View This Article in BOSS Magazine
TGW Systems’ success lies in assisting its supply chain customers through the shift to material handling automation.
Supporting the needs of the modern supply chain in verticals like apparel, general merchandise, or grocery is not an easy task. The always-evolving consumer requirements, as well as fast innovation cycles around the technology, requires a lot of customer intimacy in order to be able to deliver working solutions.
But that’s why there are businesses like TGW Systems, a company that prides itself on constantly evolving to support customers in this rapidly growing space.
The company, the North American arm of the Austrian-based TGW Logistics Group, is a proven systems integrator for the retail, general merchandising, e-commerce grocery, and other supply chain industries, dedicated to assisting its customers throughout the shift to material handling automation.
TGW’s cradle-to-grave material handling and storage solutions focus on improving its customers’ supply chain performance, reducing costs, improving logistics quality, increasing responsiveness, and ultimately improving the service levels for its customers.
“From planning, solutions design, project realization, and lifetime service, we are the ideal lifecycle partner for our customers,” Markus Sturm, Vice President, said.
“We make the ‘magic’ happen in the warehouse around receiving, storage, order fulfillment, shipping, and other value-added services. We offer flexible, scalable, and modular solutions which cover those processes, based on material handling machinery, automation, and software. If you can imagine robots and conveyors which handle products you buy online or in a store and prepare them for the point of sale, we can provide the solution.”
The first 40 years of TGW Logistics Group’s history looks a lot different from the last decade. TGW started as a small, family-owned company in Austria in 1969 and focused on mechanical sub systems only. In the early 2000s however, TGW Logistics Group and TGW Systems have also been committed to integrated turnkey solutions for dedicated markets and highly automated systems.
“Over the last decade we developed from a local to a global company, from 400 to 2,500 employees, from $100 million to over $600 million in revenue,” Sturm shared. “Our systems, services, products, and work ethic are strongly recognized by our customers and have earned us the position of a leading supplier in automated material handling. We’re a group of people trying to make a difference for our customers.”
TGW Systems’ growth over the last few years has been truly impressive: between 15 to 30 percent each year. The supply chain integration portion of the business is experiencing the most growth, but Sturm doesn’t want to pigeonhole the company’s opportunities for expansion.
TGW’s leadership expect the company to considerably increase in size in the next four years, doubling its current U.S. footprint. How is the company planning to accomplish this? Sturm shared two key strategies. First, the possibility of acquisitions could be one potential driver.
But he was enthusiastic about TGW Systems’ other strategy: innovations to current offerings and new products. Robotics and improvements to software capabilities ranked high on his list.
“Robotics use is already widespread for case handling, but you will begin to see it used more and more for single piece picking. Based on the changing customer requirements as well as trends like wage increase, labor, and space, there is constant development in this area. On top of that, software is really going to be important moving forward: algorithms around order fulfillment and strategies for inventory reduction, low order processing time help save our customers lots of time and money.”
Consumers expect shorter delivery times than ever. We want to order products online and return them in a store, try products in store and order online: the combinations are endless. So to provide these seamless shopping experiences and shorter delivery times, solutions by companies like TGW Systems must accommodate these needs and offer true omnichannel solutions which can accommodate all those factors: be fast and stay flexible.
The catch? No one wants to pay extra for this extra value, so solutions have to increase overall efficiency as well as TGW’s customers demand fast ROIs for the money they invest.
TGW Systems’ goal with every customer is to improve and increase productivity at the same time as reducing the company’s space requirements. Sturm cited that it’s the goal of every contract to improve productivity by three to five times what it was previously based on manual solutions, but at the same time reduce its customer’s footprint by 20 to 50 percent. It’s no easy task, but TGW’s team is up for the challenge.
”We have a great team, many very entrepreneurial leaders, dedicated employees and we are willing to go the extra mile for our customers,” he said. “We are a strong, financially stable company who acts in a good mix of centralized/decentralized approach. The market leaders have great decision power as well as influence to the overall group strategy and we try to act close to our customers, with fast decisions and outstanding service.”
TGW Systems is also committed to reducing its internal footprint and creating more energy efficient processes. These include providing a better flow to the manufacturing floor, providing better access to parts and storage, and using the company’s own conveyor/storage products and internal software to assist with its manufacturing.
“Great companies are vision led and value driven, TGW has always put the emphasis here,” Sturm said. “Customers are evolving, business models are changing, and it’s a necessity that we are in constant contact with them. Our vision-led and value-driven culture allows this focus on our customer base so we can ultimately continue introducing industry-evolving solutions.
TGW Logistics Group is a global leading systems provider of highly dynamic, automated, and turn-key logistics solutions. Since 1969 the company has been implementing different internal logistics solutions, from small material handling applications to complex logistics centers.
With about 2,500 employees worldwide by now, the Group implements logistics solutions for leading companies in various industries. In the business year 2015/16, the TGW Logistics Group generated sales revenues of 532 million Euros.
TGW Systems HQ
3001 Orchard Vista Dr. SE, Suite 300
Grand Rapids, MI 49546, USA