John Lewis to upgrade Milton Keynes e-commerce facility

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The John Lewis Partnership, comprised of John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners, has launched a project to optimise its e-commerce distribution centre in Fenny Lock, Milton Keynes.

The 1 million ft² facility, formerly leased by Tesco, was secured by the John Lewis Partnership on an 11-year lease in August 2021.

Upgrading technology at the Fenny Lock site was always the plan. When the lease was secured, Andrew Murphy, Partner and Executive Director of Operations at the John Lewis Partnership, said: “We will invest in the site’s automation capability to support future growth”.

Logistex will implement its Reflex warehouse management and control software as a warehouse execution system at the distribution centre. The company said that the system will “orchestrate the picking of orders across multiple zones of the Fenny Lock distribution centre and provide full integration with conveyors, robots, and automated bagging machines”.

Managing Director of Logistex Tony Gruber said: “We are delighted to be working with John Lewis on this
strategically important initiative. It combines all of our key capabilities in one project: solution design, the deployment of our Reflex WES platform in a multi-agent robotic-based automation environment, and complete project life cycle support. We look forward to a successful project and an enduring relationship with John Lewis”.

Logistex exhibited at the co-located IntraLogisteX and Robotics and Automation exhibitions at the NEC, Birmingham in March. Both shows will be back in 2024 – visit either website to find out more and register for next year’s event!

The project will later see robotic solutions from Hai Robotics introduced to the warehouse. Hai Robotics’ HaiPick automated mobile picking robots and HaiPort workstations will be used to form a tote-to-person picking solution.

Hai Robotics’ Country Manager for the UK and Ireland, Damien Skinner, said: “We are thrilled the John Lewis Partnership and Logistex have found the right solution with Hai Robotics’ HaiPick,
which can reach up to 10m for picking and storing.

“We look forward to working with them on this project and expanding our partnership. One of the reasons why HaiPick was the right fit for the Logistex solution is because it is highly flexible and suitable to be deployed in existing sites. Next to that, the solution is rapidly scalable and is designed with plans for expansion in mind.”

Speaking on the project, John Munnelly, Head of Distribution at the John Lewis Partnership, said: “This is an exciting partnership which will transform our Fenny Lock site, as we look for new and innovative ways on how to best serve our customers.

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