Best In Show Distribution
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.
The first area to start production picking with the Lucas mobile applications featuring Jennifer voice was the Dog Pound, in which users with powered pallet jacks pick bags and cases onto pallets. Managers felt the Dog Pound was a good test area in which users could get up to speed quickly. The original plan was for the Dog Pound team to work with Jennifer through December and then to introduce Jennifer to the rest of the DC in January. Within days, however, the team in the Dog Pound was up and running without a hitch and managers quickly decided to start bringing users on the system in other areas, starting with the Outer Ring (a bulk item picking area), and then the split-case picking modules. Within two weeks, the whole DC was using Jennifer.
- Productivity: The same number of pickers can process one-third more orders per day without overtime.
- Training: The previous two-week training period for new pickers has been reduced to days.
- Accelerated Learning Curve: New pickers can work as efficiently and productively as experienced workers within 1-2 weeks.
- Eliminated Paper: Prior to Lucas, two full-time clerical staff had to print and manage pick tickets. With Lucas, they are free to do other work.
- Management Visibility: 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.