Managing Special Customer Demands

DSC and an international retail customer collaborate to redesign and retrofit a replenishment operation to include Direct-to-Consumer business.
DSC worked with a customer to design the facility layout for a Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) business expansion and helped oversee and manage the retrofit. The many product categories with a variety of very specific customer storage and shipping requirements meant designing unique storage solutions that impacted facility layout. The smooth transition was seamless to the customer’s customers.
Situation

DSC provides logistics management services for an international retail customer, managing a dedicated 850,000 square foot logistics center servicing the customer’s retail stores only. We receive product, store it and then distribute it for replenishment to the customer’s stores. The wide range of product dimensions means a high percentage of non-standard pallet sizes. Despite the more complex loading needs of the various pallet sizes, shipments to seven big-box stores are built and loaded to maximize trailer cube. This business is largely pallet pick.

When the customer wanted to use a part of the building for their Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) business, they asked DSC to work with them to design the facility layout for this expansion and help oversee and manage the retrofit of the building. For the D2C business, the customer has 26 categories of products and approximately 10,000 SKUs – all of which have different storage and shipping requirements. Products can range from a single hinge to a sofa.

Solution

As part of our design process, we conducted an in-depth data analysis to fully understand all product characteristics and requirements, and order profile details. To validate our data findings, we sent one of our engineers to the customer’s distribution center in Europe to observe storage solutions we could leverage in our operation. We worked collaboratively with our customer and a consulting firm contracting with the customer to develop the detailed design and layout.

This highly complex operation required unique storage operations to accommodate the customer’s very specific requirements, impacting facility layout. For example, product must be stored a specific number of feet from a sprinkler head, eliminating floor storage as a possibility and requiring customized solutions. Seven thousand SKUs needed to be in the pickline, so developing an optimal storage and productivity solution was a key element to designing an efficient operation. We designed and implemented creative solutions for small quantities of eaches, and we worked with our customer to design the picking cart and the packing stations.

Result

Our collaborative effort to redesign and retrofit the replenishment operation to include the D2C operation resulted in a smooth transition that was seamless to our customer’s customers. Achieving low damage levels, the operation consistently ranks in the top productivity level of our customer’s network for parcel packaging.