Automated storage plugs into productivity

Online electronics retailer upgrades its DC with automated storage system to keep up with increase in sales.

By ·

As the largest online retailer in Scandinavia delivering PCs, PC components and other related electronic equipment to more than 700,000 customers, Komplett’s inventory capacity, accuracy and speed of order fulfillment are critical to maintaining its market position. 

For more than a decade, Komplett filled its orders manually. But as sales grew and the product line expanded to more than 10,000 SKUs, its need for increased inventory capacity, additional pick faces and a streamlined order fulfillment process solution reached a critical level. The manual operation couldn’t keep up with the order volumes and the market demands for speed and accuracy.

After reviewing a number of automation options, Komplett upgraded its DC with an automated storage and fulfillment system (Swisslog, http://www.swisslog.com) designed for dense storage and efficient piece and small case picking. The system is made up of a three-dimensional grid of self-supporting bins that are moved to pick stations by independently operating robots. Each robot has two sets of wheels that enable it to move in multiple directions, making it possible for each robot to reach any position on the grid. Each of Komplett’s 55 robots is equipped with a lift for picking up, carrying and putting the system’s 34,000 bins stored in the grid.

“We like that the system provides the most compact storage possible for our inventory and continuously reconfigures the position of SKUs based on those used most,” says Pal Asbjorn Vindegg, Komplett’s CEO. “This provides for optimum efficiency.”

From its newly automated 270,000-square-foot central distribution center, Komplett prepared and shipped 1.4 million orders in 2010. The result is a DC that provides a streamlined capability for order processing. 

“Since we completed the DC automation, our man hours have reduced and our order volumes have increased,” says Vindegg. “We doubled our inventory storage capability and increased productivity by 30%, all within the same building footprint.”


About the Author

Lorie King Rogers
Lorie King Rogers, associate editor, joined Modern in 2009 after working as a freelance writer for the Casebook issue and show daily at tradeshows. A graduate of Emerson College, she has also worked as an editor on Stock Car Racing Magazine.

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Latest Whitepaper
Is Your DC Ready for E-commerce Growth? Here’s How to Handle More SKUs and Inventory Turns
The rise of e-commerce and multi-channel fulfillment has caused distribution centers (DCs) to experience ever-growing numbers of stock-keeping units (SKUs) and more inventory turns, up to an average of nine in 2015.
Download Today!
From the August 2016 Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
5 Emerging Technologies Enabling Competitive Advantage for Distribution
Come hear about the latest in each-picking robotics, co-bots, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, sensors, drones and droids that are enabling competitive advantage for distribution.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
The data-driven lift truck
Now that manufacturers and distributors are using the data from their automated systems to drive...
Destination Maternity: Destination Automation
Running short of space in its old facility, Destination Maternity Corp. built a new, highly...

Hibbett Sports: Faster, Flexible and Efficient
A high-speed conveyor and sortation system at Hibbett Sports’ Alabama distribution center speeds...
Necessity is the mother of invention at Quiet Logistics
Faced with the loss of a robotic pick solution, Quiet Logistics invented its own robots. Are they...