Foundation stone for the biggest investment in the GRASS Company’s history

In Anwesenheit der Eigentümer, von Vertretern aller Produktionsstandorte sowie Prominenz aus Politik, Wirtschaft und Medien konnte der Grundstein für das neue GRASS Zentrallager in Hohenems gelegt werden.

On 18 June 2018 the foundation stone was laid for the new GRASS central warehouse in Hohenems (Vorarlberg/Austria). The globally leading manufacturer of moving systems for the furniture industry is erecting a hub for its European production sites costing 45 million Euro. This is the biggest investment of the Würth Group in the Company’s history, a clear commitment to the location Vorarlberg as well as a prerequisite for further growth. From the end of 2019 about 150 employees will be working in Hohenems.

In the presence of the owners, of representatives from all production sites and prominent members from politics, the economy and media, the foundation stone for the new central warehouse was layed. Costing 45 million Euros, this is the biggest investment the Company of the Würth Group has made in its 71-year history.

The building company GOLDBECK RHOMBERG will construct the central warehouse on a property measuring 43,000 square metres. It offers a total of 30,000 pallet positions on 22 levels. The operations are planned to begin at the end of 2019, initially with 150 employees. The factories in Hohenems will then deliver finished products which have gone through the customisation, packaging and order picking process based on the individual customers’ requests.

Third facility in Vorarlberg

GRASS was founded in 1974 in Höchst. Other production sites of the Group are Salzburg (Austria), Reinheim (Germany) with the affiliated factory in Krumlov (Czech Republic) and Kernersville (USA). Götzis, a second facility in Vorarlberg, was added through the merger with the Mepla-Alfit Group in 2007. Now a third one is being created with the ultramodern central warehouse, which will serve all European production facilities as a hub

In 2017, GRASS achieved sales of 368 million Euros with almost 2,000 co-workers at 18 locations around the world. With more than 200 sales partners in 60 countries, GRASS is globally one of the leading specialists in moving systems. GRASS slide and drawer systems as well as the hinge and flap systems are brand products that are fitted in the furniture of renowned manufacturers.

Key strategic project

“Optimising the supply chain management is a core challenge for being successful in the long term,” is how Thomas Zenker, Spokesman of the GRASS Management Board, describes the motivation for the biggest investment in the Company’s history. “Our order books are full and the demand of the market is excellent. However, there were opportunities which weren’t taken advantage of due to the strong growth in previous years. With the central warehouse we’re resolving one of the most important bottlenecks and creating the prerequisites for profitable and sustainable development.”

GRASS has been part of the Würth Group since 2004 and is in a very healthy position. “Investments in logistics, especially to this extent, are always a sign of growth and development. With the function of the central warehouse, we’ll be able to significantly shorten our reaction times,” Robert Friedmann, Spokesman of the Board of Directors of the Würth Group, says with satisfaction and adds: “I’m happy that the Company has developed in such a dynamic way.”

Trial run in Feldkirch

As an interim solution, the former spinning mill in Feldkirch-Gisingen was leased. An external warehouse was established there and the planned production and logistics processes were put through a trial run. With this preliminary work it was possible to test the positive effects and reduce the complexity of the start of operations in Hohenems scheduled for 2019.

The processes optimised through using the central warehouse will allow the specialised production sites to concentrate on their core competencies – production and development. This will make it easier to make use of synergies and utilise the best-practice examples developed at individual locations more effectively in the entire Group.