This company is on a steady growth trajectory. Its four main business units — a line of baking and cake decorating products, kitchen utensils, designer photo frames, and fine kitchenware — have all recorded big volume increases over the past few years.
Upgrading And Improving
Prior to installation of the new conveyor system, the facility faced a number of inhibitors to peak productivity. For one thing, none of the existing conveyor lines in the picking areas were connected. Orders had to be moved by hand around the facility to the appropriate pallets and then loaded onto the trucks. This resulted in throughput levels that were less than optimum. It also meant that shipping cartons were not being filled to their optimum weight, which often translated to higher shipping costs.
In combination with a WMS and paperless picking, the new conveyors began boosting productivity almost from the very beginning. Today, throughput is up by more than 20% in the case pick area alone and the design allows for easy expansion of the pick modules and sortation system if required.
In addition, the average weight of the parcels shipped is up from 13 to 19 pounds thanks to conveyor integration of the picking lines. This has resulted in lower overall carton volume as well as a significant reduction in shipping costs.
One other benefit bears mentioning here, too. The installation was completed without a single shift having to shut down. "I credit the Hytrol integration partner for making this happen," says the vice president. "They worked closely with us to ensure that we had no loss of productivity.