“Manufacturing tires reliably while using 65 fewer lift trucks.” – Barum Continental

The history of the traditional tire manufacturer began in 1932 in Zlín. In the buildings belonging to the Baťa shoe company, the first rubber tires for passenger cars and for trucks were pressed. In 1972, the tire producer moved to Otrokovice, and in 1992 it joined the Continental AG Group. Its production gradually increased up to about 20 million tires a year.

Tire production and logistics was served by a fleet consisting of hundreds of material-handling equipment machines. The instructions were clear: to find and describe all manipulations and flows within the individual operations. Afterwards, we had to come up with a suggestion how to manage these flows in a reliable and cheap way. Our goal was to help with routine logistics operations as well as logistics management.


Detailed overview is essential. We made an inventory of the manipulation equipment, and we gathered information about technical specification, age, operation hours and utilization of each device. We processed the available information on manipulation equipment costs, which included not only fuel consumption, but also the costs of repairs or costs of new tires for the lift trucks.

We got to know every flow in the company – where from, where to, what and in what quantity the items are manipulated. We followed the manipulation equipment driver and measured manipulation times and distances. With our software tools, we plotted all manipulation routes into the site layout.

At the end of the first phase of the project, we precisely knew what had to be manipulated in the operations. Such detailed knowledge is crucial for future optimization savings. For each flow, the right way of manipulation has to be applied. Manipulation equipment should be used to its maximum capacity, thus reducing the fixed costs. Our Forklift Wizard methodology looks for and chooses a reliable and cheap solution.


The first project output was a proposed new set-up of the manipulation equipment fleet. We reduced the equipment counts by changing the division of labor. For intensive and regular flows, concrete forklifts were dedicated. Other flows were merged and then assigned to the handling of equipment as a whole. For sporadic manipulations, an internal manipulation equipment rental shop was established. Furthermore, we created a central reserve fleet for the replacement of temporarily non-functional machines.

We changed the way the fleet is financed. It is not always cost-efficient to own the manipulation equipment. In most cases, the demands for equipment fluctuate over time. There are peaks during the day, week and year. Therefore it should be considered whether operation leasing or rental would pay off. With regard to Barum, in the end, we chose a combination of all the possibilities. The manipulation equipment supplier had to offer flexibility in the number of machines, buy-back of the current worn-out equipment and fleet modernization schedule.

We proposed further measures leading to the reduction of manipulation equipment operation costs. For each piece of equipment, we compared various technical specifications and the drive type. We implemented rotation of the machines in the operations so that they will get worn out in a balanced manner.

The new regime includes precise monitoring of the manipulation equipment. Each responsible worker knows his or her manipulation costs and is motivated to reduce them. Logistics management receives a management report. As a result, the manipulation equipment works as a sustainable and improving organism.

Used solutions and services



  • Higher utilization and higher reliability of manipulation equipment
  • Guarantee of constant high-level of equipment quality achieved by its continual modernization
  • Significant reduction in the number of manipulation equipment pieces in operation: reduction by 65 lift trucks
  • The above benefits were accompanied by reduction of the yearly manipulation equipment costs by 30 %

Used solutions and services