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Textile supplier Welspun improve stock control and order picking with Empirica warehouse management

Home textile supplier Welspun has improved stock control and order picking performance at its distribution centre in Manchester following the introduction of Chess Logistics Technology’s advanced Empirica warehouse management application with RF-based barcode scanning. Stock accuracy has been increased to over 99 per cent and managers have real-time visibility and control over task scheduling to help them allocate resources more effectively and meet delivery commitments.

"We liked the Chess approach and they spent a lot of time with us to understand the operation," says Graham Naismith, Supply Chain Operations Executive at Welspun. "From my point of view it has been the most successful implementation we have had in this business and it’s delivered the efficiency we wanted."

With brands including the world-famous Christy range, Welspun is one of the UK’s oldest and biggest suppliers or towels, linen and soft-furnishing products. In addition to its own ranges the company supplies branded items to many well-known retailers. It manufactures products at factories in the UK and overseas and these must be consolidated into the distribution centre before they are delivered to customers.

Welspun relocated to its new 150,000ft2 (14,000m2) distribution centre in Openshaw, Manchester at the start of 2005. The previous warehouse had simple low bay storage but the new facility was more complex with racking up to eight metres high providing 5000 bulk bin locations and 5000 pick face points. Welspun took a conscious decision to run with its old systems until it had settled in to the new facility but recognised that adopting a more advanced WMS would provide a number of business and operational benefits in the longer term.

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