Founded in 2003 as the inhouse system integrator for EuroSort, DistriSort is the specialist is sorting solutions. Because EuroSort only provides sorting machines to system integrators they noticed that the typical sorting projects were not picked up by them. So if mechnisation can be of help and picking must be more efficient (quicker by more items per employee) and the picking process must be controlled by flawless orders, sorting can be of help.
DistriSort provides small, mid, and large companies with turnkey sorting solutions to serve all the flows in a distribution centre. We provided retailers with inbound sorters (counting for accurate stock, or SKU level to store in mini-load) outbound sorters for outlet replenishment or ecommerce orders to click and collect or direct to customers. Returns from shops into SKU positions and cross docking (incoming and directly sorted to the shop) to minimalize time-to-market.
Philippe Sanders, Marketing & Sales Developer of DistriSort, spoke to Warehouse & Logistics News.
What are your best-known products and services?
DistriSort Projects is known as a sorting specialist for single items; especially in flat sorting. This means that an individual product falls down directly into the exit, a box, a bag or a tote.
As an inhouse integrator of EuroSort Systems, we serve the small dedicated sorting projects which are being neglected by the large integrators. We provide turn-key sorting solutions, with the use of a EuroSort sorter, to small, medium and large end-users who need a sorting solution. Turn-key means that we deliver from scratch to commissioning in one hand. We have our own assembly and software department including electrical wiring. We also have project management, a commissioning crew and a service and support department. Therefore quality is guaranteed within the process and not depending on outsourced companies.
DistriSort only uses the mechanical sorting machines from EuroSort Systems. These sorting machines are constructed in a modular way, have low (DIY) maintenance modules, are easy to expand (more or less exits) and easy to adjust when the machine no longer meets the current requirements.
The sorters we provide are: the Push Tray Sorter, Single Cross Tray Sorter, Tilt Tray Sorter and the Split Tray Sorter. The patented tray of the Single and Dual Split Tray Sorter even makes it possible to stack directly into a tote or carton, minimizing the extra labour to repack the individual order.
A sorting solution is a real option to save labour costs when 10,000 units or more per day are picked. It facilitates your growth with the same or less labour costs. Each distribution centre has at least one or more logistical processes like: inbound (counting for an accurate stock), outbound (push and/or pull strategy), e-commerce, returns or cross-docking flow. With a sorter concept from DistriSort you can easily do all flows on one machine.
Tell us about your business highlights or a project you have recently completed?
A true highlight is that only eight months after it’s introduction at Logimat 2019, we sold the first Single Cross Tray Sorter to an international operating retail company. They sell small, round and lightweight products which are fragile as well. And precisely for these kind of products this sorter is perfectly suitable.
The trays of the sorter are enclosed on four sides. This full enclosure ensures that every item (small, flat, round or lightweight) remains in the tray throughout the entire sorter loop. When the tray has reached the correct sorting exit, the cleats on both sides of the carrier will start to move so the product slides gently to the right exit.
An additional advantage is that the cleats can move in two directions which enables two-sided discharging. This leads to a compact and scalable solution that can easily be incorporated into any layout also on mezzanine floors.
What industry sectors do you see offering you the most potential next year?
Our customers are large, midsized and small retailers looking for savings in the logistics. These retailers have high volume single items to process and need to bring down logistical process times and cost per product. We take care of the shop orders and/or e-commerce fulfillment. But we also provide machines for returns, crossdocking or inbound flow (counting and optimizing stock numbers).
We serve clients into the retail industry with garments, shoes, accessories, food, toys, books, multimedia, pharmacy and more. DistriSort is growing, however not particular in one mentioned industry. We provide efficiency solutions. Because logistics is all about efficiency, we serve those companies who are looking for efficiency and reducing handling costs per product. Where skilled employees are not available and/or an increase of productivity is needed, we provide solutions.
How have business conditions changed and how have you reacted?
Especially the E-commerce flow has increased over the last years and expects to grow further in the next years. Unfortunately the costs for the external handling of the E-commerce orders are raising with the same percentages as the increasing volume.
And there comes in the added value of DistriSort. Together with WE Europe – an international operating company with more than 250 shops and over 3.000 employees in Europe- we setup a business case based on handling the shop delivery flow and E-commerce flow in house.
After a thorough exercise it was clear that an investment in a flat sorter would pay off. Another result is that the shop delivery ended earlier during day time, so the trucks could also leave earlier. Due to this, the E-commerce operation can start off immediately after the shop flow has ended.
Based on the fact that WE Europe wanted to perform two flows on the same machine DistriSort offered a sorter with exits that are able to handle totes (shop delivery) as well as the ability to pack E-commerce orders at the sorter exit. With one sorting system WE Europe is able to handle multiple logistic flows. Besides sorting the shop flow at day time and the E-commerce orders in the afternoon and evening, the system is also used to sort collections for the shops.
Because of the investment WE Europe did, they can still handle the growing volume of e-commerce orders. If needed, the system can be adjusted in the future to handle even more flows like returns or incoming goods.
Are you involved in any major trade shows or other industry events next year?
We start off the exhibition season with our brand new booth at the Logimat in Stuttgart from 10-12 March 2020. You can find us at stand A19 in hall 3.
After that DistriSort will exhibit at the Intralogistex in Coventry from 31 March till 1 April, stand 108. We invite you for a cup of coffee to discuss the possibilities for your logistics.
Do your solutions reduce manual handling and physical lifting?
Ergonomics is a key element in our solutions. A good example is our Dynamic Postal Exit which we recently developed for the postal market. The starting point for the design was the ergonomic working height. Regardless if the destination is a crate, bag or trolley; the working height should remain the same.
The solution to overcome these differences in heights lies in a sliding rail system with a holder for a crate or mail bag. When a trolley is used, the rail system can be moved backwards so the trolly can be placed under the exit. On request DistriSort can make an ergonomic study or report of the ergonomic situation, which we have done already for some retailers.
How do your solutions help customers increase the level of automation in their business?
The sorting solutions of DistriSort are enriched with pheripherals like (hand)scanners, camera’s, displays, printers, box erectors and/or closers, inbound conveyors for goods, full carton/bag conveyor, tote buffer conveyors, packing list and label printers or are integrated in warehouse solutions in combination with mini loads, automatic inductions and all other required combinations. Due to the extensive experience that DistriSort has built up over the past decades, we have a huge knowledge of a wide range of automation solutions.
How do you help customers make optimum use of their existing warehouse space?
The special drive mechanism in the EuroSort sorters, the so called Friction Drive, allows us to adapt the sorter to your individual requirements. We are flexible in sorter layout options such as infinite length, elevation changes and left and right track curves. This flexibility makes it possible to install in areas never considered large enough for sorters in the past.
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