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BSN Sports: System design

BSN Sports realizes solid improvements by reconfiguring the layout of a conventional warehouse with limited automation.
By Bob Trebilcock, Executive Editor
March 01, 2012

BSN Sports; Farmers Branch, Texas
Size: 187,000 square feet
Products handled: Sporting goods
Stock keeping units: 8,000
Throughput: 855,000 packages per year
Employees: 65 to 85
Shifts/Days: 1 shift/5 days per week

BSN Sports’ new layout streamlined order fulfillment processes, allowing the sporting goods manufacturer and distributor to expand business within an existing facility with conventional warehousing processes. 

Receiving: BSN Sports receives (1) imported and domestically manufactured product.

For imported products, the warehouse management system (WMS) receives an ASN and generates a packing slip for each container of imported product. Items are manually unloaded in the receiving area (2) to a pallet. Once a pallet is verified against the packing slip, the WMS generates a pallet ticket that includes the product code, the quantity on the pallet, the time it was received and a putaway location in the storage area. Pallets are staged (2) for putaway. 

For domestic products, receipts may be floor-loaded or palletized deliveries, which will determine whether the product is manually unloaded or unloaded by a lift truck. As with an imported receipt, the shipment is verified against a packing slip before the WMS generates a pallet ticket. Pallets are staged (2) for putaway.

Putaway: Staged pallets are delivered by lift truck or pallet jack to a drop off location for the very narrow aisle (VNA) reserve storage area (3). They are put away into storage by an operator on a VNA lift truck.

Replenishment: In addition to dropping off pallets for putaway, lift truck operators will pick up pallets from reserve storage (2) to restock picking areas (4, 5) before a wave of orders.

Picking: Orders are picked from one of several picking areas. Pallet flow racks (4) are used for high moving items; gravity flow rack and shelving are is used for other pick areas (5). Pick tickets are distributed to order selectors on each level of the picking mezzanine (5). To initiate an order, a label from the pick ticket is placed on a tote. The order selector picks the items in that zone, places the ticket in the tote and then pushes it onto a takeaway conveyor. If that completes the order, the tote goes directly to a quality control area. Otherwise, it is conveyed to the next picking zone on that level or one of the other mezzanine levels until the order is complete. At that point, it will be pushed onto the takeaway conveyor (6) and delivered to the quality control area, where it is inspected for completeness.

Packing: Once an order has been inspected, it is conveyed to the packing mezzanine (7). The packer chooses a shipping container based on information located on the pick ticket. Once items are packed in the shipping container, the packer places a bar code label on the container along with a label that includes customer service information in case there is an issue when the shipment arrives.

Shipping: Packed containers are placed back on the conveyor and delivered to an inline scale in the shipping area (8). There, the carton is automatically weighed and the bar code label is scanned. The parcel shipping system uses that information to create a shipping label that is applied to the container. Containers for parcel shipment are conveyed to a shipping area for UPS or the postal service. The remaining containers will be palletized and loaded into trailers for LTL shipments.

System suppliers
System integration: TranSystems
WMS: SAP
Parcel shipping software: Kewill Clippership
Conveyor: TGW Systems
Lift trucks: Raymond
Pallet rack and mezzanine: Unarco
Stretch wrap: Fox Packaging Services
Shipping dunnage: FP International

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About the Author

Bob Trebilcock
Executive Editor

Bob Trebilcock, executive editor, has covered materials handling, technology and supply chain topics for Modern Materials Handling since 1984. More recently, Trebilcock became editorial director of Supply Chain Management Review. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.


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