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Fashion focus for 3PL

09 January 2017

SEC Storage has provided a bespoke system to manage items for customers in the fashion sector.

Over 2,520 packaging ribbons are to be tied each month at ILG’s new warehouse in West Sussex, following the opening of its second warehouse dedicated to fashion and beauty.

The International Logistics Group Ltd (ILG) is a market leader in fulfilment, warehouse and logistics services. Founded in 1990, the company has experienced exceptional growth in recent years and opened its fifth warehouse in 2016.

The new warehouse will house five clients within the fashion and beauty sector, primarily fulfilling the pick, pack and shipment of online orders direct to customers. With the ever growing demand to process ecommerce orders for next day delivery, ILG needed a storage solution which would allow for the seamless picking, despatch and replenishment of a variety of products including lingerie, clothing and cosmetic products.

Following an extensive consultancy and feasibility process, ILG has worked with SEC Storage to design and implement a bespoke storage system that not only accommodates the varying product ranges of multiple clients, but enables the seamless transition from picking to packing and despatch.

SEC Storage’s primary solution for the facility is a single tier rack supported picking structure that maximises cubic capacity in over fifty percent of the warehouse. The system is designed around specific client package types which could include anything from a BDCM1 box to a flat, lingerie box or footwear. By standardising the bay aperture between all the varying sizes, capacity is maximised within the system. For example, each beam level can accommodate 7 BDCM1 boxes, 28 lingerie boxes, 20 shoe boxes or a combination of all 3.

The system has been designed by considering pick rates and travel distances. The compact installation means that the travel distance of each warehouse operative has been significantly reduced when compared to the same storage capacity being achieved over a single level. This optimises productivity within the warehouse especially reducing operative fatigue.

Can be converted

The nature of the rack supported structure also means that packing stations have been incorporated into the system on the ground floor to save on warehouse space. This space can be converted to picking levels at a later date to boost capacity according to demand. Further packing stations have been installed on the first floor, allowing for simultaneous packing during peak periods.

To keep the picking process as efficient as possible, SEC Storage designed a gravity chute from the first floor to deliver finished picks to the packing and despatch area on the ground floor, supported by a gravity roller conveyor, delivering each order to a packing station. Similarly, a roller conveyor is installed on the first floor feeding the gravity chute enabling the efficient delivery of orders to the ground floor.

Facts & Figures

• The dedicated Fashion & Beauty Warehouse is ILG’s 5th warehouse.

• It’s the 2nd dedicated to Fashion & Beauty.

• It houses 5 customers shipping to 99 countries.

• 12,000 orders processed per month.

• 2,520 packaging ribbons tied per month.

• 335 posts 1,600 beams and 254 sq/m of chipboard flooring make up the structure.

• Over 5,300 nuts, bolts and screws are holding it together.

• The spiral chute if stretched out will cover 37m.

A wide aisle pallet racking system has also been incorporate for the initial storage of bulk deliveries before decanting each product onto the rack supported structure.

“The benefits of the solution SEC created for us were clearly demonstrated to ILG during our peak period prior to Christmas. The improved efficiencies around the picking, packing and despatch process supported us to deliver in line with our customers’ expectations,” says Tom Ashley, Operations & IT Director.

The storage system uses the latest API and live-stock reporting technology to ensure all online ecommerce orders can be fulfilled. From go-live, the system has the capacity to process over 12,000 orders per month, with further capacity available within the warehouse.