WSI (work scene investigation): sms – part 2: “All about warehousing at sms”

SMS warehouse

Last week’s ‘work scene investigation’ introduced the customer care team and its tasks, this edition is dedicated to a very different area. The focus will be on swiss mail solutions’ warehouses.

The hard facts clarify the use of the plural: sms operates two warehouses at the moment. One is located on the premises in Austria, the other is a bonded warehouse in Serbia. “Using the bonded warehouse outside of the EU might prove advantageous for our clients in some cases,” reveals CEO Georg Weidinger.

As I can’t be in two places at the same time to investigate, I have to make a decision. And it is not a hard one. The warehouse on Austrian soil is far more convenient because it is only a few steps from the offices. This week a sharp eye is far more important than a good ear.

“The warehouse in Herzogenburg has been expanded this spring,” Mr. Weidinger points out proudly. There is even more space now for the international clients’ products. And you can see that. It is an ample warehouse featuring the typical equipment: shelves, chests, and palettes, etc. The room’s temperature is steady, and pleasant – a welcome change to the momentary heat outside.

For a close and thorough exploration, one needs to venture into the aisles. There, one immediately encounters innumerable boxes neatly placed on palettes or racks. Sneaking a peek into those boxes, one discovers a myriad of different and exciting products; a variety, which might seem somewhat surprising at first. Some boxes contain small electronic devices and equipment, others ink cartridges, food supplements, beauty products, and wellness products. There are also some with model rally cars that make collectors’ hearts beat faster in it. The next aisle reveals boxes with cascades of curls, naturally in the form of extensions, and other hair accessories. I probably haven’t even touched upon all the different products that swiss mail solutions stores for clients.

It might be hard to keep track of each and every item, if one is not familiar with the warehouse. However, sms’ operations team are professionals and know where they can find what. There is also an invisible arrangement system though, which is almost as important, and for sms’ clients even more important. Each and every product which sms stores for its clients is recorded in an IT-based warehouse management system. EAN codes and sometimes slightly cryptic product names such as ‘space bug’ are entered into the system. Comprising all the pieces of information results in a virtual plan of the warehouse. It offers a complete overview and at the same time provides vital information about the stock. All clients can access the data via the web-based warehouse management system anytime. 

To conclude this week’s investigation, here’s the item behind the mysterious product name: The ‘space bug’ is a spacy Bluetooth speaker in the form of a spider.