In 1996 QVC established its German subsidiary and developed a logistics centre in Hueckelhoven, near Cologne in North Rhein Westfalia, to service its rapidly expanding customer base. The centre processes annually 14 million shipments with 18,000 constantly changing articles.
As part of its expansion strategy QVC made a strategic decision to develop close ties with the logistics provider Hermes. The aim of the association was to ensure that QVC customers were ensured a fast and professional delivery service throughout Germany. Hermes as part of its commitment to QVC built a distribution hub next to the QVC operation.
To optimize the service a physical link was needed between the two buildings. Pierau Planung, the German parent of Pierau Logistics Ltd was employed to produce a plan and design for the link which would not only physically convey goods from QVC to Hermes but also ensure that the system was integrated within the warehouse management system of the logistics operation. As part of the project Pierau Planung were also tasked with redesigning and redeveloping the returns and despatch activities.
The conveyor solution provided by Pierau Planung now allows for more than 15 million orders per year to be processed and shipped through the Hermes hub. 40,000 boxes can be processed in a day at a rate of 8,000 boxes per hour via the conveyor link. QVC’s product range is physically very varied and the conveyor link not only processes small and standard items but also large bulky goods. The conveyor link has without doubt helped to further enhance QVC’s excellent delivery service to its customers.