Leicester based materials handling and storage specialists, BS Handling Systems has recently completed a major contract to design, manufacture and install a hanging garment solution (GOH) for ASOS in Barnsley.
The innovative system includes a 30m long ladder conveyor to transport garments up to a 10m high mezzanine, GOH racking for half a million garments, a slickrail system to move items into and out of store locations and a decline conveyor to automatically transport them back down to the ground floor for despatch.
Moving away from a labour intensive manual system
Mike Kosciukiewicz, Senior Development Manager, ASOS Supply Chain, explains why a new solution was needed for the 500,000 garments which are stored on hangers in the DC, “Our original hanging garment storage was split over three different floors – it was a manual solution which we had kept adding to over the years as the company grew.
“The hanging garments were moved around from Goods In on rails, taken to the different floors by goods lift and then wheeled in small batches to the storage areas. Bringing ordered garments back down to the ground floor was the same, very time consuming and labour intensive procedure.
“We took the view that if we wanted to continue to expand our hanging garment capacity then we needed to store all of the products in one place and move them around using conveyors to drive the efficiency of the operators.
“Three suppliers with experience in GOH systems were asked to tender for this major project. It was BS Handling Systems that came back with the most appropriate solution at the best value for us. They were awarded the contract.”
Introducing automation to maximise efficiency
Kosciukiewicz continues, “Although we had a good idea of the type of GOH system we wanted, BS Handling Systems were involved in the design process right from the start.
“They were proactive in helping us to design the conveyor system to automate the movement of garments. They also helped us to maximise storage capacity on the 10m high top floor of our mezzanine – the designated storage area for up to 500,000 hanging garments.”
Long term benefits for the business
“Putting all of the garments together in one place and using a conveyor system to move them around the DC has made us more efficient,” adds Kosciukiewicz.
“Bringing product up to the top mezzanine by conveyor from Goods In has massively simplified the delivery process; pushing the garments down the Slickrail line to the required location has increased our put-away speed and ordered product is automatically brought back down to the ground floor.
“This project has future-proofed our stockholding of garment hanging for the next three years and given us room to expand our capacity to support future growth. It has also meant that we need less people in this area to do the same amount of work.”
Kosciukiewicz concludes, “BS Handling Systems are a good team of guys to work with. What sets them apart is that they work with you; they care about the project and they are enthusiastic to do the best possible job. They are also very flexible. If we change our minds, or want to do something differently, they are very responsive and able to react quickly with new ideas.”
BS HANDLING SYSTEMS LTD
Tel: 0116 289 4958