Grocery Retail

Retail Grocery

Northeast Distribution Centers Grocery RetailThe Situation:

Escalating costs in other Northeast Distribution Centers drove this grocer to expand an upstate Western New York facility that had proven it could cost-effectively and accurately fulfill break pack, each picking for Health and Beauty products and General Merchandise all the way into the Southeast.

The Challenge:

Quickly expand the Western New York Distribution Center break pack operations to handle greater volume without affecting other Distribution Center operations before the Northeast Distribution Center hit a potential “failure point” in service to the retail stores.

The Objective:

Increase inventory holding levels from 35 million to a projected 60 million. Use this efficient break pack operation to service the other retail grocery chains while lowering costs and increasing service levels (more retail store replenishments per week).

The Solution:

A 250,000-square-foot expansion with a capacity of 33,000 pallet positions and shipping out through over 30 additional dock doors to accommodate retail store wave order sequencing.

Add a four-level (one floor and three mezzanine levels) break pack open case carton flow pick module, with reserve pack locations behind, that could house close to 14,000 pick faces 10 feet deep.

Dock door racks were utilized to quickly empty incoming empty pallets from trailers coming in to be loaded.

The Results:

Inventory rose from $37 million to over $64 million. The Distribution Center serviced over 250 additional retail locations. Warehouse associate productivity levels hit the grocer’s all-time records with pick rates of over 250 pieces per hour before instituting the next phase of the project: Pick to light was expected to produce further productivity increases.

Additionally, revenue-per-employee benchmarks were greatly increased in the first year that the Distribution Center expansion was live.