Streamlining Distribution with Automation
Conveyors, mergers, diverts, pop-up transfers, and scanning systems.
In the fast paced world of warehousing, efficient order fulfilment is the key to meeting ever-increasing customer demands for swift and accurate delivery of goods. Order picking accounts for around 60% of operational costs in a warehouse, so it vital that your chosen process will optimise your current order picking requirements, be agile enough to manage peak periods in order fulfilment, and offer scope for long term growth. Adding the current labour crisis to the list of challenges, it’s not surprising that an increasing number of warehouse operators are looking to automated solutions to help meet their order picking needs.
There is a vast array of warehouse automation solutions that can be implemented to improve picking and order accuracy, enhance overall warehouse operations and efficiency, as well as facilitate a better environment for staff. From tote and pallet handling conveyors, through to automated storage and retrieval systems and autonomous mobile robots, advances in automation technology offers a compelling investment for SMEs today.
With so many options available, how do you assess and implement the optimal order picking solution?
The level of automation you may require should be entirely tailored to your own specific warehouse operations, with several factors to be considered to ensure the order picking solution meets your fulfilment needs.
L-A-C’s extensive knowledge and understanding of warehouse operations offer flexible, scalable, and bespoke solutions, helping your business transition to full or partial automation. Analysing every element from SKU profiles to throughput speeds, will provide an accurate picture of your current processes. Adding business strategies to the mix such as your growth objectives, we can tailor every element of your order picking process, to deliver a bespoke design and installation of a highly efficient solution with favourable ROI.
Working closely with Hachette UK Distribution (HUKD) – a prominent book distributor – we designed and implemented a manual loose pick solution which would integrate with existing operations across stock receipt, storage of long stocks, case & loose picking for replenishment, and customer orders across a multi-tier mezzanine structure.
The system included a network of around 500m of conveyors with mergers, diverts, pop-up transfers and scanning systems across the ground floor and four mezzanine levels. Two 18-metre spiral conveyors facilitated the vertical conveying between these multi-level zones.
The solution helped Hachette to transition smoothly into their new facility, delivering a streamlined and optimised distribution process, increasing throughput, as well as optimising traffic management, sequencing, and picking. Overall, implementing our solution provided HUKD with the necessary tools to improve its warehouse efficiency, optimise its distribution process, and better serve its clients.