Canopy eliminates pinchpoint
06 October 2015
A medical supplies firm has boosted warehouse processes and increased space with a canopy from CopriSystems. HSS talked to Squadron Medical's operations manager Sue Nevitt about how this was achieved.
Squadron Medical's warehouse team picks, packs and despatches non-pharmaceutical supplies to hospitals around the country. The company has been quickly expanding and is already close to capacity at the Markham Vale warehouse it opened in 2012.
Operations manager Sue Nevitt says rapid growth in the business was causing a pinchpoint in the joined goods receiving and despatch area of the warehouse.
"As the company has expanded, it became apparent that lack of floor space was causing a backlog. We utilise the warehouse very tightly already with high bay, very narrow aisle racking served by VNA trucks. Like most warehouses, ours is a little like the Tardis! But elastic walls only work up to a point, so we looked for a solution to help us expand our footprint."
Sue continues: "Having the canopy from CopriSystems has doubled the space we have for sorting our goods in and out. It has helped us to streamline the process and now the workflow is much more fluent inbound and outbound."
The canopy area is a key space for Squadron. It is where the company receives goods and also where it sorts product for despatch, as well as where it loads lorries.
"In addition to boosting processes, we've been able to add a little racking to the canopy area. This additional storage acts as a holding area for packaged goods that are ready to be despatched."
Additional benefits included adding to cross docking productivity and allowing more lorries to dock at once.
Sue explains: "We have depots further north and south and sometimes we relay goods there. We use the canopy for cross docking, so goods don't actually have to hit the floor, it's more efficient. It doesn't affect our internal operation in any way.
"As well as that, the canopy has expanded our dock. The canopy covers two despatch doors, but we can fit three lorries under the canopy, so that allows us to be more productive."
As a supplier of medical products, Squadron Medical needs to operate in a clean environment. This made it particularly important the canopy was installed without compromising the warehouse operation.
"I was nervous the canopy installation might have some impact on our operation," says Sue. "But I am happy to say that we didn't know the Copri guys were there. The installation took two and a half days, they were clean and tidy and it went up with little or no impact on our day-to-day business."
The canopy achieved:
• Improved warehouse processes including receiving, sortation and despatch.
• Storage space increased.
• Extra lorry accommodated at loading dock.
Rafe Colenso, MD at Copri Systems says a canopy offers a quick, easy and inexpensive way to add space, for storage, to boost processes or both.
"We can utilise existing concrete floors and don't need to do any civil engineering groundworks. This takes weeks and considerable cost off the project," he says.
"We have adapted our solutions to changing customer needs. The customer likes to deal with one contractor, so we have spread our net to train our operatives in different areas. This means we can install much more than the canopy itself. In this case, we incorporated Armco barriers. We provide a full turnkey service."