Claus-Pural: launch of new wholesale warehouse
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
On 31 January 2014 the day had arrived. The relocation from Claus-Pural’s base in Gilching in Bavaria to Fürstenfeldbruck (both near Munich) was carried out within three days. On Sunday 2 February, it was all over. “It went perfectly, and on Monday all 50 employees were working as usual,” said the delighted Harald Börsig and Christine Grabarczyk, the chief executives in Bavaria. The company management in Baden-Baden, Ulrike Claus and her father Heinz Claus, were happy too that everything went so smoothly and that they have nearly double the space. By using eco-friendly building techniques, they can now save 20-30 % of the energy consumed in a conventional building.
(Picture: Company owner Heinz Claus is especially pleased with the new photovoltaic installation)
The turnover of the wholesaler domiciled in Baden-Baden has continued to be positive. In 2013, it rose by €13m from (net) €122m to €135m (11 %). “Sales have developed well in Switzerland and Austria in particular,” explains the senior director Heinz Claus (74). About half the turnover of Claus-Pural is wholefoods sold in specialised organic stores, and health foods sold in health food stores (Reformhäuser) account for the other half. With both product ranges and a total of 18,000 articles, the company operates not only in Germany but also in neighbouring France, Switzerland and Austria, where it offers extensive sections of its overall range. (Picture: Recording details of each product with a hand scanner)
With three new lorries – the company now has 40 – from May this year this wholesaler of wholefood and health food products will have a stronger presence in Austria (in the Vienna and Graz regions) and in the south of Germany’s new federal states. Heinz Claus is convinced: “Our friendly drivers are the best symbol of our company,” and he also believes strongly in the advertising impact of the colourful design of the orange and blue lorries. These replace the deliveries by hauliers whose vehicles are, of course, neutral. The new building at Liebigstr.18 in Fürstenfeldbruck, 25 km to the west of Munich, has an impressive entrance hall, a bright and friendly open-plan office and individual offices (450 m²), a 3,500 m² high-stack warehouse for dry goods and a 450 m² chilled commissioning hall. Eleven lorries can back up to roller doors to be loaded. From midday, they are working at full speed because the packed trolleys – some covered with foil – are pushed from the loading ramp into the normal or the especially effective double-decker trucks. (Picture on left: Pallet store for the dry goods range)
Compared with the warehouse they used to rent in Gilching – only a few kilometres away – here the number of pallet spaces has increased from 1,200 to 3,000, in other words there is two-and-a- half times as much space. The employees now have a roughly 150 m² staff room with a kitchen, where at midday they can heat up food they have brought with them. In future, this room will also be used for product presentations and employee training. 6,000 articles are stored in the high-stack warehouse and in the part-range products area (less than full cartons of goods) and are waiting for one of the 30 warehouse staff to commission them and put them onto the trolleys. Greater efficiency in the new warehouse means a saving of one hour per worker per day, explains Harald Börsig, the head of the facilities in Fürstenfeldbruck. The dry goods range accounts for 80 % of sales and 20 % is attributable mainly to white fresh foods, where they have a big assortment of dairy products. In the case of fruit and vegetables, they work together with Ökoring, that is just three kilometres away in Mammendorf. Orders from health food stores are passed on to Ökoring, and every afternoon they fetch green fresh foods from there to be added to the pre-packed trolleys. (Picture: Goods being carefully packed onto trolleys and taken to the chilled facility)
A 3,000 m² photovoltaic array with a peak output of 230 kW has been installed on the roof. A separate sun collector produces hot water for baths and the company kitchen. A new vehicle wash with an oil separator at the back of the new building means the lorries can be kept spick-and-span. Not far away is a robust wooden picnic bench where staff can sit during their breaks. They are all thrilled with the generous size of new building and with the nice new workplaces that this move has created for them. “We feel we’re in paradise,” says one older employee to Heinz Claus.
The entrance hall, that in the first few weeks looked rather bare, is going to be embellished next week with artistic designs by the artist Stefan Heim. Soon you’ll see bright motifs with flowers and cordfields in two 7 m high and 80 cm wide pictures. You’ll also see in the hall a welcome in several languages – the same number of languages as the number of countries of origin of the employees. The graphic designer, who has had a painting studio in Starnberg for 20 years, is producing various food motifs on 6 m wide and 70 cm high panels to decorate the canteen. (Pictures: Stefan Heim at work)
The biggest customers in Bavaria are Vitalia and the Vita Nova Group in the health food sector and Basic in the wholefood segment. In total, they deliver to 250 health food stores and 200 wholefood stores and organic supermarkets mostly two to three times a week. Since they took over the health food wholesaler Richter in Gilching in June 2009, the turnover of Claus-Pural in Bavaria has trippled from €12m to approximately €40m. “We wouldn’t have thought that was possible when we started in Bavaria,” says Heinz Claus with great satisfaction. “But we’re also extremely pleased to have left behind the bottleneck that was Gilching so that we now have the prospect of growth,” his daughter adds.
(Pictures: Discussion counter in the open-plan office, Office Manager Christine Grabarczyk, Chilled storeroom)
In 2014, the firm Claus, that was founded in 1964 in Baden-Württemberg, celebrates its 50th anniversary. They would like to celebrate with their customers, especially at the four upcoming regional trade fairs, where they will have 40 m² stands for Claus (health food stores) and for Pural (specialist wholefood trade). To improve communication with customers, a roughly 20-page monthly newsletter will convey information about the firm, products and advertising from Baden-Baden, Fürstenfeldbruck and Dortmund to specialist retailers. Claus-Pural now employs 330 people, and the trend is upwards. Another 10 specialists for warehouse logistics and wholesale and retail buyers are to be trained in the near future. (Picture on left: Heinz Claus, Christine Grabarczyk and Ulrike Claus in front of the new building)
Just a few weeks after the relocation, the new building is not only working to capacity but could before long be too small, Heinz and Ulrike Claus have concluded. Since there is no further space for building on the 7,000 m² site, they are hoping to acquire land nearby. However, this land is at present owned by the army.
As part of the 50th anniversary, on 27 September 2014 – one day before the trade fair Bio Süd in Augsburg – the company is organizing a party and a company fair at its Fürstenfeldbruck location. All its customers and suppliers are cordially invited.