ekzekz.bibliotheksservice GmbH is a special company for libraries that covers all library requirements as part of their product spectrum. This includes:
  • Furniture
  • Accessories/Material
  • Library technology
  • Media
A fundamental reorganisation of material flows in the media branch - especially books, games and sound carriers - became necessary to comply with market requirements. The main challenge in the project was the demand of quicker delivery with simultaneous reduction of process costs.


Placing copies on the sorting system
Placing copies on the sorting system

The important conceptual tasks were:

  • Reduction of throughput times by 20%
  • Relinquishment of storage stock
  • Optimisation of procurement channels
  • Direct pick-and-pack procedure
  • Increase of transparency in all levels

The consequent approaches to the solution are defined through steps in the whole delivery chain:

  • Procurement
  • Stock-keeping
  • Goods receiving
  • Production
  • Order picking
  • Dispatch

The Solution

Ejection conveyor for normal orders
Ejection conveyor for normal orders
Sorting conveyors for large orders
Sorting conveyors for large orders

Procurement of media for already existing client orders is fundamentally new. This needs an exact preparation of client orders along with a quick and reliable delivery by the suppliers. This is ensured by corresponding agreements with publishers and wholesalers.

The required stock-keeping and storage costs were almost completely eliminated due to client-specific procurement.

Goods receiving
As part of reducing process steps, the titles and every copy has to be exactly assigned to the respective client orders. This important task is already taken care of in goods-receiving processing. Apart from checking and storage of master data, each copy is labelled with a 2D barcode. This defines each copy explicitly for the client.

The copies for client-specific production steps are prepared in the goods-receiving area.

Production includes different production forms and thus also different production lines. These are:

  • foil-wrapping
  • stitched and foil-wrapped
  • bound with and without protective cover

The production lines were reorganised in such a way that continuous, straight-lined material flow existed from goods-receiving until the finished product. At the same time, production systems were replaced or amended to fulfil requirements of quality and delivery speed.

All copies were transferred to a sorting system after production. In the first step, the copies were automatically pre-sorted according to large and normal orders. The second step for sorting of normal orders was manually done with system support. Scanners were installed at the end of the ejection conveyors to scan each copy once again. The worker sees a client carton on his system into which the copy has to be packed. The client cartons are stored in shelves that have a pick-by-light system. Storage is supported by lamps in front of each slot and each storage is acknowledged. Erroneous storages are thus reduced and the carton content is reasonable at any time. Order picking is carried out either automatically or manually, the client cartons are sent out for further processing. Ten additional sorting stations (goals) are defined for large orders. These are packed immediately after ejection. This sorting system had particular challenges:

  • Careful handling of the sometimes very sensitive products
  • High variance of product dimensions and weight
  • Loading synchronisation
  • Performance of 1200 copies per hour

Special processing
A special service of ekz.bibliotheksservice GmbH was also the ready-to-loan processing (ALB) that gave the libraries the possibility of loaning material without any further processing. Thisi s carried out in relation to cartons and is included directly in the process. An additional service is the integration of RFID labelling.

Goods out
All shipping cartons are labelled at a central processing station, get an exact delivery slip and then closed. IWL AG supported ekz.bibliotheksservice GmbH project team from development of the ideas until operational usage.