Creative arts and supplies retailer, AC Moore, once picked 25,000 warehouse-supported SKUs with wireless terminals and pallet jacks across four warehouses.
The forward pick areas only held three days of inventory requiring excessive replenishment. Furthermore, additional pick face and storage capacity was needed to support increases in the number of SKUs as well as to support growth in order fulfillment volume. As a result, A.C. Moore implemented a new Pick & Pass order fulfillment system at their distribution center located in Berlin, N.J.
The DC runs three shifts, five days a week. On the first shift, receiving, put-away and picking occur. On the second shift, activity is limited to replenishment and putaway. A skeleton crew on third shift does only replenishment. About 60% of stores receive three shipments per week, while 40% of the stores receive two shipments per week. A typical store shipment is either a full or half trailer.
Picking is done in four waves, each requiring about two hours. There are typically 20 trucks in a wave. All picking is under the direction of the AC Moore Warehouse Management System (WMS) and is accomplished in four, three-level towers, each 350 feet long. The Dematic Warehouse Control System (WCS) controls and directs the piece picking on the first level using the pick-to-light technology.
On the first level of each tower is a Pick & Pass system that is dedicated to piece picking. A conveyor facilitates the flow of order container totes for the retail stores. Picking instructions are communicated to the associates using Dematic pick-to-light with a total of 6,000 locations for the fastest movers. Associates simply follow the lights, select the correct quantity of each SKU and place picks into a tote. Totes travel along a central Pick & Pass conveyor spine until the end of the tower where they join a takeaway conveyor that flows to the sorter.