A major corrugated printer for the beverage industry has a rapidly expanding Southeast operation. As a third-party logistics provider, Gilmer Logistics had been doing their distribution through several local facilities.
Printing corrugated for the beverage industry is a mature and highly competitive business. The manufacturer needed to keep costs down while improving the level of service to its client base at the bottling facilities. Gilmer Logistics, their chosen third-party firm, also had to meet the challenge. This forced them to think outside the box and generate some great ideas that enabled them to grow with their client.
Keep their customer.
Evaluate all possible warehouse scenarios and deliver a comprehensive long-term 3rd party logistics service proposal so good that the manufacturer couldn’t refuse. To do this, Darren Farber, our Georgia Tech graduate and VP of Operations, developed the Gilmer Plan with input from vendors and then enlisted the expertise of a consultant to make sure no mistakes were being made in their DC design strategy.
A 350,000-square-foot facility was designed right beside the corrugated printer’s plant. The product is now conveyed directly into the Gilmer facility through a 100-foot-long elevated tunnel. Product is immediately palletized and given a unique identification label by master carton. It is scanned and picked up via forklift, a process which is radio frequency-driven for “put away” to the correctly designated put-away slot in the huge pallet flow system.
Over 23,000 pallets are stored in the facility; there is a fourth level of expansion throughout the entire building that enables Gilmer to add an additional 7,000 pallet positions. The storage racks chosen for the project are primarily 23 pallets deep, with some 10 & 12 deep pallet flow being used for slower SKU movement as well.
Lastly, there were some selective racks to serve as odd lot runoff and supply storage.
The pallet flow system, one of the largest ever installed in North America, was engineered by Greg, Darren and Interoll engineers. It was later sourced from Interroll, an industry leader in dynamic flow.
There were several key design coordination issues in which Greg Herzog played a role. This refinement led to a carefully designed system that allowed pallets to be loaded and unloaded with double-wide carriage forklift trucks, dramatically improving productivity and throughput capacity of the facility.
After 12 weeks of installation, the pallet rack systems are installed and functioning well. Gilmer now has a state-of-the-art Distribution Center that provides top-notch service. This was accomplished by consolidating three warehouses into one to give all parties involved – the manufacturer, a three-party logistics provider, and their bottling partners – a great return on their investment.
Greg Herzog’s input on the front-end design was instrumental in helping us develop precisely the right solution. His dedicated commitment during the design ensured peak performance from the completed project.
Today, Gilmer Logistics founder Tom Gilmer’s worry is, “What are we going to do with the three old buildings now?”