Picking boost

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Home textile supplier Welspun has improved stock control and order picking performance at its Manchester facility following the introduction of Chess Logistics Technology’s Empirica warehouse management application with RF-based barcode scanning.
The company produces towels, linen and soft furnishing products under a number of brands including Christy. It relocated to a new 150,000 sq ft distribution centre in Openshaw, Manchester, which compared to its previous low bay storage warehouse was fitted with racking up to eight metres high, providing 5,000 bulk bin locations and 5,000 pick face points.

Welspun opted to run with its legacy systems initially, but recognised that adopting a more advanced WMS would provide a number of business and operational benefits in the longer term.

Empirica is designed to deliver real-time control and visibility of stock management, goods in, order picking and other key warehousing processes.
Chess managed the overall deployment, selected the hardware partner for the RF equipment, transferred data from the old system and integrated the application with Welspun’s Texpro software.

Since implementation, stock accuracy has improved from around 94 per cent to over 99 per cent, which has led to an improvement in overall efficiency in the warehouse and stock takes have been reduced from two to one a year.

Empirica also provides performance information, including metrics showing individual operatives’ pick rates allowing managers to identify areas where underlying issues may offer opportunities for process improvements such as changing the layout of the pick faces to optimise pick-paths.

The business currently picks around 2,000 orders a month with a total of 500,000 items.

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