Headquartered in Cologne, Gemany, Galeria Kaufhof GmbH is one of Europe’s leading department store chains. The company’s innovative and successful approach offers a modern shopping concept that focuses on customer experience.
Galeria Kaufhof GmbH currently operates 103 department stores and 16 sports stores in Germany as well as 16 department stores in Belgium. The company has approximately 21,500 employees.
Galeria Kaufhof uses around 1,000 printers in six warehouses. As a multi-channel department store with an extensive online product range, the company produces large quantities of printouts every day. ‘We issue around 100,000 to 130,000 print jobs per day at our warehouse locations,’ explains Marcus Weiss, Head of Procurement and Logistics Systems at Galeria Kaufhof. ‘That number can be many times higher during peak seasons, such as Christmas.’ The company’s six distribution centres use standard printers from various manufacturers. These are controlled by the warehouse management system or by various terminals.
Reliability with UNIX and the ability to be integrated into Galeria Kaufhof’s current warehouse management system were the two criteria underlying the company’s decision.
An additional demand was to keep the company’s own scripts, so that the approximately 5,000 different printing variants (templates) could be retained and a reliability of almost 100% could be guaranteed. Incidental problems with the previous output management system meant that the spooling system had to be rebooted. This led to a parcel jam in the logistics centre, especially during the crucial Christmas business period. It took between 30 minutes and two hours to reboot the system. In addition, Galeria Kaufhof was unable to perform targeted management of individual printers without paralysing the entire printing system.
Following a comprehensive comparison of suppliers, Galeria Kaufhof chose an optimisation concept. Using the UniSpool solution increased reliability to almost 100%. If the printing systems malfunction – something that would be contrary to expectations – the maximum downtime can be reduced to 10 minutes. In addition, reseller AKI programmed an internal interface that enables users to control individual paper trays and therefore different paper formats or paper documents in the print templates. This has increased user comfort and offers users more flexibility when operating different printing systems.
AKI’s PrinTaurus intuitive user interface was also introduced, ensuring simple, fast management and configuration of print servers and printers as well as print queues. This leads to significant time gains for staff.
Another core requirement was a full automatic backup of stencils that needs to happen each and every day. The company also wanted a competent, easily accessible support desk with problem-solving capabilities. After an extensive test operation according to the catalogue of requirements, the concept passed the final live test without any difficulties.
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