DSV was facing explosive growth in a large client’s fast-moving consumer goods e-commerce business. To handle the increased volume DSV was bringing in extra, temporary labour, and experiencing high traffic of workers in the picking aisles. The challenge was only going to grow with peak seasons coming up, and the facility wouldn’t have the capacity to house the number of employees needed to keep up with the orders. Moving to a larger facility was not an option, because it would not have been a cost-effective move for the client.
We needed to increase capacity to accommodate our clients' e-commerce growth. DSV figured out that the best solution would be to add automation at the existing site. To achieve this, DSV enlisted the help of SSI SCHAEFER to design and implement an automated solution for e-commerce that would enable greater capacity within an existing facility.
Keys to Success:
One of the requirements was being able to work within the existing footprint, while also being able to complete the installation without any disruption to the live operation. This was complicated by the client’s seasonal operational requirements, and by the fact the distribution centre (DC) required some renovation to accommodate the installation of the automation.
Once the technology was in place, DSV needed a seamless transition for the staff in order to maintain continuous operations. Change management needed to be successfully introduced to the DSV workforce as migration took place from the old system to the new system. DSV had to get employees trained and comfortable with new automation; learning to work in conjunction with an automated system.
Innovation Partnership with SSI SCHAEFER
Before implementation, SSI SCHAEFER evaluated the project to ensure we could continue normal fulfillment operations during the installation phase. Working together, DSV and SSI SCHAEFER designed an automated solution for e-commerce that would enable greater capacity within an existing facility.
"Innovation at DSV resides at the highest levels within the company where we have an outlook of all our potential innovation concepts. We track, assess, test and adopt several concepts on an ongoing basis. The SSI pouch sorter is part of the DSV innovation road map," notes Rob Chanona, Managing Director of DSV Solutions Inc. Canada.
Weasel AGVs combined with an overhead SSI Carrier pouch system were seamlessly installed, without any disruption to the live operation. The sortation system allowed our e-commerce warehouse to pick customer orders in batches, significantly increasing the picking performance at our operation. By using a batch picking process, we can pick upwards of 300 units an hour in comparison to the 120 units per hour in the old manual discrete picking process.
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Once the technology was in place, to help facilitate the change management, everyone had a training session and was able to take part in mock-up demos. This allowed for DSV to have a seamless transition for the staff and maintain continuous operations.
The installation of automation allowed us to cope with our client’s growth as well as massive spikes in volume during peak periods by increasing capacity without the need to add more labour.