The Distribution Roundtable is scheduling a tour on September 18, 2014 of the distribution center of the Oriental Trading Company, Inc., the nation’s largest direct retailer of value-priced party supplies, arts and crafts, toys, novelties, and school supplies. This state-of-the-art facility underwent a massive automated warehouse renovation, which included adding voice picking technology, sortation and conveyor systems, a warehouse control system, and 250,000 square foot fulfillment area featuring a three-level mezzanine. Members of the Distribution Roundtable and interested parties will learn how this highly automated facility increased productivity to better manage more than 30,000 SKUs and handle on a daily basis over 400,000 items to meet customer service level agreements.
“The Oriental Trading Company has positioned itself as a leader in the omni-channel retailing marketplace by automating its distribution center with leading edge equipment and processes,” said Chris Castaldi, Director of Business Development at W&H Systems, the material handling systems integrator which managed the warehousing project.
The 750,000 square foot DC located in LaVista, NE outside of Omaha replaced a smaller facility, which was maxed out due to company growth and new product additions. Previously, OTC used a paper-driven, pick-to-cart fulfillment process, which required pickers to walk up to 10 miles/day. With automation, OTC has increased productivity by 45 percent, reduced picking errors by 60 percent, and improved accuracy to 99.9 percent.
Key benefits OTC received from the automation project that will be showcased during the tour include:
Fulfillment capabilities to manage 50,000 SKUs, including out-of-season stock frequently ordered by consumers through OTC’s website
- Voice-picking technology
- Sophisticated double-density tilt tray sorter and conveyor system that feeds 600 packout stations
- Secondary sortation system that delivers packages to trucks
- Warehouse Control System that optimizes picking and packing waves and more
- Improved pick density in picking processes to minimize travel distances and pick times
- Unique explode and assemble picking methodology for order fulfillment
The Agenda for the Distribution Roundtable Tour on Sept. 18th includes an orientation about the OTC facility, followed by a guided tour:
9:00 - 9:30am - Overview of the Oriental Trading Company operation - Hear firsthand from the systems integrator on how the project was executed.
10:30 - 11:00am - Mobile Worker Technology Supplement Automation - Get the latest information about improving your production using mobile technology.
11:00 - 11:30am - High Speed Unit Sortation - Can a sorter be fast, gentle and efficient? Yes it can! Learn how OTC achieved this.
11:30 - 12:15pm – Lunch
12:30 - 2:30pm - Tour of Oriental Trading Company