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New name & focus: SSI Schäfer Automation GmbH

Markets and technologies are changing rapidly, with huge ramifications for intralogistics. There is increasing demand for solutions that can be implemented rapidly and tailored to the unique requirements of specific industries and customers. SSI SCHAEFER has responded to this challenge, adopting a new, more global sales structure and concentrating its expertise for automated end-to-end systems in SSI Schäfer Automation GmbH – effective from 1st January 2017.

SSI SCHAEFER, the world’s leading provider of warehousing and intralogistics systems, has already concentrated its IT skills and resources in a dedicated entity: SSI Schäfer IT Solutions GmbH. Now, it has taken a similar step for its automated systems, creating SSI Schäfer Automation GmbH. This new business combines SSI Schäfer Noell GmbH in Giebelstadt, Germany, and the location in Graz, Austria. As Harrie Swinkels, Managing Director of SSI Schäfer Automation GmbH in Giebelstadt, explains: “The change in name and the consolidation of our automation skills establishes the ideal basis for end-to-end, industry-specific systems – and enables us to meet highly customer-specific requirements and build future-proof intralogistics solutions.”

The vision behind SSI Schäfer Automation GmbH

SSI SCHAEFER is able to provide one-stop solutions to all aspects of the intralogistics value chain. It harnesses its extensive experience and knowledge of its customers’ industries to develop comprehensive and versatile systems. “It is crucial that we understand the customer’s market, and speak their language,” emphasises Swinkels. “To this end, we have formed a new organisation. The first step was to establish a local presence in countries across the world. The second step was to adopt a market-specific focus. Together, this has enabled us to create customised offerings. The third step was the formation of SSI Schäfer Automation GmbH.” Although many industries face similar challenges, each needs a specific solution strategy. Against this background, SSI SCHAEFER differentiates between six market segments: fashion, food retail, food & beverages, retail & wholesale, healthcare & cosmetics, and manufacturing.

Centralisation of SSI SCHAEFER’s industry-specific resources in this field will benefit customers. Efficiencies and synergy can be achieved across projects and countries, and between market segments. The creation of a multi-site organisation and consolidation of proven skills will allow customer-specific product development, and rapid identification of and responses to new challenges. Swinkels underscores: “We are a global partner, and harness state-of-the-art technologies to develop and implement made-to-measure solutions.” 

Despite the new name and organisational focus, there has been no impact on staffing levels. In Germany, SSI Schäfer Automation GmbH has 550 employees, plus 50 apprentices and trainees on cooperative education courses, and some 100 student workers. The team in Graz, Austria comprises 1000 staff and 40 apprentices.