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Items are picked to totes from a number of different picking zones and then conveyed to one of the sorter induction areas, where they are placed on the tilt tray sortation system. So goes the motto at the Oriental Trading Company OTC. Perennial bestsellers like whoopee cushions reflect the play. When the facility went live inOTC transitioned from a conventional, paper-driven DC to a highly automated facility that manages more than 30, stock keeping units SKUs. Inthe facility picked and packed 78 million units a year.

On its best day, the LaVista facility handleditems. To hit those numbers, OTC implemented:. In addition to controlling conveyor and sortation systems, the warehouse control system WCS optimizes picking and packing waves, sends pick information to voice picking, and directs the packout operations. The WMS, meanwhile, is primarily in charge of inventory management and communication with the host system. Accuracy has improved from It became a major supplier to the U.

In the s, OTC launched its first toll-free telephone number and seasonal catalogs brought continued growth. As the Internet grew in popularity in the late s, OTC began to reach out to customers on the Web. Today, the company employs 3, associates and mails nearly million catalogs a year. OTC has been recognized as a Top 50 Internet Retailer, a Top 50 Catalog Company, and has also won awards for corporate citizenship and social responsibility.

OTC continues to grow by adding new items to existing categories and by adding new products. That growth strategy led to the need for a new facility. When planning began for LaVista, the existing ,square-foot facility in Omaha was maxed out. This led to a decrease in productivity. A typical order consists of six to seven line items and 14 units that were being picked across 24, possible SKUs. With those order profiles, the paper-driven, pick-to-cart fulfillment processes in the old facility were manual oriental trading stations of the cross design physically taxing.

The combination of physical constraints and the physicality of the job led to the design of the new facility. The solution was a highly integrated and flexible picking methodology that OTC refers to explode and assemble. The options trading videos beginners ukelele brings together an order management system, WMS, WCS, conveyor and sortation system, and voice recognition technology to find the optimal way to pick and assemble a wave of 8, to 10, orders.

To oriental trading stations of the cross design the new system, it helps to look at how orders used to be processed. In the old system, the WMS created batches of 9 to 20 orders around a system-optimized path. Associates picked complete orders from a master pick ticket directly to shipping containers on a cart. Since pickers were completing an order, several associates might visit the same location to complete their batches.

When the batch was complete, the picker scanned a bar code on the master pick list. At that time, the inventory was updated. Given that a batch could take 40 minutes, any given location might be out of stock for a significant period of time before the system knew to replenish that location. The explode and assemble methodology takes a different approach. Orders still begin at the WMS.

The system creates a wave that consists of 8, to 10, orders andunits to be picked. That wave is then passed to the WCS. It works like this: To explode the orders, the WCS creates four picking and packing subwaves from the original wave; picking assignments are assigned to an induction location on the double- density tilt tray sorter, and orders are assigned to a chute leading to one of packout locations. The WCS plans the work based on several criteria.

First, it looks at which items will consume the entire contents of a case. Those tasks are sent to a oriental trading stations of the cross design break area. The idea is that associates will pick by location rather than fill all the items of an individual order. That way, a location is only visited once for each wave, cutting down travel time.

By condensing items in a three-floor mezzanine, travel time is further optimized. Filled totes are held in a pick module until the sorter is ready for a subwave. At that point, the associate releases a tote to the takeaway conveyor, which sends it to an induction point. For the assemble part of the orders, the tilt tray sorter identifies all of the items for a single order and sends them to a packout chute. After an order is packed into a shipping container, it is conveyed to an automatic tape and sealing sorter.

If there are exceptions, it is conveyed back to a packout station to be completed. The WCS remains in control right up until the packages are sorted into the carrier trailers. Wagner says the transition from manual processes to automation was relatively seamless. The implementation of a labor management system along with a pay for performance program has also led to worker acceptance.

But the most important benefit may be the ability to support 50, SKUs in the future. The Five Point Tune-Up for Your Warehouse. OSHA revised standard PMMI membership reaches record levels. PMMI announces Jim Pittas as the next president and CEO. Business optimism erupts with double-digit growth in the United States. RPA issues call for applications for Excellence in Reusable Packaging Award. Flexible Robotics Come of Age for Intralogistics. Automate show breaks records. ProFood Tech brings together 9, food and beverage professionals.

Making the Case: Distribution Center DC Workflow Automation to Drive Process Optimization. Panjiva reports a rebound in March U. Lift Truck Equipment: Telematics on Home Turf. CEMA reports February orders down MHI announces winners of ProMat Innovation Awards. System Report: Oriental Trading Company gets its warehouse under control. While they are picking, associates are directed by the voice system to pick to up to 16 different totes until a case is consumed.

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2017.04.14 Way of the Cross

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