Apparel Retail, USA

A major American retailer of apparel supports retail store fulfillment with a modern distribution center to replenish 3,900 retail stores.

This dedicated distribution center is part of an overall omni-channel strategy that provides customers access to their favorite brand, whenever and wherever they please.

The Challenges

The retailer faced the challenge of consolidating the fulfillment of eight store brands into one distribution center. This required high-density storage for a growing number of stock keeping units (SKUs), while assuring extremely fast and accurate store replenishment. 

Inventory accuracy and tracking are critical requirements for the highly competitive retail apparel industry. Software and automation had to provide the retailer with absolute inventory control. Increasing worker productivity was also a priority as labor availability was a growing concern. 

The retailer carries about 180,000 SKUs and ships approximately 600,000 pieces per day. 

Our Solution

Order process begins with order processing requests from the retailer’s ERP business system. The Warehouse Management System (WMS) allocates the inventory to orders, generates packing waves and determines outbound shipping requirements. 

The Dematic Warehouse Execution System (WES) directs and optimizes operational processes from receiving to shipping, including wave control. 

Receiving inventory into the facility is highly automated. Extendable trailer unloaders reach into truck trailers for cartons to be unloaded. The cartons flow into the facility on powered conveyer and are scanned and weighed on-the-fly. 

Inbound cartons accumulate and flow through a high-rate merge. Cartons are gapped evenly and then move on to the receiving sorter. 

The receiving sorter sub-system consists of a scan tunnel and a sliding shoe sorter with powered take away to one side. The cartons are sorted to reserve storage, putto-store modules, and value-added services.

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