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SSI Schaefer designs, delivers and installs new dual purpose picking and storage system for Republic

SSI Schaefer has designed, delivered and installed a brand new dual purpose picking and storage system for IDS Logistics in Sheffield on behalf of high street fashion retailer Republic.

Having already established a solid working relationship with SSI Schaefer in the Far East, IDS (Integrated Distribution Services) Logistics, an Asian-based third party logistics provider looking to expand its foothold in the UK, called upon preferred supplier SSI Schaefer to install an integrated picking and storage system to manage the storage, picking and distribution of flat-packed garments for Republic.

With 120 stores currently on the high street, Republic is set to rapidly grow to more than 200 stores over the next two to three years raising its high street presence with additional plans to capitalise on e-commerce sales thereby increasing its online market share.

Adrian Robinson, Logistics Director, IDS, said: "We needed SSI Schaefer to design a new system that would handle Republic’s retail store consignments and fulfill its online shopping orders with ease – a challenge more than accomplished with the automated dual purpose picking and storage system now in operation."

He continued: "The installation has enabled us to drop a shift – previously we worked two, sometimes three shifts – we now work one full shift with extra hours to handle late order e-commerce shipments. Currently running at just half its capacity in order to achieve the revised shift pattern, the system has significantly increased picking and shipping accuracy. We are extremely pleased with how the system is operating."

The system is made up of low-level adjustable pallet racking, incorporating shelving for carton picking and pallets for bulk storage. An extensive conveyor system, with a re-circulating facility, routes and delivers cartons of product to a series of ‘put to store’ zones, where items are then individually picked and sorted to store delivery totes.

The dual system is effective because full carton volumes of product are picked and supplied for sortation and distribution in specific quantities to stores and residual items are passed automatically via the conveyor to supply or replenish separate e-commerce picking locations without having to be returned to stock. A ‘carton-live’ tote buffer accumulates full totes before being palletised for shipment to stores.

Either side of the conveyor system sits an extensive wire basket-based storage facility providing more than 10,000 locations which hold stock for zone-picking internet orders into totes before they are individually packed into bags or cartons for onward delivery.

Every product is identified using barcode scanners at both case and individual item level ensuring the whole operation runs at optimum order picking and delivery accuracy.

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