Best In Show Distribution

Pet Supermarket

The Client and The Ask

Pet Supermarket is a leading pet supply retailer with more than 130 stores from coast to coast. In recent years the company’s DC in Sunrise FL was running out of space to meet rising sales and order volumes. But with the Lucas Mobile Work Execution solution the DC is able to pick and ship 30 percent higher volumes with the same space and staff (and less overtime), forestalling a DC expansion.

The Lucas Project at Pet Supermarket

Pet Supermarket’s DC was growing beyond the capacity of a paper-based picking process that restricted efficiency. The manual system generated over 1,500 sheets of paper a day, creating clerical work for three full-time associates, and making it difficult for front-line supervisors to react to shorts and manage production throughout the day. They had been using barcode scanning for receiving and replenishment, but managers had determined that a scan-based picking solution wouldn’t provide the gains in productivity they were seeking.

The first step in the project was an engineering study, in which a team of Lucas engineers visited the DC and worked with supervisors and other personnel to document current processes and systems and develop a preliminary functional design for the new Lucas system. The study identified the configurations required to tailor the Lucas software to Pet Supermarket’s operational needs, including Jennifer dialogue options and Engage management tools.

Pet Supermarket4
Pet Supermarket Picker

Implementation

1) After selecting Lucas, the first step in the implementation process was an engineering study, in which a team of Lucas engineers visited the DC and worked with supervisors and other personnel to document current processes and systems and develop a preliminary functional design for the new picking system.

2) As the Lucas-Pet Supermarket team completed system configuration, integration with the Pet Supermarket WMS, and testing, DC managers and supervisors were preparing DC associates for the move to voice. Says Whetsel, “We told them we weren’t doing this to reduce the number of people. We wanted to be able to grow with our existing warehouse space and workers.” 

3) The Lucas implementation team then went on site for final testing, installation and training. The Lucas team included individuals from the original study team, providing continuity from start to finish. They trained the Pet Supermarket managers, supervisors and team leads, both on Engage, as well as the Lucas voice-picking application which was installed on rugged lightweight Motorola MC3000 mobile computers.

The Results

  1. 1) The same number of pickers can process one-third more orders per day without overtime.
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  3. 2) The previous two-week training period for new pickers has been reduced to days..
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  5. 3) New pickers can work as efficiently and productively as experienced workers within 1-2 weeks.
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  7. 4) Prior to Lucas, two full-time clerical staff had to print and manage pick tickets. With Lucas, they are free to do other work
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  9. 5) Using Engage, supervisors can view stock outs, manage mark outs, and order let-downs immediately, reducing shorts. Likewise, Engage provides immediate insight into the status of picking, so that workers can be moved from one pick area to another to ensure all the orders get picked across all areas in a timely fashion.
Lucas

Learn More

Pet Supermarket Full Case Study

Read More in Modern Materials Handling

Voice Picking Software Selection Guide

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