Case Study Thomann - E-Commerce - Industries - TGW Logistics Group

Case Study Thomann

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Case Study ThomannPLAY

    4 aisles, 2 TGW Mustang stacker cranes each with more than 1,000 double cycles per hour

    For the picking, forklifts and picking vehicles with radio frequency controls are used

    The mini-load storage supplies the picking processes, especially with a high number of small goods to be shipped 

    The established TGW Natrix Sorter is the central collection and distribution point in the warehouse

Almost four million customers from across Europe regularly order at the world’s biggest music mail order business from Treppendorf. The combination of service and the range of goods caused overproportional growth – the logistic requirements rose quickly. A system capable of 40 to 50 % more output was needed. TGW realised it in 2009. A challenge for both Thomann and TGW to provide an outstanding system for an outstanding company.

Objectives and requirements

  • Handling of up to 20,000 packages a day
  • 40 to 50 % more output
  • Handling of more than 65,000 Thomann items
  • Various groups of goods of diverse sizes
  • Extremely short access times for shop and online business
  • Individual access to specific classes of goods (cables, etc.)

Customer benefits

  • Order throughput reduced to 28 minutes
  • Highly flexible system for sensitive musical items
  • Optimised picking process for various classes of goods
  • Combination of automated and manual storage
  • Strong IT for goods coordination until packing


After the initial phase, the automated pallet warehouse had a capacity of 11,000 storage positions. Through the rapid success of Thomann, the storage has already been expanded by another 7,000 storage positions. Five stacker cranes assure automated storage and retrieval of the goods.

The automated mini-load warehouse consists of four aisles and two TGW Mustang stacker cranes each, which in total reach more than 1,000 double cycles per hour. All in all, 70,000 storage positions are available in the mini-load warehouse.

Both the picked items from the mini-load warehouse and those of the pallet storage find their way almost simultaneously to the packing stations. As there is no buffer, the software is responsible for all picking procedures to happen at the right time. The coordination of those procedures can be seen as the installation’s top C.

Hans Thomann is looking forward to the future. After all, he is already planning a new expansion. “Now the internet dominates the business, where the hamster wheel is spinning faster and faster, which urges us to plan the next steps of enhancing the building. Or we will need a second building.” For the Musikhaus Thomann it is important to think in long terms, as “there is nothing, that does not exist anymore”.



"For us, it was obvious that our logistics system should not be able to determine which products we sell in the future. With our material handling solution we have to manage the products that we like and our customers wish to buy."