Warehouse Management

Warehouse Management (WMS) Systems & Software, picking, Third party logistics, Inventory control, TMS, YMS, Cross docking, Virtual Warehouse and Web based WMS for optimal stock control in the warehouse.

Packing a punch

Fast and automated, customised packaging is reaping big rewards for environmentally conscious outdoor-pursuits specialist retailer

31-Jan-2019
Packing a punch
Fast and automated, customised packaging is reaping big rewards for environmentally conscious outdoor-pursuits specialist retailer, Internet Fusion Group.

Internet Fusion Group is a fast-expanding online retail business with a portfolio of niche brands specialising in life-style products across surf, skate, snow, equestrian, motor sport, as well as premium street and outdoor fashion. Sites that will be familiar to outdoor and sports enthusiasts include: Surfdome, Ride-Away and Fitness Footwear.

Established in 2006, the business has quickly grown through acquisition, retaining the skills and knowledge unique to each enterprise and realising economies of scale with a common marketing resource, finance team, and a shared 146,000 sq ft warehouse in Kettering.

Surviving and thriving in these niche markets demands a deep understanding of the products and market place, a keenness to pursue efficiency within its logistics and fulfilment operations and a strong desire to act responsibly on the shared values it holds with its customers.

To this end, minimising its environmental impact is a perennial focus for Internet Fusion Group. Like much of its customer base, the business shares a passion for creating a sustainable future, free from single-use plastics commonly used in packaging.

“We are very much front runners on sustainability and packaging,” says Adam Hall, Head of Sustainability at Internet Fusion Group. “Across the group our packaging is now 91% plastic-free and next year that percentage figure will look even better.”

Pursuing its dual quest for sustainability and productivity, the retailer has recently invested in a state-of-the-art automated packaging solution from Neopost Shipping that uses recyclable fibreboard. In the first application of the technology in the UK, the installation of two CVP-500 automated packaging machines at Internet Fusion Group’s Kettering warehouse has transformed productivity on site by packing multiple items for a single order in the same time as it takes to pack one item – enabling one operator to pack single or multiple items into a snug fit-to-size box at a rate of up to 450 packages per hour.

The cost savings made in terms of lower shipping volumes and materials, such as void-fillers and fibreboard, are significant, which together with freed-up labour resources, offers a fast ROI and lower CO2 emissions. One machine typically replaces eight to sixteen packing stations.

The CVP-500 measures, constructs, tapes, weighs and labels each parcel in one seamless process. The operator simply places the item or items to be packed onto the machine and scans the order. The system identifies the order and automatically conveys the items to a 3D scanner to measure and calculate the minimum box size required. The fibreboard is then cut and folded to create a snug fit around the goods and tape is applied on just two sides to secure the package. Then an in-line scale checks the weight against the order and, finally, the package is automatically conveyed to a label printer where a carrier compliant label is created and applied. The whole process, from start to finish takes just thirty seconds, with a custom made box configured every seven seconds.

“The two machines were installed in August 2018 and in their first month of operation they produced over 50,000 fit-to-size parcels,” says Adam Hall. “Because we are dealing with specialist equipment, we needed more specialist staff in the warehouse and to do that our systems needed to be more efficient. Automating the packing process has enabled us to devote more staff to more value adding activities.”

The problem Internet Fusion Group had been facing was similar to that of most businesses manually packing at high volumes into fibreboard boxes. The process required multiple packing desks with numerous staff and a wide range of box sizes for packers to select from. However, as with most manual packing operations, the match was often far from exact and void-fillers were usually required to cushion the goods. This led to suboptimal use of materials, wasted shipping volume, and valuable warehouse space taken up with storing a variety of box sizes.

“The first rule of sustainability is reduce… and when you reduce, you save money as well,” says Adam Hall. “In terms of shipping volumes, our calculations indicate that the two machines will offer a reduction of 92 truck loads a year, due to the space savings of fit-to-size packaging. So that’s 92 fewer trucks on the road.”

With a maximum weight capacity of 30kg and a capability to build boxes with dimensions from 24 cm (width) x 18 cm (length) by 10 cm (height) to 60 cm (width) x 55 cm (length) by 40 cm (height) – and all sizes in between – has meant that the machines are able to cater for in excess of 80% of Internet Infusion Group’s product range.

Adam Hall is pleased with the results: “Before we had a series of pack benches with cardboard boxes and gum tape and we used 100% recycled paper void filling. With the CVP-500 boxes are cut to size, which means we no longer need paper void filling – so reducing resources needed and costs. And the machines speed up that packing time, freeing up the guys for other activities rather than packing.”

