ekz library service

Project Report ekz Library Service

ekz.bibliotheksservice GmbH is a specialist company for libraries whose product range covers the complete needs of libraries. This includes:

  • Furniture
  • Accessories/Material
  • Library technology
  • Media

A fundamental reorganisation of the flow of goods in the area of media - especially books, games and sound carriers - had become necessary in order to meet the demands of the market. The demand for faster delivery with simultaneous reduction of process costs was one of the main challenges to the project.

The main conceptual tasks were:

  • Reduction of lead times by 20%
  • Waiver of a stock
  • Optimisation of procurement channels
  • Direct pick and pack process
  • Increase transparency at all levels

The consistent solution approaches are defined by measures in the entire supply chain:

  • Procurement
  • Warehousing
  • Incoming goods
  • Production
  • Order picking
  • Shipping


The procurement of media on the basis of existing customer orders is fundamentally new. This requires an exact preparation of the customer orders, but also a fast and reliable delivery by the suppliers, which was ensured by corresponding contracts with the publishers and bar suppliers.


Customer-based procurement has almost completely eliminated the required inventory and thus the warehousing costs.

Incoming goods

In connection with the reduction of process steps, an exact allocation of the titles and each copy to the corresponding customer orders must be carried out. This important task is already carried out in the incoming goods processing. There, in addition to checking and recording master data, the individual copies are marked with a 2D barcode. This already explicitly defines the individual copy for the customer. The copies for the customer-specific requested production processes are prepared in the incoming goods department.


Production includes different types of production and thus also different production lines. A distinction is essentially made here:

  • foiled
  • sewn and foiled
  • bound with and
  • without dust jacket

The production lines were converted in such a way that a continuous, straight material flow was created from incoming goods to the finished product. At the same time, production facilities were replaced or supplemented to meet the requirements for quality and delivery speed.


After production, all copies are fed onto a sorting machine.
In the first step, the copies are automatically presorted. A distinction is made between large and normal orders. The second sorting step for normal orders is manual but system-supported. Scanners are installed at the end of the outfeed lanes to read in each copy again. The system then displays a customer carton for the employee to pack the copy into. The customer cartons are placed in shelves that are equipped with a pick-by-light system. The storage process is supported by lamps on the shelves. Each storage is acknowledged.

Special processing

The special service of ekz.bibliotheksservice GmbH also lies in the ready-to-loan processing (ALB), which gives libraries the opportunity to lend out all media without further processing. This is carried out on a case-by-case basis and is directly integrated into the process. As an additional service, the possibility of RF-ID labelling is integrated here.

Outgoing goods

All shipping cartons are labelled, provided with an exact delivery note and sealed via central processing.

IWL AG, a planning and consulting company from Ulm, supported the project group of ekz.bibliotheksservice GmbH from the development of the idea to the detailing of the processes to the operational use.

S&P Computersysteme GmbH supplied the application software linked to the host system for sorting and storing the books, Linux-based server systems, the pick-to-light system, as well as the complete workstation equipment consisting of touch screen PCs and 2D digital scanners. For the overflow areas, additional MC9060 mobile radio data terminals with wireless LAN, also equipped with 2D scanners, were installed.