The significant eCommerce growth has had a positive impact on storage solution providers, who, despite market difficulties, have managed to register significant growth this year. Such is the case with STAMH Systems - the Romanian unit of STAMH Group, whose revenues exceeded last year's, without changing the prices of already agreed on offers, as a result of the price rise of basic raw storage systems materials at the beginning of 2021.
The company's specialists in racking systems have implemented several complex solutions in 2021. In one of them, STAMH Systems had to deliver more than 80 trucks, despite the difficult international logistics situation.
Regarding the market challenges in the context of an international pandemic and the need for companies to equip and re-equip their logistics bases, we contacted Mr. Mihai David, Director of STAMH Systems, in an interview published in the leading magazine - Logistic Post Romania.
Logistic Post Romania: How are racking systems sales going for STAMH, this year?
Despite the difficulties, 2021 proved to be a winning year for STAMH Systems. In the first half of the year, we reached and even exceeded the numbers, compared with 2020. We are a young company, and we are constantly growing. We haven’t yet reached the growing peak, which is why 2021 was a year to attract new people to the company, rent a larger office and explore new areas, products, and innovative storage technologies.
Logistic Post Romania: Is there any difference between the type of storage systems required this year compared to what STAMH clients were looking for in 2020?
So far, compared to the orders received for racking systems for pallets in 2020, this year we are seeing an increase in the demand for racking systems suitable for faster picking operations and online orders processing.
In addition, the development of our clients and their digital eCommerce platforms, has led to the partial elimination of intermediaries in the supply chain. This is the case with large retail chains, which didn‘t register much growth for certain product categories and had to give up third parties logistics services and 3PL warehousing.
In this context, in 2021, orders for picking solutions came directly from the final distributor of the products, and the solutions offered in this case had to be more specific and customized, according to their applications and the type of products and stored SKUs. Fulfillment and 3PL companies were looking for systems suitable for all types of goods.
Logistic Post Romania: Were there more requests for new warehouses equipment or for re-equipment of the existing ones?
Most of the storage systems ordered this year were for brand new warehouses equipment, but we also received requests for re-equipment of warehouses from existing customers. They came mainly from new clients. They came to us, after a recommendation received from our partners and existing clients.
The requests for re-equipment came mainly because of the need to improve the efficiency in the use of the entire warehouse volume and to optimize different intralogistics processes. Our clients were looking for higher warehouses, the replacement of existing racks, and the purchase of new systems. It is worth mentioning here that, in general, when using conventional racks without regular technical inspections, there is a risk for operational safety that cannot be assessed scientifically.
Logistic Post Romania: What was the most complex project implemented this year?
One of the most complex projects implemented in Romania was for a racking system for a large shoe distributor (operating mainly online).
In this case, the complexity was not related to the scale of the project or the number of materials delivered, exceeding the capacity of 85 trucks, but in the fact that the project was a combination of different storage systems and structures: mezzanine platform on the ground floor + 3, high-speed picking systems and a special platform built on the structure of the racks.
STAMH Systems engineers combined standard elements but upgraded them for different applications. Our specialists executed complex compatibility calculations to make possible the movement on three different levels with picking carts.
In this case, the transportation of the pallets with finished products from the automated production line was made by a conveyor system for pallets. The pallets are transported through a control system and then lifted over the truck access area.
In a fully automated way, the system distributes the goods in two different warehouses or transfers them directly to the preparation system – a delivery buffer, from where the goods are distributed, through an automatic sorting system and gravity racks, to each cargo portal. The entire system is managed by software that is 100% synchronized with the client's existing WMS system.
Logistic Post Romania: How have raw material prices for racking systems developed this year and did you transfer these additional costs to your clients?
We were not surprised by the serious increase in the price of the raw materials. In addition, we made reservations for certain orders, so that the impact on our customers was as small as possible.
Therefore, it wasn’t so urgent to transfer the additional costs to the clients with whom we had already negotiated the offers and the budgets. We achieved to complete the orders we had at the originally agreed prices.
Logistic Post Romania: How did the implementation periods of your projects develop, given the current lack of raw materials?
So far, we haven’t had any changes in the deadlines due to lack of raw materials, as the contracts we have with suppliers are based on long-term relationships. We benefit from strong partnerships, and our suppliers are our valuable partners!
Logistic Post Romania: Have you noticed a trend among customers to order pre-used racking systems? In what situations?
This trend exists. In general, there are companies that upgrade their logistics area in the main plant or production areas and send their existing racks to other branches of the same company. In these cases, we assist them with inspection, service, and installation of the systems, including relocation.
In this type of project, the main implementation costs are for disassembly, transportation, and reassembly, which are lower than the ones for a new racking system.
Logistic Post Romania: How do you expect demand to develop at the end of the year?
As it has happened in previous years, by the end of 2021 there will be postponed investment projects and budgets, which must be spent by December 31.
In addition, the growing pressure for fast and quality services on 3PL and fulfillment companies and the lack of sufficient storage space have led to an increasing trend among clients to build their own distribution centers and warehouses. In some of them, the construction of these warehouses is nearing completion, so we expect a very dynamic evolution in terms of the equipment needed for them in 2022.