Over the years Fox’s Biscuits had seen more and more need for storing goods off-site, away from their main warehousing facilities. They asked The Logistics Business to help understand the problems and come up with recommendations for minimising the need for off-site storage.
In the past this had been a problem during peak periods only, but with growth in the business these high levels of outside storage were causing inefficiencies as well as unacceptably high costs and the company saw that the answer was to find ways of increasing capacity at its main site through new logistic strategy.
We began by bringing together the data that would allow us to understand the business requirements. This was found from a range of sources and was used to develop a model of the business, taking into account various factors related to the manufacturing processes and the distribution network. An important consideration within the model was the expected growth in the business so that storage and throughput requirements could be predicted for up to five years ahead. The modelling and analysis of the range of some 250 products lines showed that there would be a requirement to handle up to 200,000 pallets per year and that a storage requirement of double the existing capacity would be necessary. This, together with a wide range of other information, allowed us to compare a number of options for the business.
A number of options for storage and handling facilities within the existing warehouse building were considered but none of these could meet the required capacity. We therefore looked at the requirements for extending the building and showed that a 50% increase in building footprint, combined with a move to narrow aisle storage and retrieval would be able to meet the requirements. We discussed the options with the Company’s project team and hence prepared agreed schemes for the extended warehouse. This included detailed CAD drawings of the layouts and truck specifications. Further work was carried to look at IT requirements for the warehouse and to consider the interfaces with the Company’s SAP installation.
- Plans were made for a refurbished warehouse facility which would meet the expected business requirements for at least 5 years
- All options were thoroughly considered in an independent and professional way and the most appropriate option was adopted.
- IT requirements were considered in a coherent way so that systems and physical handling methods work together. The importance of managing both material and information was highlighted.