Productivity boost at WH Smith

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WH Smith has increased outbound productivity by 20 per cent at its Dunstable distribution centre, after installing a sortation system from SDI Greenstone. The new system has eliminated the need for manual handling and pallet truck movements.

“This project was all about reducing the cost base, while improving the overall productivity of the site,” says Robin Ritchie, distribution centre manager.

“Accuracy of product shipped to our stores has very much improved since the installation of the sortation system.” WH Smith operates more than 500 stores throughout the UK. The Dunstable warehouse provides national distribution centre services for stationery products and also acts as the principal regional distribution centre for the South of England.

The automated system links the principal sections of the warehouse, including case picking, tote picking, order assembly and despatch.

The case picking area on the ground floor has changed and cases are now picked direct to belt in a single handling movement. Items were previously picked direct from their bin locations onto pallet trucks.

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