There are other unforeseen benefits too, as he points out: “The machine weighs and scans the size of every product and because we know the product type, we are able to build up a data base on the physical aspects of a product and this is really useful data when we approach a parcel carrier, or when determining where products should be placed in the warehouse to gain efficiencies.”

Of course, servicing and support are vital for ensuring long-term benefits and Neopost Shipping, with its specialist engineering support services, is well positioned to respond quickly. “We were very fortunate to have a very dedicated Neopost UK team and we had engineers with us for weeks overseeing the integration. It’s not a complex machine to use so staff were quick to pick it up. But importantly, the backup and support from Neopost is fast. We have no complaints whatsoever,” says Adam Hall.

The CVP-500 machines have given Internet Fusion Group the capacity to expand on the same footprint and cope with peak at optimal performance.

An impressive new video on the case study at Internet Fusion Group can be seen at here

Gousto Cooks Up Successful Warehouse Operations with JDA

London-based meal kit provider manages a 10x increase in customer orders without adding physical labor or warehouse space with JDA WMS solution

Bahrain’s Al Jazira Boosts Operational Efficiency with Infor CloudSuite WMS

Al Jazira, a leading Bahraini retailer and distributor automates its warehouse with Infor to support rapid expansion

HighJump Empowers Good Eggs with Future of Warehousing & Logistics for Ecommerce Grocery

Online grocer evolves cold storage and food and beverage distribution for today and beyond with HighJump WMS

Europa Warehouse renews contract with E.T. Browne

Europa Worldwide Group extended its long-term relationship with international drug and cosmetics company, E.T. Brown

Minus 35 degrees: Jungheinrich builds fully automated warehouse for blood plasma

Comprehensive intralogistics concept controlled by the Jungheinrich Warehouse Control System

Milaha Deploys New Warehouse Management System in Qatar

Qatari-based heavyweight, Milaha Maritime has chosen Infor SCE to digitalize its supply chain and warehouse management operations.

Six in 10 Plan Warehouse Automation to Augment Labor by 2024

Eighty-seven percent of businesses plan to expand warehouse footprint over next five years

Top supply chain and logistics specialist snapped up…

WMS innovator SnapFulfil has strengthened its sales team with the appointment of a retail software expert.

Manhattan Named a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Warehouse Management Systems for 7th Consecutive Time

Gartner, 'Magic Quadrant for Warehouse Management Systems', C. Dwight Klappich, Simon Tunstall, 8 May 2019

SnapFulfil survey highlights subcom industry focused on future

The future of the UK’s fast expanding subscription box market (subcom) looks bright if trends in the US are anything to go by

Making fulfilment intelligent

Retail has become a hugely complex business. To cope, the warehouse needs to become intelligent – and Dematic has the iQ to deliver

Free app gives BITO box users security

BITO Seal+Track app to provide secure, easy and reliable goods monitoring

omNovos Announces Acquisition of Inventory Management Solution OptiView

New technology plays key role in omnichannel customer engagement offerings

Synergy Launches Innovative Robotic Warehouse Cart

Synergy has launched an innovative robotic fulfilment cart, SnapCart.

Rhenus Contract Logistics introduces AutoStore systems

Compact storage and order picking system – 21,000 bins – 19 robots

Wehkamp Plots Double-Digit Growth Trajectory With Manhattan Associates

Dutch ecommerce giant selects Manhattan WMS as the core technology for its DC expansion and modernization initiative

Doosan launches advanced 3-wheel electric B15R-7 Series

Doosan has launched a versatile new range of three-wheel electric counterbalance forklift trucks, the B15R-7 Series

Growth continues at Jungheinrich

All time highs – incoming orders: €3.97 billion, revenue: €3.80 billion, EBIT: €275 million

ETV 216i reach truck wins prestigious Design Award

World's first fork lift truck with permanently integrated battery

Doosan powers ahead at CV Show 2019

Doosan will be exhibiting some of its latest products for the logistics sector at The Commercial Vehicle Show 2019

New Sales Manager Announced For Snapfulfil

Synergy Logistics – the company behind the award-winning SnapFulfil warehouse management system (WMS) - has appointed a new sales manager in the UK.

