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.
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.
Increase inventory holding levels from 35 million to a projected 60 million. Use these efficient break pack operations to service the other retail grocery chains while lowering costs and increasing service levels (more retail store replenishments per week).
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 ten feet deep.
Dock door racks were utilized to quickly empty incoming empty pallets from trailers coming in to be loaded.
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.