Case Study with Luxury Fashion Retailer

Subject matter expertise input to a high-level evaluation of potential goods-to-person automation technologies to increase productivity and storage density within a European fulfilment centre.

Client Overview

The client is a global online retailer of luxury fashion products including apparel, footwear and accessories. The project focused on the business’s 400,000 square foot European distribution centre in the Netherlands.

Project Objectives

The warehouse operation used a manual pick tower solution. The business was looking to add further products to the range, which would have required mezzanine expansion that would lock in the low productivities and low storage density that the solution embodied.

  • Evaluate the payback to deploy various forms of automation, compared to an expansion of the mezzanines.
  • Consider the benefits of automated picking solutions for multi-unit orders versus single unit orders.

Project Approach

  • Visted the warehouse to develop an understanding of the warehouse solution and identify the key opportunities for automation.
  • Analysed representative data sets to understand throughput and storage solution requirements.
  • Engage selected vendors to develop high-level concept designs for different solution technologies including cube, shuttle and sortation.
  • Model financial payback and warehouse capacity of the different solution technologies.
  • Present findings back to warehouse operations leadership team.

Project Results

  • Delivered a clear set of recommendations on the appropriate technologies that could be deployed as part of the ongoing expansion.
  • Provided a high-level assessment of the return on investment and financial payback of introduction warehouse automation, which could be taken into consideration with other business investment decisions.

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