Retrofit project for
Musikhaus Thomann

Expansion of the logistics centre

Project Motivation

Musikhaus Thomann, a family-owned company, expanded its existing logistics centre at corporate headquarters in Treppendorf, Germany in 2018. For an investment of 27 million euros, the number of shipments was increased by up to 50 percent and the order processing time was reduced to 28 minutes. This enables the Musikhaus to supply its 12 million customers around the world optimally and in the shortest possible time.

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At a glance

Key benefits

  • EXPANSION DURING ONGOING OPERATION Perfect networking of the new and old systems without any problems

  • SHORT LEAD TIMES It now takes 28 minutes to fulfil an order

  • OPTIMISED PERSONNEL REQUIREMENT A high degree of automation ensures improved processes and optimum use of resources

Initial Situation

From Germany to the world: From its chief distribution centre in Treppendorf, Musikhaus Thomann supplies more than 12 million customers around the world. The family-owned company decided in favour of an expansion of the existing system in order to bring it up to par. The company processes an average of 15,000 packages a day – on peak days, it can be up to 28,000. Therefore, the goal was to construct a new, comprehensive logistics centre that would integrate the existing system into the processes while bringing its technology in line with the state of the art. 

The new logistics centre enables not only up to 50 percent higher output, but has cut the order lead time to just 28 minutes.

Solution & Materialflow 

    From goods receiving, the goods are routed to an automated pallet warehouse (18,000 storage positions) or automatic mini-load warehouse (70,000 tote storage positions). The automatic mini-load warehouse supplies the goods to an automatic shuttle system (110,000 storage positions) for fast and continuous supply of SKUs to order picking workstations.
    Order picking is divided into three areas for providing large goods on pallets, large cartons and small parts in totes: The pallet warehouse has a direct area for picking goods on pallets (large goods such as drums). Large cartons (guitars, for example) are retrieved from the automatic mini-load warehouse and sent to the packaging area or directly to shipping. A highly dynamic shuttle warehouse for totes and cartons (small parts such as picks) supplies goods-to-person workstations (GTP) for picking in totes. 
    The goods from the various picking areas are then consolidated for final packaging in the packaging area (in large cartons and pallets where applicable).
    After the packaging process, the goods are stored by type of transport (trucking company, courier express package service, counter sale on site) and loaded into lorries. The goods are transferred to local counter sale fully automatically by means of a conveyor connection, facilitating fast and problem-free acceptance. Pallets are loaded by forklift into lorries.


Highlights: Retrofit

It was exceptionally important to ensure the expansion of the existing system during operation. As one of the world's largest shippers of music equipment, Thomann's highest priority was meeting delivery commitments. A seamless coupling of the new and old buildings was the criterion for determining the success of the retrofit project. Finally, a solution was implemented that unites old and new and works in a perfectly networked fashion.


A particular highlight of the Thomann intralogistics solution is the fully automatic picking of large cartons (original cartons). The goods can be removed from storage directly from the automatic mini-load warehouse (AKL) and routed directly to shipping without being touched.

About Thomann

Musikhaus Thomann was founded in 1954 in Treppendorf, Bavaria. Today, the family-owned company has over 1,600 employees. With over 12 million customers, it is one of the world's largest online music dealers in terms of sales.


Michael Schedlbauer
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