Automated picking and storage system boost logistics service levels for growing High Street retailer
SSI Schaefer recently designed, delivered and installed a brand new dual-purpose picking and storage system (pictured) for Integrated Distribution Services (IDS) Logistics in Sheffield on behalf of fashion retailer Republic.
IDS Logistics – an Asian-based third party logistics provider looking to expand its foothold in the UK – called upon preferred supplier SSI Schaefer in the Far East to install an integrated picking and storage system to manage the storage, picking and distribution of flat-packed garments for Republic.
With 120 stores currently on the High Street, Republic has ambitions to grow to more than 200 stores over the next two to three years, boosting its High Street presence, along with additional plans to capitalise on e-commerce sales and increase its online market share.
Adrian Robinson, IDS logistics director, said: “We needed SSI Schaefer to design a new system that would handle Republic’s retail store consignments and fulfil its online shopping orders with ease – a challenge more than accomplished with the automated dual purpose picking and storage system now in operation.”
Harnessing time-saving benefits
He continued: “The installation has enabled us to drop a shift – previously we worked two, sometimes three shifts – we now work one full shift with extra hours to handle late order e-commerce shipments. Currently running at just half its capacity in order to achieve the revised shift pattern, the system has significantly increased picking and shipping accuracy. We are extremely pleased with how the system is operating.”
The system is made up of low-level adjustable pallet racking, incorporating shelving for carton picking and pallets for bulk storage. An extensive conveyor system, with a re-circulating facility, routes and delivers cartons of product to a series of ‘put to store’ zones, where items are then individually picked and sorted to store delivery totes.
Automation increases productivity
The dual system enables full carton volumes of product to be picked and supplied for sortation and distribution in specific quantities to stores and residual items are passed automatically via the conveyor to supply or replenish separate e-commerce picking locations without having to be returned to stock. A ‘carton-live’ tote buffer accumulates full totes before being palletised for shipment to stores.
An extensive wire basket-based storage facility sits either side of the conveyor system, providing over 10,000 locations that hold stock for zone-picking internet orders into totes before they are individually packed into bags or cartons for onward delivery.
Every product is identified using barcode scanners at both case and individual item level ensuring the whole operation runs at optimum order picking and delivery accuracy.