Reinvented again and again in 125 years

by Hans Diederichs

thyssenkrupp Schulte celebrating anniversary

Materials such as steel, stainless steel and nonferrous metals have become indispensable in the construction, automotive and industrial sectors. They are an integral part of numerous everyday objects and make the body of a car safer, agricultural machinery more robust, viewing platforms more spectacular, cranes and excavator shovels more stable, or canteen kitchens and cafeterias shinier.

From tradition to modernity

The versatile benefits and uses of steel in the age of industrialization were already recognized by Heinrich August Schulte at the end of the 19th century. By founding a small steel trading business in Dortmund on February 5, 1896, the young entrepreneur laid the foundation for today's thyssenkrupp Schulte GmbH. 125 years later, the company is Germany's biggest materials distribution and service provider with around 3,200 employees. "We are proud that we can look back on such a long history of experience and materials expertise. At the same time we have always looked to the future. Together with our customers and suppliers we have been able to develop continuously and have always broken new ground," reports Detlef Schotten, Chairman of the Executive Board of thyssenkrupp Schulte.

Focus on digitalization and services along the value chain

The best example of this is the digital transformation, which is driven forward in a holistic and integrated manner within the company and further developed on the basis of individual customer needs. Digital solutions such as customer portals, web shops and apps are seamlessly integrated into the omnichannel strategy. Technical innovations such as the data analytics platform "alfred" for the ideal coordination of supply flows or the independently developed IIoT platform "toii" for greater efficiency of processing lines help to understand customer needs even better and optimize processes. In addition, thyssenkrupp Schulte is systematically continuing its "Materials as a Service" strategy with the expansion of its service business. Customers are offered integrated solutions along the entire value chain – from designing supply chains to taking over complete warehouse and inventory management.

Industry-wide new logistics concept

The fact that thyssenkrupp Schulte is also setting a new industry-wide standard in logistics is demonstrated by the materials distributor's new logistics center in northern Germany, which is scheduled to go into operation in May 2021. In the future, goods will be guided to the truck during loading and unloading. In addition, driverless transport systems will be used throughout the warehouse area. The optimized material flows and logistics processes will enable productivity to be increased significantly. "alfred" and "toii" are also used at the new site and ensure highly efficient processes in order processing.

These and many other initiatives already give an idea of where thyssenkrupp Schulte's innovative journey may lead in the coming years and decades. The company always keeps an eye on constantly changing market and customer needs. Detlef Schotten concludes: "We will systematically continue along the path we have chosen to remain a strong and reliable partner for our customers and suppliers in the future.

" thyssenkrupp Schulte GmbH belongs to the Materials Services segment and is the materials partner for steel, stainless steel and nonferrous metals. The company thus provides customized services for more than 70,000 customers from industry, the skilled trades and the construction sector. The basis for this is a wide range of flat products, profiles and tubes for all requirements and tailored to customers' individual wishes. Proximity to partners is also a key competitive advantage. With over 40 locations, thyssenkrupp Schulte is always close to customers and can deliver quickly and reliably anywhere in Germany. The diverse product range, expert technical advice and comprehensive services round off the portfolio of Germany's biggest materials distributor.

Source and photo: tk Schulte GmbH

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