Braun Case Study

RE: Braun Case Study

Chairman Bernhard Wild stated in his concern regarding the risk for new and true innovations, “When a product is really new it takes courage. People don’t know what they want so Braun needs to create the need and expectation.” At Braun, they were driven by technological innovation, not price competition. This is supported by the core values of Braun design. So pricing is secondary.

Braun needs to think globally when evaluating the introduction of the Syncro Shaver and its accessories. It is obvious there are differentials in what would attract customers in each global market. People’s wishes and expectations differ from one region to another, so Braun has to try and reduce these differences. In defining the type of customer, packaging and positioning of Braun’s Syncro Shaver we must differentiate by market regions. They are identified as follows:

• Japan вЂ" The combined shaver/cleaner center would be most attractive to the Japanese consumer. They had taken a liking to the National/Panasonic washable shaver whereas you could hold it under the faucet and rinse the dirt from the head. The popularity produced a sharp increase in sales which caused slippage in Braun’s market share. Braun knew it needed to design a better product, not just match the competition. The target group in Japan is those who currently own washable shavers or own existing Braun shavers. The focal point of the marketing would be one of gaining a close shave without the risk of infection. Pricing should be competitive with Panasonic with the emphasis on value units. Value is what the Japanese want. The positioning of the product will increase back to 1995 and 1996 value and units. It is very difficult to change position in a market where two products compete.

• Germany вЂ" Braun first tested the new concept in Germany where Braun was trusted. The research indicated that based on the interviews with high-end users, the cleaning center concept would be purchased by half. Again, due to trust, price would not be a factor. But would the trust be compromised by giving the customer the idea that “you just put the shaver in, that’s all.” There is more to this than just putting the shaver in; the puck will need to be purchased and it is an accessory that has yet to be introduced. I would sell both products separately based on only half saying they would purchase the cleaning center. Otherwise the trust will be compromised leading to lower sales.

• Europe вЂ" Europe tends to follow the German market. Again, the competition was between two vendors, Braun and Philips (Norelco). Based on the European market share, Philips and Braun are neck and neck in units and value. Braun must maintain this by introducing the shaver and the cleaner separate and seeing if the shaver innovation gives the them market share edge in Europe and monitor the sales of the clean to see if you could eventually marry the two as one sale item

• US вЂ" ah yes, the fickle US. Where it is all about choice and price. Both need to be sold separate and it needs to have an incentive to buy both. So here is my far out idea. Braun is the high end user, no different than Lexus is to Toyota, Acura is to Honda. Millions of men relate shaving to Gillette, more so than to Braun. I will almost guarantee that if Gillette created a two tier shaver market, one high and the other for the average male. Shavers are a market where you have got to “reel the customer in” to try it at least once. If you like the shaver, people will tend to upgrade as they move up in life.

The Syncro shaver can help regain Braun leadership in this industry by sticking to its core values of Braun design. This helped Braun to become the leader in oral care product and small appliances, such as coffee makers.


About B. Braun

B. Braun is an international group with over 175 years of experience in the research, development and supply of health care products and services. Through the past decades, the German company has managed to expand globally and currently does business in over 60 countries.

In 1955 it established itself in Spain, where the company has a team of over 2,000 personnel who produce and distribute medical, surgical and pharmaceutical material. The purpose of procuring the Santa Oliva logistics center (Tarragona) was to improve its service and fill orders anywhere in Spain and Europe on a very tight deadline.


The new logistics centre

With a total 7.66 acre floor area, the B. Braun logistics center is divided internally into three buildings:

  1. The clad-rack facility, which stands out for its height and size, is intended for the storage of pallets. At one end are the input and output circuits that connect to other buildings. On the outside, they installed the main water tank and pumping equipment for the fire-fighting system.
  2. A two-story annex of standard construction. At the bottom, the receipt of the goods is carried out and on top picking operations and the sorting of orders.
  3. The second annex, also of standard construction, is used to locate the areas for sorting and consolidation of orders, as well as the shipping docks.

Features of a clad-rack warehouse

The clad-rack warehouse is a solution that makes full use of the surface and height of the edifice to optimize storage capacity. It consists of racking, on which the upper trusses –to which the stacker crane's guides are attached–, the joists of the cladding and the side profiles that make up the walls and the ceiling are fixed in place. The racking supports the ventilation pipes and the temperature control system, the lighting, plumbing and fire sprinkler system.

When designing a warehouse of these characteristics, one must take into account factors that interact with the structure, such as the weight of the building itself, the stored loads, the force transmitted by the wind, overburdening of the roofing (be it snow or maintenance, etc.), the horizontal forces exerted by the stacker cranes, the seismicity corresponding to the area where it is installed, and the building regulations in force in each country.

Inside the automated clad-rack warehouse

The 408’ long, 216’ wide, 92’ high clad-rack warehouse contains eleven aisles, six of them with single-depth racking –placed both sides– and five double-depth ones.

The racking is fourteen levels high with a triple-pallet storage depth each. This distribution allows the location of SKUs based on the A, B and C turnover criteria, as well as the streamlining of the movements of handling equipment.

Each aisle is served by a single-mast stacker crane with single and double-deep telescopic forks.

These machines operate at a speed of 590 ft/min and 177 ft/min when raised and are capable of handling more than 370 pallets per hour.

Stacker cranes move the pallets from the locations to the input and output conveyors located at one end of each aisle.

Height upgrade via trenching

A portion of the clad-rack warehouse was built in a pit in order to not exceed the height stipulated by current legislation while maintaining the required storage capacity.

Two platforms formed by structural profiles are set up to handle pallets on two different warehouse levels: the first set aside for entrances and exits of full pallets and the second to supply areas reserved for picking and sorting orders.

On the lower level, coinciding with the slab or the warehouse floor, they placed computers to control the movements of the auxiliary equipment of the entire installation. Moreover, in this space access for maintenance tasks is set up. Everything is protected and isolated, by means of mesh cladding and safety access doors, from the working aisles where the stacker cranes circulate.

Advantages for B. Braun

  • Surface optimized: the clad-rack installation uses the entire surface and height, achieving a storage capacity of 42,116 pallets.
  • Automation: the logistics center is equipped with the latest technology, with eleven stacker cranes capable of handling over 370 pallets per hour.
  • Everyday safety: the warehouse is highly automated and equipped with all available safety elements, limiting human intervention while ensuring the safety of personnel in case the facility is accessed.

Products used in this project

      Technical Specifications

      Storage capacity:42,116 pallets
      Warehouse length:408’
      Warehouse width:216’
      Warehouse height:92’
      No. of aisles:11
      No. of load levels:14
      Pallet depth per lane:3

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