Touchpath To Install WMS System In Global Manufacturer Renold’s New China Operation

China will be the fifth WMS in TouchPath’s 12-country, 23-site Renold roll out for the global chain and gear manufacturer

MASKWORLD Masters Peak Season Shipping Volumes Using Descartes pixi* WMS™

Descartes announced that MASKWORLD has deployed the Descartes pixi* WMS to keep pace with peak season spikes in shipping volumes

Fashionable storage

Online fashion retail has a special requirement for flexible storage solutions, says Edward Hutchison, managing director of BITO Storage Systems.

E.Leclerc automates their Gellainville warehouse with a CMC CartonWrap

Logilec has successfully installed a CMC CartonWrap in one of their sites in Gellainville.

Warehouse 101: Using lessons learned from fulfillment across the organization

It’s no secret that the warehouse plays a critical role in driving a better customer experience.

Connected intralogistics thanks to digital solutions

Highest possible energy efficiency by battery and energy management

Dematic widens portfolio with AutoStore’s Black Line technology

Dematic is to offer AutoStore’s revolutionary new Black Line cube-storage solution – designed for applications requiring very high throughputs.

Beauty Retailer Is Looking Good Thanks To New Warehouse Management System

A leading supplier of beauty and hairdressing products has smartened up its customer fulfilment after choosing the Snapfulfil cloud WMS

Doosan launches rugged electric B45X-7 Series for reliable outside performance

Doosan has launched a powerful new range of four-wheel electric counterbalance forklift trucks, the B45X-7 Series offering greater durability

Mills CNC goes for heavy handling with Doosan’s gentle giant

Mills CNC is a business quite literally at the cutting-edge of engineering technology

Snapfulfil Reveals Top Fulfilment Trends For 2019

Warehouse management solution specialist, Snapfulfil, has published its top trends to look out for in warehouse management and fulfilment for 2019.

Jungheinrich and Fricke found joint venture

Access to new market potential within e-commerce and the independent after market

BITO’s EQ container fleet returns Parker Hannifin’s investment in one year

BITO Storage Systems has provided Parker Hannifin's Engine Mobile Filtration Division with a fleet of its EQ Collapsible containers

Is your warehouse 'choc full' of stock? How to manage excess inventory more efficiently

Holding excess inventory can be a costly strategy and now, because of future economic uncertainty, the practice is becoming widespread.

Flexible Automation Delivers Improved Warehouse And Fulfillment Center Operations

So, how can those companies successfully compete in an increasingly automated industry?

Doosan leads the field at LAMMA 19

Doosan will be exhibiting at LAMMA 19 (hall 18, stand 516), the UK’s top farm machinery, equipment and services show

6 River Systems Is First Collaborative Robot Solution to Fulfill 1 Million Units in a Week

Warehouse automation provider demonstrates its robots reliably scale to meet holiday demands

Streamlining Ordering Process with the Help of Inventory Management Techniques

Quantzig has announced the completion of their latest study on inventory management techniques for a multinational manufacturing firm.

IntraLogisteX Public Launch For Red Ledge Warehouse Management And Control System

Uses state-of-the-art automation to optimise warehouse control

Palletways Launches New Hungarian Network

The Palletways Group is further expanding its coverage across the continent by launching a new network in Hungary.

The Magic Behind Online Shopping

Today’s warehouse automation resembles a high-tech version of Santa’s workshop.

Jungheinrich’s New EKM 202: Versatile Small Parts Order Picker with Double Capacity

Small parts order picker with a total load capacity of 215 kg, Warning zone light for more safety in retail outlets with public traffic

Warehouse Performance Management Software Maximises Operational Efficiency

Dematic a leading global supplier of integrated automated technology software and services to optimise the supply chain introduces Dematic iQ InSights

Customers Of Palletways UK Are Set To Benefit From Improved Access To The Italian Market

The Palletways Group has expanded its hub network on the continent with the unveiling of a new regional hub in Verona

Jungheinrich increases its forecast for revenue and incoming orders in 2018

Revenue +10 per cent, value of incoming orders +15 per cent and units +9 per cent against previous year

A new B2A Technology solution to optimize order picking

B2A Technology announces its offer enrichment in complete intralogistics solutions

C&C Group Selects the DSI Platform for Warehouse Optimization

DSI announced today that C&C Group Plc has selected the DSI Platform to standardize and streamline processes in the warehouse.

Increased Investment in Automation Benefits Consumer Packaged Goods Companies

New survey reveals big data analytics and collaborative robots seen as potential game changers

Vetter Further Expands Secondary Packaging

Pharmaceutical service provider relies on expanded capacities, modular production and modern analytics