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The forward-thinking warehouse

A digitized warehouse in Spain is to supply spare parts for several countries in a revolutionary concept: A predictive algorithm assigns the spare parts required at customer sites to service technicians, making elevator maintenance more efficient and sustainable. The warehouse has now been officially inaugurated. we.online was at the ceremony.

“Particularly in the time-sensitive mobility sector, service is critical,” says Dario Vicario, CEO of thyssenkrupp Elevator Spain, Portugal and the Africa business. He proudly presents the new Spares Business Center located in San Fernando de Henares, Spain. The facility has attracted great interest and almost 120 guests attended the inauguration ceremony at the spare parts warehouse near Madrid including politicians, journalists, business partners and employees.

What’s so special about this new warehouse?

It’s our first intelligent spare parts center for elevator maintenance and repair worldwide. Thanks to intelligent real-time data analysis, logistics can be realized in just a third of the time required to date. Based on calculations, all spare parts needed on customer visits are supplied to the service technicians in advance. They are packed in blue tote boxes in the warehouse and loaded directly into the service technicians’ vehicles.

A glance inside the warehouse confirms that work has already begun. Across a total of 6,253 square meters, shelving units several meters high are stacked with blue boxes full of spare parts. There is also approx. 500 square meters of office space. Colleagues have been working here since last summer, starting with the pilot project. 12 branches throughout Spain were connected to the Spares Business Center system on a step-by-step basis and there’s more to come. The warehouse will soon serve the service business in Portugal, Spain and Italy. It has capacity for up to 10,000 different parts and components for repairs. More than 1,400,000 order lines can be handled at the facility, an increase of 400% compared with the previous warehouse.

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Making things easier for service technicians

Ensuring that service technicians always have the right parts in the blue totes in their vehicles saves time and costs and is more sustainable. Initial feedback is very positive: Technicians report significant time savings, they can perform their work at customers better and with less stress, and are traveling shorter distances. It is estimated that travel can be reduced by up to 400,000 km per year, which corresponds to CO2 emissions of approx. 64 tons.

The individual service technicians also bear responsibility for ensuring that the predictions are always accurate. Alberto Haro Fernandez, responsible for digital service technician support in Madrid, says: “As with all Big Data systems, the data must be kept up-to-date. However, maintenance of individual inventories is straightforward and our colleagues can always review the spare parts in their vehicles online.”

Introducing colleagues to the new technology has gone very well, says Alberto. “The training seminars at our branches comprised theoretical and practical parts. There were no major difficulties and user feedback on the mobile app has been extremely positive.”

Regional approach – a global concept for the future

Within the framework of the global Spare Parts Business Excellence initiative similar facilities to the one in San Fernando are planned for further important thyssenkrupp Elevator hubs, including Memphis, Neuhausen, Shanghai, Porto Alegre and Pune. “With the Spares Business Center in San Fernando we are setting a new standard in the elevator industry,” says Ivo Siebers, Head of Global Logistics at thyssenkrupp Elevator.

And the intention is to expand the system further. To enable the Spares Business Center and thousands of elevators to “talk to each other”, the new warehouse will also be linked with MAX – the predictive maintenance solution from thyssenkrupp Elevator which has already been installed in 120,000 elevators worldwide. “Using MAX, all pending requirements can be planned perfectly in the intelligent spare parts warehouse,” says Head of Digital Transformation, Hyun-Shin Cho. “Synchronizing the new depot with MAX will make the process of supplying technicians with the right parts even more seamless.”