A leading office supply and order fulfilment company for B2B, B2C and e-commerce markets based in the UK and Ireland operates a centralized distribution network supplying over 24,000 products across three industry leading distribution centers. This network is complemented by local cross-dock sites and a fleet of vans enabling next-day delivery to more than 50,000 customers.
Growth into e-commerce brings new challenges
The company’s recent growth into the e-commerce sector and direct business to customer (B2C) fulfilment affected the existing material flow and order structure, as a significantly higher percentage of smaller item orders needed to be processed.
To respond adequately to the new demands, the company needed an intelligent and future-proof material handling system that would increase productivity and maximize overall warehouse efficiency.
Accurately and quickly completing picking
SPHERE Global, a Northern Ireland-based provider of complete material handling solutions, were selected as the primary contractor for this major project and took over responsibility for the design, engineering and installation of a highly flexible turnkey system. In total four SPHERE High Speed Servo Sorters were installed, with 28 sort locations per sorter. SPHERE Powered Roller conveyors used cutting-edge DC technology from Interroll, which proved to be energy saving and highly efficient.
Employing the hands-free SPHERE Pick to Voice warehouse system ensured employees’ safety, whilst accurately and quickly completing picking tasks. The new system allowed warehouse operatives to concentrate on the picking process without paperwork and keep both hands free to perform the pick. Productivity increased and costly errors were reduced. SPHERE software modules including AutoComm, AutoSort and AutoPick completed the project scope and thanks to their simplicity, the customer can now manage picking operations in less time while also removing the possibility of human error.
Due to the importance and complexity of the project, SPHERE Global needed reliable project partners to ensure the overall system would be delivered in time and according to the customer specifications.
Sean McNicholl, CEO of Sphere Global, confirms: “We use Interroll as one of our key suppliers because they supply us with products and solutions that are simply and interminably reliable and of the highest quality.”