"We are able to manage peaks or surges in demand in a better manner, as well as improve our speed-to-market. Southeast Asia is experiencing great growth as consumer markets are rising to be one of the big players globally. Our clients recognise this potential, hence the need to grow our supply chain capabilities to support this market.”
Ingrid Caes, Bolloré Logistics Green Hub Manager
Bolloré Logistics is a global leader in international transport & logistics and a tier-1 partner to some of the world's best-known brands. Singapore has been home to Bolloré Logistics since 1983 and is a key regional centre with the largest distribution operations for the company in Asia-Pacific. Bolloré Logistics Singapore has grown to over 1,600 employees with 210,000sqm of warehousing operations across 11 locations.
Driven by strong growth in the region and the need for accuracy, speed and productivity, Bolloré has recently ramped up its existing distribution facilities, partnering with Dematic to build three new automated systems – a Goods-to-Person (GTP) order fulfillment system at their ‘Green Hub’ facility, a Zone Routing system, and a state-of-the art GTP system at their new ‘Blue Hub’ facility. These systems are designed to support Bolloré Logistics’ growing customer base including several cosmetics and luxury product brands. In these series on Bolloré Logistics-Dematic partnership, we first look at Bollore’s Green Hub operations.
Green Hub Gets Automation Boost
Built in 2012, Green Hub was Bolloré’s original 42,000sqm flagship distribution facility at the time of its completion. It is the first Green Mark Platinum distribution system in Singapore – awarded to buildings meeting the highest environmental sustainability standards - and the largest logistics centre in Asia to obtain Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.
The Requirements for Automation
Four years into operation, in 2016 Bolloré decided to automate the hub’s order fulfilment process for one of their luxury clients, to optimise operations from storage and picking to labelling. According to Ingrid Caes, Green Hub Manager, the goals for the automation of Green Hub were to achieve higher productivity, denser storage, faster order fulfilment, outstanding inventory management, real-time operational visibility, flexibility and scalability, and the highest service quality.
Bolloré chose Dematic’s solution because it delivered the best ROI:
- a design that maximises storage;
- very high productivity, providing the fastest rates of storage, retrieval and order picking;
- possibility for future extensions to support growth and business expansion.
“Dematic’s capability to provide on-site service and support made us feel more confident to invest in their solution.They have an excellent project management and implementation team, which was a convincing factor for us.”
Ingrid Caes, Bolloré Logistics Green Hub Manager
Dematic’s High-Speed Goods-to-Person System
To meet Bolloré’s goals, Dematic installed two RapidPick stations integrated with two aisles of a MultiShuttle high-speed storage and sequencing engine, which increased space efficiency and significantly improved picking rates compared to conventional order picking methods.
The system is based on the goods-to-person (GTP) principle. Products for orders are automatically delivered from the Multishuttle to operators at the ergonomically-optimised high-rate RapidPick workstations. The process of assembling, conveying, labeling, closing and sorting order cartons is fully automated, eliminating a number of manual tasks from their operations. This maximises productivity by eliminating non-value-adding activities including travel, locating stock, and handling equipment and containers.
Moreover, the automated Multishuttle system provides exceptional storage density. Considering the scarcity of land in Singapore and the value of floor space, this is a significant benefit.
A Flexible, Modular, Scalable System
The Dematic GTP solution is flexible, modular and scalable, with subsystems that can be integrated to suit the various storage, throughput and order fulfilment needs. As more customers are introduced to the business, the system can be extended with the introduction of additional Multishuttle aisles, RapidPick stations and customer-specific processing areas.
Extending Greenhub’s GTP System
Within just 2 years of operation, Bolloré Logistics’ business had grown to the point where additional capacity was needed to meet their customers’ requests to handle more brands, more products and more orders and Dematic was commissioned to extend the system.
The biggest challenge of the project was working out how to minimise disruption to operations while the extension was being carried out. Certain tasks needed to be done outside normal working hours to avoid any interruption and Dematic’s project team were called on to conduct careful planning and flawless execution.
“Planning and scheduling had to be precise to avoid clashes with operations and to maintain supply,” explained Ms Caes. “It’s a crucial balancing act that both Bolloré and Dematic teams successfully pulled off.”
In providing all the specific skills needed for the GTP automated system project and the extension, Dematic used its depth of in-house resources covering all disciplines from Project Management to Site Management to software, mechanical, electrical and controls engineering. To ensure maximum system uptime, Dematic provides Bolloré Logistics with a comprehensive service and support offering including an on-site residential service team and 24/7 remote software support.
Following completion of the extension at Green Hub, the system’s throughput and storage capacity were increased by 50%.
Bolloré Logistics Singapore Benefits Summary
- Storage Capacity
- Space Efficiency
- Increased Productivity
- Optimised ergonomics
- Secure inventory storage
- Reduced product damage
- Modular, scalable, expandable
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