Verlagsgruppe Weltbild creates shipping documents step by step by merging PDF files

Verlagsgruppe WELTBILD has an awareness rating of 85 per cent (GfK 2011) and is the most well-known book brand and the leading book company in the German-speaking market. The multi-channel bookseller is renowned for its up-to-date products and low prices. WELTBILD holds second place in online book sales and is Germany’s third largest mail order company. WELTBILD has a wide local presence with around 300 stores in the German-speaking region. WELTBILD customers can choose from a selection of 3 million books, audio books, DVDs, CDs, toys, gift articles and downloads from the Internet and at any WELTBILD store. They also have access to some 310,000 e-books.

Customer Requirements
In 2012 the previous ERP system, a customized software programme based on IBM ES9000, was replaced with SAP. In the old system, the shipping documents were printed in advance via the host system ES9000. The implementation of SAP meant that the logistics information stored in the host system could no longer be used. WELTBILD uses an IRS-ODS software module to manage picking and packaging at the logistics center. Logistical information, for example the ID code of a delivery package, is not determined until the goods are picked and packaged. Printing out the complete delivery documents in advance was therefore no longer possible; they had to be created step by step. This in turn called for high performance software that could reliably merge and print PDF documents and could be integrated into the existing program code via an API. It should be able to handle up to 100,000 PDFs on a daily basis.

Implementation
The basic PDF file (invoice or delivery note) generated by the SAP system is merged with a second PDF document (Merge PDF) containing information such as box size, shipping company, shipping label and marketing or greeting text; it is printed when the shipment is ready for dispatch. The second PDF document with the additional logistical information is produced in the IRS-ODS system and created with the “List & Label” report generator. The PDF documents are merged using PDF Prep Tool Suite; the final shipping document is printed using a 3-Heights™ PDF Printer. Both software components were integrated directly into the IRS-ODS program code by means of a simple API.

Customers benefit
IRS-ODS uses PDF Prep Tool Suite to add the necessary logistics information to the incomplete basic PDF documents, i.e. invoices and delivery notes generated by the SAP host system. This supplementary logistics information is used to create a complete PDF document. In contrast to the former process, these shipping documents are not printed batch-wise in advance but rather online and on location directly at the packing table using a 3-Heights™ PDF Printer. Online printing has enabled WELTBILD to reduce the workload in the logistics center, saving both time and money.

Customer Statements
The two-stage creation of shipping documents gives us greater independence with regard to time and more flexibility in our logistics processes.
Jens Vogt, Logistics Planning, Verlagsgruppe Weltbild

By enabling two PDF files to be merged into one PDF we have made it possible to combine information from different IT systems in one shipping document without first having to transport data through various interfaces. Information is simply added to the document at each step in the process, after which the document is then printed.
Marco Kugel, Project Leader, IRS Ingenieurbüro für Softwareentwicklung GmbH

Brief Portrait of IRS Ingenieurbüro für Softwareentwicklung GmbH
IRS has been successful both nationally and internationally in the areas of internal logistics, product logistics and warehouse management since 1994. Their products and solutions encompass storage management systems, material flow management, MDE and BDE systems and production control systems that are implemented as turnkey solutions for customers. Their customers include logistics service centers and production plants as well as unit and machine manufacturers. Innovative products, high demands on quality, high reliability, close customer relationships, flexibility, friendly service and lifetime support are strengths that characterize IRS.

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About PDF Tools AG

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