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Bad Salzuflen/Biemsen-Ahmsen. The retail push feed experts have retooled and expanded their production in the Corona pandemic. The demand for a secure job for cashiers is high throughout Germany. Production has been strengthened by 90 temporary workers to 190 heads.

Thomas Reineke, Lippische Landeszeitung

Corona has turned the world upside down. Also the proces­ses and produc­tion in many compa­nies. A good exam­ple is POS TUNING in the Meerbrede indus­trial estate. Since May last year, the specia­list for push feed systems has been produ­cing enclo­sures for cash regis­ters in the retail trade — with success. “By the end of April we will have sold around 15,000 hygie­nic sneeze guards across Germany,” says mana­ging direc­tor Oliver Voßhen­rich.

Ideas exchange:

At the begin­ning of the Corona pande­mic in spring last year, there were inter­nal consul­ta­ti­ons at POS TUNING: “We asked oursel­ves in the team what our most important part­ner, the food retail trade, needed in order to protect both employees and custo­mers from the risk of infec­tion,” says Oliver Voßhen­rich. The result was, among other things, face shields, spit guards, hygie­nic protec­tive walls and, most recently, entire check­out enclo­sures. POS TUNING first supplied the city of Bad Salzu­flen, among others, with protec­tive walls — and subse­quently also lawy­ers and doctors’ offices.

The problem was material procurement:

Demand rose quickly, and so a new problem arose for the company foun­ded by Udo Voßhen­rich in 1998:” We initi­ally relied on plexi­glass. But the demand for the trans­pa­rent mate­rial increased so much due to Corona that it became far too expen­sive and in some cases could no longer be obtai­ned at all,” recalls Oliver Voßhen­rich.

PETG as the solution:

And again, good advice was expen­sive: “We then came up with the mate­rial PETG, and that was the key.” PET or poly­ethy­lene tere­phtha­late is a plas­tic resin. Consu­mers know it in parti­cu­lar through the so-called PET bott­les. PETG is a further deve­lo­p­ment. It is clea­rer than PET, virtually as trans­pa­rent as glass. “In addi­tion, we were able to improve the struc­tu­ral rigi­dity of the mate­rial for our purpo­ses, yet it is only three milli­me­t­res thick,” says Voßhen­rich. This mate­rial forms the “walls” of the check­out enclo­sures. PETG is recy­clable. It ends up being shred­ded back into granu­les, from which new plas­tic mate­rial can be moul­ded.

Customised solutions:

“We have deve­lo­ped a kind of modu­lar system with which we can plan the right cons­truc­tion for prac­ti­cally any situa­tion,” says Voßhen­rich. Because: the check­out areas are funda­men­tally diffe­rent from grocery chain to grocery chain, some­ti­mes even from branch to branch of one brand.

Complete service:

It was also quickly clear to those respon­si­ble at POS TUNING that they could not leave the custo­mers alone with the cons­truc­tion of the check­out enclo­sures. “We ther­e­fore offer a full service,” says Oliver Voßhen­rich. This means that the Bad Salzuf­ler company curr­ently sends 130 two-person teams all over Germany at the same time to bring the orde­red enclo­sures to the stores and set them up “ready to go” on site. POS TUNING gets the addi­tio­nal staff for this from service provi­ders. “It would be impos­si­ble for us to build up so many staff so quickly oursel­ves,” says the mana­ging direc­tor. The staff of the service provi­ders are trai­ned in Bad Salzu­flen and then the packed goods are sent to all corners of the world.

Mana­ging Direc­tor Oliver Voßhen­rich stands at the model of a trans­pa­rent protec­tion for a work­place at the market check­out. POS TUNING curr­ently sells such enclo­sures all over Germany. PHOTO: THOMAS REINEKE

Digitalisation in retail

POS TUNING was foun­ded 23 years ago by Udo Voßhen­rich, the father of mana­ging part­ner Oliver Voßhen­rich. The inter­na­tio­nally posi­tio­ned company with its 180 employees gene­ra­tes an annual turno­ver of around 30 million euros. “We are curr­ently looking for further rein­force­ment”, says Oliver Voßhen­rich. POS TUNING is a specia­list for feed systems that always move the goods to the front of the shelf at the “point of sale” (the place where the customer’s decis­ion to buy is made). This makes even a half-empty shelf look full. The experts from the Meerbrede indus­trial estate on the A2 are also in the process of digi­ta­li­sing retail. Modern feed systems from POS TUNING record the stock of goods and report it in an app, for exam­ple. Fully auto­ma­tic reor­ders are also possi­ble.

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Next big order:

Despite this enorm­ous effort, the set-up in the stores remains the “bott­len­eck” in the entire value chain, accor­ding to Oliver Voßhen­rich. Because: “If a team is good, it might manage three, at most four markets a day.” And demand remains high. POS TUNING recently recei­ved a large order from a food chain. Voßhen­rich does not want to reveal the name. “We were asked to do so by the custo­mer,” explains the mana­ging direc­tor.

Production strengthened:

But POS TUNING has not only had to increase its logi­stics, but also its produc­tion because of the new line of busi­ness. The produc­tion in Meerbrede has been rein­forced by 90 tempo­rary workers to 190 heads. Voßhen­rich has solved another problem among Salzufl entre­pre­neurs. “The packed goods were almost burs­t­ing out of our company. That’s when I asked Andreas Reib­chen from the exhi­bi­tion centre if he could provide us with tempo­rary hall capa­city.” No ques­tion for Reib­chen. So POS TUNING can curr­ently use 1000 square metres of space in exhi­bi­tion hall 20 for picking the mate­rial for the cash regis­ter enclo­sures. From there, the boxes go on their jour­ney to the markets. The rental contract is valid until mid-April for the time being.

Working without a mask:

When the trade fair busi­ness starts up again, Oliver Voßhen­rich may have to think about another solu­tion. In any case, he does not assume that the need for hygiene measu­res ever­y­where where there is a lot of public and custo­mer traf­fic will be resol­ved when the pande­mic hopefully subs­i­des soon. “People have been sensi­ti­sed by Corona. An employee at the check­out will want to protect hims­elf or hers­elf from viru­ses and germs in the future as well. The big advan­tage of the enclo­sures is that the staff inside don’t have to wear a mask. We have had this clari­fied by profes­sio­nal asso­cia­ti­ons,” says Voßhen­rich. So it is quite possi­ble that the new busi­ness segment POS TUNING will be main­tai­ned in the long run. (Rei)

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