New order processing carts make fast work of order picking at Salon Service Group. A few years back, Salon Service Group was facing the classic growth challenge—at least where its distribution operations were concerned. The company had seen growth of 20 to 25 percent over the past five years, and its small distribution center in Springfield, Mo., was feeling the strain. To ease the pressure, the supplier of hair salon products moved into a new facility in January that was quadruple the size of the previous DC. At the same time, it implemented a new order processing system from FastFetch that incorporates wheeled carts and light-directed picking. Salon Service Group sells hair care supplies to professional stylists throughout the Midwest, serving its clientele through 30 retail stores and a mail-order business. In the old building, workers filled orders for these items one at a time using paper pick tickets and carts. "That building was packed to the gills," recalls the company’s vice president, Shane Hanson. "We realized pretty quickly that even with the new building, we would need to add a lot more people if we continued to use our old paper system." After investigating alternatives, Salon Service Group chose the FastFetch order processing system, which allows associates to pick multiple orders at a time. Fifteen cartons are staged onto each of nine wheeled carts, with each carton representing an order. The batch picking capability has led to an enormous improvement in efficiency, the company says. "Being able to pick 15 orders on nine carts means we can do 135 orders within 45 minutes," says Hanson. A tablet computer attached to each cart directs the worker to the first pick location and indicates the total quantity of that stock-keeping unit (SKU) needed to fill all of the orders on […]
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