution, Atlas PickByGlass, which was ranked among the best eight innovations according to the selection of an expert jury, was awarded a special recognition for the best service innovation.
Atlas PickByGlass enables entirely hands-free picking in the warehouse using the platform of “smart glasses” (e.g., Google Glass or similar). Thus, labour productivity in the warehouse increases by up to 30%, while the possibility of errors is significantly reduced. “Such a solution has not been known in the logistics IT support so far,” the jury emphasised in their arguments supporting the inclusion of this solution among the best. The main advantages of this innovation as identified by the jury were hands–free operation, faster and more efficient work, reduced possibility of errors in picking, and simple use. The jury assessed this innovation as highly promising, particularly due to the potential and dynamism of the area of logistics itself, the numerous possibilities to increase productivity in warehouses, the global orientation and the well–founded approach of the development team.
The Slovenian Innovation Forum, which represents the central national business event in the area of innovation and entrepreneurship, took place for the ninth time this year.
PRODUCTIVITY INCREASED BY 50% AND ERRORS REDUCED BY 99%
With the introduction of the AtlasWMS system in Extra Lux, a Slovene company that has been working in the field of sales of office materials and equipment for some 25 years, we have recently increased the speed of picking and improved the overview of the goods flow, thus significantly reducing potential errors and improving the traceability of the packaged material intended for dispatch.
The company opted for our solution because the existing paper-based working methods did not enable major improvements and faster picking. In addition, the client wished to ensure high efficiency in the case that they expand the scope of their operations.
The predominant challenges for Epilog’s expert team were thus the speed of picking and better supervision of loading onto trucks or vans. Due to the nature of the products themselves (office equipment, small size), the speed of manual picking was already quite high even prior to the AtlasWMS system implementation. In order not to slow down this process through working with WMS, we applied barcodes to the stock, locations and packages for easier identification, and integrated the support for EAN13. The graphic interface was adapted so that it requires as few clicks as possible (users operate the system mainly by way of scanning) and so that its use is as simple as possible for occasional users as well (e.g., students gaining work experience). We also integrated the guiding of warehouse pickers to follow the optimal route.By implementing the AtlasWMS system, the client improved the integration of reports on completed work and forecasting, which contributes to better organisation of work as a whole. “The productivity itself has thus increased by at least 50%, while errors have decreased by as much as 99%”, Andraž Gruden, Head of IT in Extra Lux commented on the results.
“Epilog’s expert team has fulfilled all of our wishes down to the minutest details. We cooperated closely from the very beginning of the project to the point when the entire process was fully operational. We are certainly going to work together again in the future”, Blaž Dobnikar, Extra Lux’s project manager summed up his satisfaction with the implemented project.
ATLAS GLOBAL SIMPLIFIES MATERIAL FLOW MANAGEMENT IN THE RENOWED SLOVENE COMPANY MDM
We are very pleased that a new Slovene company has joined the group of our partners, who mainly come from abroad. With a 35–year tradition, the company MDM from Ljubljana is an internationally renowned supplier of stainless–steel and aluminium products and semi–products. By implementing the AtlasWMS system in their warehouses, we replaced several partial solutions with a single, integrated solutions.
AtlasWMS supports both the manual and automated warehouses. By connecting to their Navision ERP system, we introduced AtlasWMS through the Global module in all of their business units, enabling them to control everything simultaneously with a single application. At the Sinja Gorica business unit, we also implemented logistics support to the production facility, in the supply of intermediate goods and the transport of end products and scrap from the production line.
Although seemingly routine, this particular implementation was in fact very interesting for us. For the first time, we connected to the automated warehouse of Kasto, a German partner for the sawing and storing of metal bar stock and sheet metal. The fact that part of the retail sales process takes place directly in the company (the function of the material collector in a warehouse) also represented a unique challenge in the speed and ergonomics of the application. At MDM, they are very pleased with the optimisation of all of their processes, and ever since they have managed their warehouses with a single application they claim that Post–It Notes are history for them.
VALUABLE IMPRESSIONS ABOUND ON OUR RETURN FROM THE TUBE FAIR
We returned from Tube, the largest world pipe and tube industry trade fair held in Düsseldorf, where between 7 to 11 April 2014, we presented our company and ourselves, enriched by an abundance of valuable impressions and experience, some very important new international contacts, and above all by additional positive feedback of which we are immensely proud.
Increasing our visibility among 2,500 exhibitors from 104 countries, at a fair that this year saw approximately 72,000 visitors, posed a major challenge to us, while at the same time representing an excellent opportunity to gauge our presence in the international arena. “When a manager of a large company from Mexico tells you that they have returned to the Tube trade fair specifically because of your product it really is something extraordinary, especially considering the enormous global competition at the fair”, Epilogʼs team summed up their experience at the fair.
Sincere thanks once again to all of our partners and to everyone who took the time to visit our stand at the fair!