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Premier Foods also has completed the consolidation of its third party operated grocery logistics sites from three National Distribution Centres to two Regional Distribution Centres based in Skelmersdale, Lancashire and Corby, Northamptonshire.
Both Regional Distribution Centres now stock the full range of ambient grocery products (excluding cake), helping to reduce the number of customer order points leading to faster order fulfilment and improved customer service.
In addition, the simplified network, together with improved logistics management, will reduce the number of road journeys needed which is expected to remove around 750,000 road miles by the end of 2014. The resulting significant reduction in logistics and distribution costs is expected to offset the impact of excess warehouse capacity arising from Premier Foods’ previous disposal programme.
The back of store has assumed greater importance in terms of being able to hold increasing volumes of stock for rapid access for shop floor replenishment. Maximising holding capacity in this area has become a prerequisite for many store managers.
The versatility of adjustable shelving systems is widely acknowledged throughout the retail industry as these systems offer a very flexible solution to overcoming the restrictions of back of store storage space. These systems are available in a range of sizes, including long-span, to accommodate almost all products from food items to non-perishable goods and they provide benefits in terms of simple and fast assembly and can be disassembled, rebuilt and expanded at any time. Add to this the mobility aspect with wheel-mounted standard shelving, or dedicated mobile shelving, then the challenges posed by back of store space restrictions become more manageable.
While SSI Schaefer designs, plans and installs such systems, we are equally happy to simply supply the product, ex-stock, from our UK distribution centre or direct from our manufacturing facility in Germany. Acknowledging its versatility, one retailer, Bournemouth-based Consortium (www.consortium.co.uk) organised and planned its own back of store layout and has recently purchased shelving from SSI Schaefer’s R3000 range, subsequently installing it as a self-assembly project.
Further optimisation of storage capacity right up to the roof, if height allows, can be achieved through multi-tier shelving where the design of the upright supports allows not only shelves to be hung from them, but also elevated walkways, which allow access to shelving at higher levels.
If stock security is an issue, shelving systems can be made secure with mesh panels and solid access doors to control access, while a comprehensive range of accessories includes specialist glass shelving, adjustable width shelf-dividers and a broad spectrum of plastic containers to safely contain loose and valuable items.
SSI Schaefer provides a full range of materials handling and storage systems which include pallet racking and fully automated picking, storage and retrieval systems, warehouse management, project management and design services.
Advanced Intralogistics System From CSB-System Speeds Up Food Factory Order And Picking Process
An advanced intralogistics system devised by CSB-System International for leading Swiss cheese producer Züger Frischkäse AG in Oberbüren has automated the company’s stock control process while delivering a 50% time saving in picking speeds.
Züger Frischkäse produces a range of cheeses including mozzarella, feta, ricotta and mascarpone. The company’s production is already characterised by a high degree of automation and fully integrated information technology, and CSB-System was asked to modernise its intralogistics to provide seamless link to the picking and replenishment processes.
The CSB-System solution combines high bay storage with mobile picking. Every pallet in the high bay storage is linked to the system with its minimum sell-by date and lot number. This ensures that bays are filled according to the first-in, first-out principle.
In addition, the system provides an extra degree of control using master data from the ERP software. For example, the pallet height and the maximum weight can be checked. The master data can also specify whether the item first needs to be forwarded to a quick freezing position, and in which segment of the warehouse and at what height it is stored.
The inventory management computer communicates with the CSB-System via defined interfaces to handle the automatic removal of pallets for replenishment during the picking process.
Picking itself is paperless, using wireless technology to directly transmit to touch panels on the electric forklifts. The screen shows in which area of the picking zone the pallet with the required product can be found.
Using Bluetooth scanners, the pallet label is scanned, the corresponding number of items removed, and the pick quantity confirmed. If a pallet is emptied, a new one is requisitioned automatically from the high bay storage, ensuring ongoing replenishment in the packing zone and that customer orders can be processed very quickly and efficiently.
Overall Züger reports a 50% saving compared to its previous operation while the error rate has been minimised.
“We have elevated this area to a completely new level,” comments deputy CEO Markus Züger. “Today we are in a position to respond quickly and flexibly to customer demands.”