Case study:

Logistics Review & DC Design

Online Fashion Retailer


Background & Brief

This client is a leading UK–based online retailer of luxury fashion goods with a small High Street presence in London. They were experiencing severe capacity issues at their DC in Central London due to their rapid growth and needed to take some immediate action to enable them to handle an upcoming Christmas peak.

Project Approach

SCALA were approached to carry out a DC capacity review at very short notice and to advise on short-, medium- and long-term space requirements alongside proposals for future property policy.  SCALA were also asked to review handling methodology.  The key undertakings for each phase were:

  • Carry out an assessment of the current operation concentrating on space requirements and handling methodology
  • Assess space requirements, warehouse fit-out and handling methodology for the next 3 years (taking account of projected volume increases of more than 55% per annum and extreme demand peaks)
  • Make recommendations for immediate property solution and long term space strategy

Benefits & Results

In a highly concentrated review SCALA were able to make immediate recommendations to enable the client to handle their December peak season, which represented a 40% p.a. increase. Thereafter SCALA assessed the operational needs to take the client from an annual throughput of 400,000 units to more than 1.5 million in three years. The solution included moving to a new site alongside the staged installation of a mezzanine floor and an improvement in handling methodology.

  • Identified total space requirements for a 3-year time horizon
  • Detailed the phased introduction of a mezzanine floor to deliver required capacities
  • Proposed improved work processes – increasing productivity by up to 100% in some functions – and safer working methodologies
  • Property strategy proposed to handle both short- and long-term needs
  • Range of options presented to the client to try to match volume throughput with space requirement accommodating growth of more than 260% in 3 years

Final Outcome

The client was able to plan a strategy to cost-effectively accommodate rapid growth and improve both customer service levels and health and safety within the warehouse facility