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Technology and automation give a major retailer a nice boost of speed.

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The need for automation

PLG was challenged by an International Logistics Company to create a solution that would reduce costs, increase productivity, and increase customer satisfaction for a Major Retailer. The retailer had a goal of streamlining the warehousing and distribution for its proprietary products by automating the process, thus; increasing speed to market.

An innovative solution: “JIT” inventory

PLG teamed with the Logistics Company to create an innovative solution to reduce costs and maximize inventory utilization for the client. The retailer implemented a factory originated, floor ready, “pre-packed” carton. These cartons are scanned at the origin, and once allocated, scanned at the point of induction at PLG. This secondary scan creates a shipping label allowing the cartons to be sorted and pushed directly to the correct distribution center, store, and department with minimal additional handling.

This “Push” process allowed for last minute allocation, thus creating a postponement distribution solution that allowed the retailer to reallocate inventory based on current market demands up until the time the merchandise arrived at PLG’s facilities.

To compliment this process, this partnership also created a “Just-in-Time” (JIT) inventory solution that provided more flexibility in the supply chain—enabling the retailer to stock less inventory, get to market faster, and better react to changing market conditions.

Replenish, profit, repeat

With annual throughput of 12 million units, the JIT model allowed the retailer to stock minimal levels of inventory while providing quick store replenishment to maximize profitability. PLG was able to utilize technology and automation to keep the inventory available through automatic replenishment based on weekly sales. This inventory “Pull” is then consolidated with the pre-pack “Push” for better utilization of out-bound deliveries and lower dwell time for equipment.

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