Batch Picking Supports Consumer Goods Order Fulfillment
Diversco’s largest warehouse in Cambridge, Ontario, inventories and distributes parts and supplies for their watersports, scuba and marine divisions. The facility uses 3 Vertical Lift Module Kardex Shuttles with Kardex Power Pick System inventory management software to easily manage their small parts inventory (valves, regulators, hoses, snorkels, fins, etc.).
Managing a combination of smaller parts and large parts (kayaks, paddle boards, etc.) added another layer of complexity to the fulfilment process. As the 52,000 square foot warehouse quickly running out of space, Diversco set their sights vertically. “With a 40 foot ceiling, adding more rack didn’t make sense,” said James Huddle, purchasing and operations manager at Diversco Supply, “it was more economical to go up than out.”
Diversco now uses three Kardex Shuttles with a Kardex Power Pick System to manage small parts inventory (4,500 SKUs) and rack and shelving with handheld RF scanning technology for large item inventory (400 SKUs). “It was a complete transformation from a manual picking environment of walking and searching to a semi-automated process,” said Huddle, “The compact storage, time savings and ease of use completely offset the cost of the system.”
While labor requirements have remained the same, efficiencies have skyrocketed. With five full time workers (one in the small parts Kardex Shuttle area, two in the large item rack area and two in shipping); Diversco is filing orders faster than ever. Productivity has increased from 25 lines per hour to 115 lines per hour (and added a bag and tag step) resulting in a 460% increase in productivity.
Small parts inventory was previously stored on 5,000 square feet of shelving. Using handheld RF scanning technology workers would walk through the shelving scanning and picking parts as directed by the RF gun, each worker often walking several miles per day. Now, these parts are inventoried in three Kardex Shuttles occupying just under 360 square feet – a 92% floor space savings.
With the floor space recovered, Diversco has expand large item inventory by 84%, previously handling 8 containers of inventory per season to now handling 50 containers of inventory per season. This has specifically expanded inventory for the watersports division, giving customers more options and quicker delivery times.
|3 Kardex Shuttles
Height: 32 feet
|Kardex Power Pick System|