Anheuser-Busch, USA

Based in St. Louis, Anheuser-Busch holds a 48.9 percent share of U.S. beer sales to retailers. Operating 12 breweries in the United States, the company brews the world’s largest-selling beers, Budweiser and Bud Light.

The challenge: SKU proliferation and increasing network delivery points

Anheuser Busch Distributors faced significant challenges of SKU proliferation and an increasing number of network delivery points. To address these challenges, Dematic developed the Automated Order Fulfillment System to improve inbound, work order and outbound processing. The solution provides substantial return on investment by increasing bulk shipment volume and eliminating delivery routes, thereby reducing route delivery time and decreasing order picking labor.

The solution: Automated Order Fulfillment System  

The Automated Order Fulfillment System is a tiered, multi-technology solution that can be deployed in stages to meet business requirements, budget and objectives.

Stage 1 – The foundation technology is the Beverage Distribution and Control software. This is a Warehouse Management System (WMS) system specifically designed for the beverage distribution industry with proven interfaces to the components in the subsequent stages. The Dematic Beverage Distribution and Control (BDC) software solution. BDC is a software application that takes advantage of the latest technologies such as wireless radio frequency devices, voice-directed work solutions and barcode scanning technologies to optimize inventory control and order fulfillment activities.

Stage 2 – This stage adds the capability to perform paper or RF-directed layer picking in a Semi-Automated fashion using fork trucks outfitted with layer handling mechanisms.

Stage 3 – Automated Layer Picking using a gantry robot will create the base rainbow pallets (1 sku per layer) with no human intervention. This stage can be installed alone or optionally in concert with the Semi Automated picking in stage 2.

Stage 4 – Fully Automated Order Fulfillment is accomplished by the Case-A-Matic high density case storage and sequencing system. This computer-driven system delivers up to 7 mixed or same-SKU cases in precise sequence to the pallet building station, rendering the perfect custom pallet for a particular route.


The results

By using Dematic’s Automated Order Fulfillment System (AOFS), Anheuser Busch distributors have been able to optimize regional distribution, reduce warehouse labor and delivery routes and realize substantial savings per case. This state-of-the-art technology maximizes warehouse operations and consolidates delivery operations, improving product rotation and “born on date” management.

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