On July 5, the Optima Logistics Center was officially dedicated. As part of an opening celebration, Hans Bühler, Managing Director of the Optima Group, handed over the new building to Heiko Funk, Managing Director of OPTIMA materials management GmbH, and the employees of the Materials Management and Global Parts Service departments. In their remarks to the attendees, Hans Bühler and Heiko Funk thanked everyone for their contributions that made it possible to successfully complete the project in only ten months, and also highlighted the impressive performance during the move and the go-live. Optima invested about EUR 20 million in the project in the Solpark industrial park in Schwäbisch Hall.
All the participants from Optima and the commissioned partners completed the new logistics center—one of the largest projects in Optima’s history—in record time. The new building along with all new infrastructure and the latest IT technology have been in full operation since the start of March, so it was now time to officially dedicate it.Equipped to meet future challenges
Hans Bühler greeted those in attendance and explained the background on the decision to build the Logistics Center at the Solpark location: “There were several alternatives. Ultimately, we chose this location because the Solpark offers the best expansion opportunities and we wanted to avoid having two large facilities. The current development at Optima Pharma has proven that this is the right path—the expansion opportunities there are already being put to use with the new assembly hall. Mr. Bühler briefly summarized the history of Optima materials management as well, explaining that he had launched the high bay warehouse on the Steinbeisweg in 1983, and it was later expanded in the 1990s and the 2000s. At some point it became clear, however, that future projects could not be completed with the existing warehouse.
Architect Rolf Blank was on site as a representative of the planning and design team. He outlined the most important facts about the Logistics Center. It offers about 6,000 square meters of space plus an office wing for 150 employees, and is ten meters tall. The building is heated and cooled with a concrete alternative—similar to underfloor heating. The result is consistently pleasant temperatures in the building all year round. “It was important to have daylight enter the space, therefore the large window was installed in the facade, and skylights also provide a great deal of natural light,” said Rolf Blank.
In conclusion, Hans Bühler expressed his thanks for this great performance, and included all those involved in the project—making sure to recognize the general contractor and Optima Facility Management. He also praised the performance of the employees during the move and the go-live. Then the ribbon was ceremonially cut to the enthusiastic applause of the attendees.
In his address to the group, Heiko Funk listed the factors for the project's success: “It was especially important that we involved all of our employees in the project. For example, in the early stages we sent out a questionnaire asking which criteria were important to the employees and what aspects should be given special attention in the course of constructing the new building. The project team under Andreas Ketteman provided professional management for the move and the go-live. In addition, there were many experts at Optima who provided background assistance for the new focus of materials management with their technical knowledge, especially the Optima IT department. Heiko Funk also directed his thanks and appreciation to all of those who had contributed to this accomplishment.
“Another success factor was that we relied on the right partner from the very beginning,” said Heiko Funk. He also gave special thanks to the architecture team working under Rolf Blank. With the words “anything is possible,” Heiko Funk described the work with the architects and thanked them for the good cooperation. The working relationship with the general contractor was similarly harmonious, as was working with all other companies involved as well as Optima Facility Management and the local authorities.Good luck during construction, with a few challenges along the way
Heiko Funk also referenced the challenges that arose during construction. The difficult substrate made it necessary to insert vibro stone columns up to 7.5 meters in length into the soil. In addition, the former site of a military compound had to be cleared of any explosive ordnance. “With just the first excavator shovel, we found an unexploded ordnance,” said Heiko Funk. As a result, additional construction work had to be done under the supervision of the munitions disposal service. The arrival of winter complicated the installation of the base slab, and the fire prevention concept required a great deal of flexibility in planning and managing.
In conclusion to his remarks, Hans Bühler handed the symbolic key over to Heiko Funk and wished much future success to the building and all who work there.