Retail Leader Implements A Lean Distribution Model - Addverb


They aimed to move away from the distributor model and directly serve retailers, but their distribution centre could only handle cases while retailers ordered eaches. They wanted to automate the warehouse to break cases into eaches and dispatch them directly to retailers, cutting down operations costs. The project faced challenges due to a wide range of SKUs with varying storage and handling requirements, including beverages, personal care, and packaged food with short shelf lives that led to inventory obsolescence. A robust inventory management system was the need of the hour.

The project aimed to introduce each picking in the Distribution Centre (DC) to serve approximately 4,000 to 5,500 customer orders daily, consisting of 18,000 to 25,000 cases comprising 800,000 eaches. The system had to handle up to 1.1 million eaches during peak demand days. The goal was to ensure accurate and timely delivery of orders, including overnight fulfilment, while minimising manpower intervention to maximise operational efficiency and accuracy.

Solution Implemented

Addverb implemented an automation solution for their warehouse in Chennai, utilising technologies such as Carton Shuttle, Pick-to-Light, Box-It, and Warehouse Control System. Six months of data analysis helped categorise the SKUs into A, B, and C classes, with a different storage mechanism proposed for each class to optimise storage and dispatch efficiency. This enabled them to fulfil orders for 28,000 Kirana stores in Chennai within 24 hours without a minimum order size requirement, improving their service levels. The solution enabled pickers to achieve a rate of 9,500 picks per hour, ten times more productive than conventional paper-based picking, while fast picking and packing, dynamic load balancing, order scheduling, and finished goods scheduling reduced overall turnaround time for order fulfilment. The complete solution helped them save major costs, eliminated dependency on distribution centres and reduced dependency on labours.

Improvement in Key Results (KPIs)

The solution involved a change of model and handling a wide range of SKUs to supply to retailers directly and quickly. The system had to be robust to fulfil demands overnight accurately and efficiently to save major operational and manpower costs.


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