SSI Schaefer has provided Holland & Barrett with an automated system to revolutionise its capabilities within the e-commerce market.
UK health & wellness retailer Holland & Barrett’s central distribution centre in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire serves over 620 retail outlets across the UK and Ireland.
With continuous online product offers, the e-commerce operation required its own dedicated stock to be held separately from the retail stock. To increase the required available storage space, SSI Schaefer built a two-tier mezzanine floor and installed mesh-deck pallet racking beneath it for its many bulk products. The design enabled product types to be segregated into bulk on the ground floor, vitamins, herbals, minerals and supplements on the first floor, and food and miscellaneous product on the top floor.
A flexible zone picking system operates on both floors, allowing shipping cartons to travel only to the zones that hold order-required products which may be located on both floors. Travel between floors is via an extensive conveyor system which also connects all levels and culminates in a series of packing benches where the cartons have documents inserted and are sealed and labelled. The operation is controlled by SSI Schaefer’s WAMAS C warehouse control system, which interfaces with the customer’s own stock system.
Mark Kendrick, group distribution director at NBTY Europe Ltd, Holland & Barrett’s parent company, said: “We are delighted with SSI Schaefer’s new automated system which provides us with a faster, more efficient and accurate operation in meeting our online requirements. The system operates many times faster than our old manual operation, and financial gains will be realised as the business accelerates upwards and onwards as it has done year on year. Our increased picking accuracy has also increased our overall customer satisfaction, and the floor design has given us a much larger SKU location potential in such a modest footprint.”