Case study:

DC Design Re-Engineering

Leading Footwear Retailer


Background & Brief

This leading UK-based International footwear manufacturer and retailer were experiencing difficulties with maximising productivity within their automated warehouse and approached SCALA to carry out a review of their internal processes and the ongoing suitability of the automation itself. The review was to concentrate on specific functions within the warehouse, including sortation and despatch, but also to consider how these functions integrate within the total operation.

Project Approach

The project was made up of 4 major phases. The key undertakings for each phase were as follows:

  • Phase 1: Detailed Evaluation to identify short- and medium-term improvement Opportunities
  • Phase 2: Manage implementation drive to achieve immediate benefits
  • Phase 3: Establish options for long term change and develop detailed plans
  • Phase 4: Manage long term change & integrate SCALA work with other C.I. initiatives

The project provided the client with a team of experienced consultants with specialist skills including Industrial Engineering, automation (including specific experience of working with the client’s automation provider), Logistics outsourcing, Continuous Improvement and Lean Processes.

Benefits & Results

  • The project team delivered a report with a
  • Identified pinch-points within the automated systems and proposed workable fixes
  • Highlighted areas where labour allocation and planning were sub-optimal
  • Proposed improved product labelling approach & the development of a composite label
  • Identified alternative approach for managing International orders to improve lead times
  • Proposed a review of unit handling and the introduction of totes for retail store delivery
  • Advised  alternative store delivery schedule to better match delivery frequency & demand
  • Suggested improvements to site management approach
  • Proposed a small capital spend of £0.5million with 6 month payback in benefits
  • Direct productivity benefits of £200k p.a. in the loading area alone
  • Up to 80% throughput growth facilitated, including seasonal peaks up until 2018

Final Outcome

SCALA are continuing to work with the client to implement the proposed improvements as an integrated part of the client’s Continual Improvement Team.