FAGAN & WHALLEY WITH ACCESS GROUP
Lancashire-based 3PL, Fagan & Whalley Ltd (F&W), increased its warehouse capacity from around 2000 racked pallet spaces to 10,000 when it moved into a new 92,000 sq ft site in September 2017. By February 2019, the facility’s capacity had grown further to 15,000 racked pallet spaces with an additional 5000 earmarked for future expansion.
F&W’s investment in its IT infrastructure enabled the company to drive efficiencies and ensure excellent customer service as it scaled up its operation.
In order to satisfy customer demand, F&W needed a dynamic warehouse management system that would provide full visibility of key warehouse processes and, after researching the market, the company chose supply chain software specialist Access Group as a technology partner, implementing its Delta WMS in 2018.
Graham Rawstrone, Systems Manager at F&W, said: “Using Delta, we can visualise our stock using the warehouse map, while improvements to the packing process have helped us be more efficient at fulfilling customer orders.”
At the start of 2018 Expect Distribution began a search for a new site that would fulfill its medium term growth strategy and, after scouring the property market, in February of that year the opportunity arose to move in to The Woodlands – an existing 193,000 sq ft warehouse. The Woodlands site was ideally located but, because the previous occupier had entered administration and vacated the property quickly after a long tenancy, a substantial refurbishment project had to be undertaken by Expect Distribution in conjunction with the landlord in return for an agreed 15 year leasehold on the site.
The refurbishment was carried out over a five month period at a total cost of £1.8m which included an investment of more than £1m from Expect to ensure that the building was modified to the 3PL specialist’s exact requirements.
Among other things, the work included: complete roof refurbishment; removal of outbuildings; yard resurfacing; refurbishment of office facilities and the installation of state of the art CCTV systems with offsite monitoring.
LOGISTEX WITH BRITVIC
At its site in Leeds leading branded soft drinks producer, Britvic, has worked closely with Logistex to design a new handling system which sees the previous manually-operated fork truck-based design converted to a fully automated pallet shuttle solution. The new system is optimising use of space, increasing throughput, reducing truck movements and consequently improving health and safety.
The automated pallet shuttles at the heart of the new system are made up of ‘mover’ vehicles which travel along the front of the racking, and satellites which go into the lanes for the automatic collection and storage of pallets. The pallet shuttle, integrated into the solution by Logistex, uses capacitors rather than batteries for power so there is no need for prolonged charging periods. Also, because the shuttles are lighter than an automated storage and retrieval system, they use less power per move, so there are environmental benefits as well as the desired safety improvements.
Britvic’s Site Operations Manager, Mark Young, says: “Automating the end of line has allowed us to move more pallets per hour than we could previously move.”
In August 2017, Hermes, the consumer delivery specialist, officially opened its purpose built, state-of-the-art, automated parcel distribution hub in Rugby. As a part of the investment, £300,000 was spent on Panasonic security and logistics technology. This included a total of 350 security cameras that were implemented in a fence-like structure around the premises, and within the warehouse.
After seeing the success of the Rugby site, Panasonic was awarded a national contract by Hermes and has since extended the technology blueprint to a further 20 sites. Using Panasonic security solutions has allowed Hermes to have one main monitoring site in Rugby. As an additional benefit, Hermes have been able to reinforce their Health and Safety processes by ensuring that fire doors and other entrances are used appropriately. At Hermes’ Warrington site, Panasonic is also conducting analytics trials, namely fence and cross line analytics which means if an unwanted or unauthorised visitor steps across a line an alarm is immediately activated, triggering a response.