European outdoor specialist retailer adds automation

Company once scrambling to keep up lets the DC do the work by itself.
By Josh Bond, Associate Editor
October 22, 2011 - MMH Editorial

European outdoor specialist retailer Jack Wolfskin had grown by more than 20% every year, and the company’s warehousing and logistics systems were bursting at the seams. When the company built a new facility, it deployed an automated distribution center with innovative storage and order picking systems.

The new logistics center, located near Hamburg, Germany, completely relies on direct carton handling—pallets, trays, or other additional load carriers are not needed. The automatic carton warehouse stores the delivered cartons directly in the triple-depth storage in a 12-aisle warehouse with 210,000 storage locations. The goods are conveyed to the order picking zones, where the system fully directs the order picking process. Items can be moved and stored in multiple locations to speed up order fulfillment.

From the order-picking process, orders can be redirected to manual laborers for post-processing, such as labeling, repacking, special documenting and possibly ironing or other preparations according to customer requirements. Displays inform the workers what carton needs what special attention, and finished cartons are transferred back onto the conveyor.

Finally, all cartons are covered with a lid, automatically strapped, and labeled for shipping.

The new automated distribution center also led to extensive changes in the organization and to a complete replacement of the company’s IT system. The solutions provider ensured that all the systems worked well together. According to Christian Brandt, Jack Wolfskin’s CFO and head of logistics, the change was a quantum leap.

“Our provider managed to guide us out of the Stone Age into the modern era of logistics,” says Brandt, who adds the best part of the project was that none of his customers noticed. “Although, to be honest, I wasn’t really expecting that.”

TGW
231-798-4547
http://www.tgw-group.com


More Storage coverage.

More from Modern’s 2012 Casebook



About the Author

image
Josh Bond
Associate Editor

Josh Bond is an associate editor to Modern. Josh was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and contributing editor, has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce.


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!

Recent Entries

Freedonia research highlights growing domestic interest in automation.

American Logistics Aid Network mobilizes logistics partners to deliver supplies to difficult-to-reach areas.

In a fundamentally changed world, your approach to strategy, and your supply chain, must also change. Andrew Winston, author of The Big Pivot, discusses how business can profit from this fundamental change.

Voice-enabled work is one element in a broad management strategy to improve order accuracy, increase productivity, and reduce labor costs in the supply chain. This complimentary white paper is designed to help you speak the ROI language, and provides a calculation formula to present the performance and financial payback from a variety of voice-enabled applications.

Conveyor manufacturers revise growth estimate up from 2% to 5%.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA