Calendar Club has boosted output from its new distribution centre in Exeter ahead of the peak Christmas season after implementing a CI Logistics automated conveying system.
The company, which is part of the Otter House Group, launched in 2003 and is now one of Europe’s largest calendar sellers.
During the run up to Christmas, Calendar Club sells calendars and related merchandise from 300 temporary Calendar Club shops and mall units throughout the UK. The company has some 2,700 calendars in its range, which are also available online.
Having outgrown its previous warehouse and distribution centre, Calendar Club took over the 129,000 sq ft Exe Box building on the Marsh Barton Trading Estate in Exeter, which is now the company’s UK headquarters and distribution centre.
Inside the building, CI Logistics has designed an automated conveyor system consisting of four picking lines, which index onto the main conveyor taking the products to dispatch.
The picking lines are 30m long roller conveyors with dunnage belts above. Operators pick the products from the live storage on either side of each of the picking lines, putting all of the empty wrapping and boxes up onto the dunnage belts which run above each conveyor.
Gee Barrett, warehouse manager of Calendar Club, says: “We had been using a conveyor in our previous warehouse, but it was only partially motorised and lacking in scope for our new operation.
“In total, four companies were invited to tender for the project and CI Logistics came out on top. We had already formed a strong relationship with them from a previous installation they had completed for us.”
Calendar Club had a very tight timeframe to complete the project, plus it coincided with a bank holiday, which Barrett says some suppliers couldn’t accommodate.
The company wanted to use parts of its existing conveyor system in the new system, which the CI Logistics team advised on, as well as supplying the new conveyor sections and the dunnage belts which Barrett says “revolutionised our packaging disposal procedure”.
He adds: “We installed the conveyors ourselves and then CI Logistics came in and commissioned it for us. They also designed the control systems for the entire operation which works perfectly. We can even add extra dispatch points if necessary, because they have built in sufficient future proofing.”
Calendar Club is now able to process 100,000 calendars per day, an 11 per cent increase compared to its previous system.