E. Ahlström is the largest supplier of commercial kitchens in Finland. For the company to remain competitive with online stores, it needs to continuously condense its supply chain and expand its offering in a cost-effective manner. Warehouse facilities leased from Logicor at the Vuosaari logistics centre in Helsinki have enabled E. Ahlström to optimise its operations to send out more shipments in a shorter time compared to their previous premises, with direct savings derived from the use of vertical warehousing.

Efficient warehousing is essential in the business of wholesaling kitchen and catering supplies. The digital transformation of purchasing channels is leading to a global market where responding to the competition requires companies to increase their delivery capacity and expand their product range.

“The restaurant industry aims to deliver memorable experiences to their customers, and catering supplies is one way of creating those experiences. We want to respond to our customers’ needs by offering them a wide range of alternatives. With more than a million pieces of porcelainware passing through our warehouse each year, the effectiveness of product storage and order picking processes is crucial. Our warehouse in Vuosaari enables optimal processes and our operations overall are now much smoother and more efficient than they were at our previous premises,” says Petri Nupponen, CEO of E. Ahlström.

Flexible access to additional space needed by a growing company

As customers look for an increasingly broad product offering, E. Ahlström’s need for space grows from time to time.

“We do the best we can to serve our customers as their business grows. E. Ahlström needed additional space, and we were able to offer an adjacent warehouse facility to them. This cooperation benefits both parties,” says Asset Manager Olli Ahopelto from Logicor.

Our previous warehouse facility did not give us the opportunity to develop the warehouse and our business. Our partnership with Logicor provides us with the flexibility we need for growth. When we expanded our facilities in the spring of 2017, Logicor demonstrated a strong desire to understand our needs, work with us and find a mutually satisfactory solution. – Petri Nupponen, CEO, E. Ahlström

A good warehouse facility combines functionality with location

E. Ahlström’s operations at the Vuosaari warehouse are diverse, which places special requirements on the property. In wholesale operations involving smaller items, efficient warehousing and order picking is very important. In project sales, they need sufficient floor space to gather furniture and other large products to deliver them to customers in a single delivery.

“We need high-level order picking in our warehouse, so the height of the warehouse was an important criterion that excluded a number of potential options. In Vuosaari, we found a sufficiently high space where we can use vertical warehousing, which helps us reduce costs,” Petri Nupponen says.

Another advantage of the Vuosaari logistics centre was its excellent location in terms of logistics. E. Ahlström receives weekly deliveries from Europe directly to Vuosaari Harbour, and they also have the option of expediting the unloading process by moving goods directly from ship to warehouse. Outbound freight travels conveniently from Vuosaari to the rest of the country, as the connections to the main roads are quick and uncongested.

Vuosaari Harbour served our needs the best. The facilities at this warehouse are a good fit with our operations. The location is good for both inbound and outbound freight, and the customers who pick up their products from the warehouse can easily get there from central Helsinki. – Petri Nupponen, CEO, E. Ahlström