Looking to decrease order cycle time and increase reach to the east coast, PUMA turned to long-time partner Bastian Solutions to help plan, strategize and integrate a new facility and automated warehouse system in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Faster Retail Order Fulfillment and Room To Grow With Advanced Warehouse Automation and AutoStore
Faster Retail Order Fulfillment and Room To Grow With Advanced Warehouse Automation and AutoStore

Case study from | Bastian Solutions

“In our business it’s innovate or die. It sounds brutal but I really feel like you’re either moving forward and using technology and automation and innovation to get better or you’re going backwards,” said Bob Philion, President & CEO PUMA North America.

Featuring new innovations like the AutoStore Black Line and in-line packing automation, the Indianapolis distribution center provides 10x more capacity and is 20% faster than their California facility. PUMA, together with their 3PL partner NFI/Cal Cartage, can now comfortably meet peak season demands with plenty of room to grow.

 

Key Technologies

  • AutoStore goods-to-person automated order picking system - the largest AutoStore grid in North America at the time of construction (June 2020)
    • 175 Black Line robots
    • 305,000 bin locations
    • ConveyorPort, CarouselPort, and RelayPort pick & replenishment stations
  • Exacta warehouse execution system
  • Put-to-light devices at picking stations
  • Automatic labeling machines for empty shipping carton license plate labels
  • In-line weigh check scale
  • Print and apply labelers for shipping labels with an inline scale for manifesting
  • ~16,000 feet of Hytrol conveyor, including extendable conveyor for optimized truck loading & unloading
  • Automated box cutters
  • Customized packaging equipment:
    • iPak Automatic tray formers & lidders
    • Autobagger automated polybag machine for e-commerce orders
 

Results

  • Order fulfillment cycle improved from 8 days to 2 days
  • Increased facility capacity by over 10x to meet growing U.S. demand
  • Facility holds 5.5 million units of inventory with 45,000 SKUs
  • 25% increase in density for outbound trucks due to right-sized packaging that decreases empty space in boxes
  • Over 1 million units shipped per month with expectations to double in first year (and enough scalability to continue growing for years to come)
  • Increased storage and throughput with AutoStore Black Line's larger bin size, faster robots and the RelayPort's faster bin presentation
  • The AutoStore goods to person system increases order picking efficiency by decreasing time spent walking and increasing accuracy with the user-friendly interface
  • Facility opened in June 2020, on-time and on-budget despite challenges caused by COVID-19
 

Pandemic Pressures

The COVID-19 pandemic added unexpected challenges to the opening of PUMA's Indianapolis facility, which was scheduled to open in June 2020. Stay at home orders, new safety protocols, and supply chain issues threatened to increase the budget and delay opening. On top of this, an unexpected surge in online orders starting in March 2020 brought PUMA's business to peak-season levels, making the need for the new facility even greater.

“A beacon of hope” for PUMA’s North America ecommerce retail distribution, the Indianapolis distribution center facility opened June 2020 on time and on budget. Just in time to service the accelerated business triggered by the pandemic.

 

The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of ManufacturingTomorrow

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