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Master the unpredictable

05 April 2021

Predicting consumers’ purchasing behaviour is becoming increasingly difficult, says TGW. We can have an educated guess, but we do not really know what the future holds for fashion logistics and intralogistics processes.

Recent events have thrown a bright spotlight on the importance of digital orders within the omni-channel blend, but do any of us really know how much e-commerce will continue to grow and at what rate? And what about the future of wholesale and conventional bricks & mortar retail channels? We know that these will change, but in what way and at what rate? Fashion companies are also facing the challenges of tighter service levels and increasing labour costs & scarcity. Nobody is immune to these realities.

A key element for success is a robust, flexible but more importantly, an efficient supply chain. For this, a strong and experienced intralogistics automation partner is needed. A partner that understands you and your business needs and can provide a full service from initial consultation through to, and including, ongoing support and maintenance packages to suit your needs. 

TGW helps you with an intralogistics foundation specifically designed for flexibility in a multi-channel and omni-channel landscape. At the heart of TGW’s door-to-door solutions is FlashPick, an order fulfilment system that can handle any combination of order profiles, channels and brands with the same high performance.

Whatever happens, your distribution network will be able to handle it effectively and efficiently. This is what we mean when we say that TGW’s customers can “Master the Unpredictable”.

A single solution for omni-channel needs

FlashPick is the perfect solution for current and future challenges. It is a smart goods-to-person (GTP) order fulfilment solution for single-piece picking. FlashPick is based on a shuttle system for automated storage and retrieval (AS/RS) of load carriers, combined with a high-performance one-to-one picking workstation, where a person or a robot performance the picking. The process is very simple for the picker: The system presents one SKU container to pick from and one order container to pick into. After the picking process, SKU containers return to the system while order containers can be routed towards the shipping area.

FlashPick has a number of advantages: it is an in-house developed modular and flexible system, which is running on multiple customer sites today. It has been pre-designed, engineered, controlled and simulated so the mechanical, electrical and software blocks are existing modules. Each module is equipped with Pick-Center-One-Target-Sequence workstations (PCOTS). This workstation is the fastest and most accurate pick station of its kind. At a sustainable rate, FlashPick can handle up to 600 order lines per hour. 

As an additional step the TGW Rovolution, an automated picking robot, can be used together with the system. 

One solution, any distribution model

FlashPick is at the heart of some highly intralogistics solutions TGW is currently building for fashion brands in Europe and the US. The new distribution centre of Urban Outfitters, Inc. (URBN) in Peterborough is expected to go live this summer. The solution developed for the Peterborough site offers a true ‘one concept’ omni-channel answer to URBN’s multi-brand portfolio. The solution design is now also being rolled out in the new facility in Kansas City that will be three times the size of the Peterborough site.

The FlashPick design in the US builds upon the URBN pilot program in the UK using TGW´s smart picking robot Rovolution, which picks orders fully automatically and ensures the next phase of picking is being addressed. The design also incorporates two PickCenter Rovolution workstations in Phase 1, along with forty-six PickCenter One workstations. FlashPick allows URBN to use the horsepower or “engine” to pick orders discreetly. The engine horsepower is harnessed by TGW’s PickCenter One workstations. TGW’s design for Kansas City incorporates the same workstations and software as in the UK.

In Tilburg, in The Netherlands, TGW is building a highly automated fulfilment centre for stichd, a subsidiary of Puma. The centre is slated for completion in November 2022. Here as well, the centrepiece is a FlashPick system that allows for serving various sales channels with equal efficiency – e-commerce, wholesale and retail. It comprises a five-aisle shuttle warehouse with 20 levels, six PickCenter One picking workstations as well as two robot-based PickCenter Rovolution. The TGW Warehouse Software takes care of the control for all processes. Four kilometres of KingDrive conveyor systems ensure energy-efficient transport. The omni-channel solution, which is high-performing and extremely versatile at the same time, enables stichd to cut lead times and to give its customers an even higher level of service.

For more information, visit www.tgw-group.com