Prior to the development of a distribution center in the Los Angeles market, one of the world's fastest-growth retailers was using small buildings scattered across the Southern California region for in-take and sorting of its millions of orders from the Far East.
Because these DC-based retailers are no longer stocking back-up merchandise at their stores—and due to e-commerce, greater numbers of people are buying on-line, clothing has to be carefully hand-picked for delivery direct-to-stores—and direct from the distribution center to the consumer. Under these circumstances, throughput is key to getting product in the consumers' hands as quickly as possible - no one wants to wait.
Dealing with the issue of carton storage as opposed to pallet storage, Western Pacific's Midwest Regional Manager Joe Cascio talked about the preparation to install 9,200 sections of shelving situated atop a pre-existing parking structure—carefully designed to speed hand-picking.
Cascio explains: "To respond to the seismic needs of the earthquake-prone California marketplace, we had to x-ray the floor to identify where reinforcement rebar was located to avoid hitting it during the seismic anchoring process. To maximize the amount of available space, a flexible shelving system was designed."
"The system had to be flexible to allow for the second and an eventual third level. The retailer outgrew the ground level of 9,200 sections in less than a year when boxes were stacked 6' above the top shelf. So we had designed the first level to readily accept the second without the need to adjust or relocate shelving and most importantly -- not disrupt business."
He went on to add, "Employees can efficiently pick and move more effectively—speeding the company's e-commerce and retail throughput even while the install of the second level was in process. This situation speaks volumes about the current transition that we are seeing where merchandise is coming out of cartons—not off of pallets.
Tom Rogers, Western Pacific's CEO stated, "Our company was privileged to help this retail giant increase their access to inventory with this flexible shelving solution."