A sound investment.
Transport Magazine

A sound investment.

Mercedes ServiceCard: The reason you can put all your eggs in one basket sometimes.

Set for the future with the Mercedes ServiceCard*: the savings made by Richter+Frenzel in refuelling and fleet management can be reinvested by this specialist wholesaler of sanitation and building services equipment in the company’s sophisticated logistics concept.

Bright sunlight streams in through the skylights. Below, lift trucks carrying pallets glide through the warehouse of Richter+Frenzel – without noise, and without drivers. “This is our system for order picking small parts,” says Marcus Zweimüller, as yet another lift truck scurries by and disappears inside a cage where a gripper arm places small cardboard boxes on top of pallets. Once a pallet has been loaded, the lift truck heads for one of the 36 ramps where the shipments are loaded onto trucks.

The cardboard boxes contain small parts for sanitation equipment within Richter+Frenzel’s range of 650,000 articles. As the head of fleet management, Marcus Zweimüller is also responsible for the materials handling equipment, as well as for the 420 trucks and 550 cars operated by the specialist wholesaler of sanitation and building services equipment.

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Efficient: small-parts picking is fully automated at Richter+Frenzel.

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Versatile: the Richter+Frenzel range comprises 650,000 products. The small parts leave the logistics centre in boxes like this.

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Expansive: the new logistics centre in Reichertshofen offers more than 60,000 square metres of space.

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Expansive: the new logistics centre in Reichertshofen offers more than 60,000 square metres of space.

650000

products are available from Richter+Frenzel.

“The maximum time between ordering and delivery is 24 hours.”

Marcus Zweimüller, Head of Fleet Management at Richter+Frenzel

With the commissioning of their logistics centre at Reichertshofen near Ingolstadt in Bavaria, not only did Richter+Frenzel expand their operations last year; they also completely repositioned the whole company. Everything at this location is future-proof: the warehouse covers an area of around 30,000 square metres, with a further 30,000 square metres set aside for external storage. The premises are big enough to allow for future expansion. Shipments depart several times a day.

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The four logistics centres Richter+Frenzel operates throughout the country supply parts to construction sites, tradesmen, major customers and to their own distribution centres and collection points within a radius of 50 kilometres. Around 40,000 partners in the sanitation, heating, air-conditioning trades and in civil engineering are among the customers of the company’s 170 locations nationwide. “The maximum time from receipt to delivery is 24 hours,” says Zweimüller, who knows that in this business, customer satisfaction depends on efficient logistics.

When Emil Richter and Ernst Frenzel established their “wholesalers of canal, gas and water utilities components” business in 1895, the product range covered wash basins, bathtubs and pipe fittings. Ten employees handled sales and deliveries. Today Richter+Frenzel is still a family-owned and operated enterprise – albeit with markedly different dimensions. Today the number two among German specialist wholesalers of sanitation and building services equipment has 3,900 employees. “The reliability in our dealings with suppliers, customers and staff remains unchanged. It puts us in a very good position for the future,” says Zweimüller, employed by Richter+Frenzel for almost 20 years.

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Just arrived: The new Actros is one of just a few heavy-duty trucks in the fleet. For deliveries within the region, Richter+Frenzel uses the Atego.

“The online functions and reports help us to obtain a quick overview of our fleet. And the app helps drivers to find the cheapest filling station.”

Marcus Zweimüller
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Reliable: For everything to do with the Mercedes ServiceCard, Kay Otte (left) provides Marcus Zweimüller, the head of fleet management at Richter+Frenzel, with advice.

Richter+Frenzel insist on reliability when it comes to their fleet: about 90 per cent of the trucks are from Mercedes‑Benz, mainly Atego vans for local and regional distribution, and a number of Actros trucks. The company uses the Mercedes ServiceCard and the associated UTA Maut service for road toll payments and cashless refuelling throughout over 50,000 service stations operated by UTA. “Both of these aspects run absolutely smoothly,” says Zweimüller. “The online functions and the reports help us in quickly gaining an overview of our fleet. And the app helps the drivers locate the cheapest service station.”

Incidentally, the best-selling item in the range is a real classic: the angle valve. Thanks to the highly evolved logistics and the reliable fleet of vehicles, more than 400,000 of these are delivered to Richter+Frenzel customers every year.

* Mercedes ServiceCard is not applicable to the UK market.

Photos: Matthias Aletsee