Audit of new DC automation solution for a leading Dutch online retailer

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Automation & mechanisation | Fashion & General Merchandise Retail

Business targets

Objective audit of new DC automation solution for a leading Dutch online retailer which reached storage capacity within 9 months of go-live with lower throughput volumes than forecast.

  • To improve the storage & throughput capacity of the newly built automated LSC which handles online clothing orders via a 450k location OSR with goods. to person pick station, in-line autobox & autobagging, and a despatch sorter.
  • To identify the root cause of the problem, identify short term capacity enhancements to meet peak and strategic opportunities for change.

Our approach

  • Working collaboratively and at pace, we developed a backward-looking “Gap Analysis” to identify why the automation was impacting on productivity & storage capacity & what specific initiatives could be implemented to improve.
  • We then conducted a forward-looking strategic analysis to determine the way forward to support more aggressive business growth and a wider SKU range.
  • We established a Steering group and PMO to deliver the project.
  • Our output report was clearly structured with indicative change costs & transition roadmap.


  • Short term plan for re-profiling stock held within OSR to improve capacity by 20%. Recommendations for enhancing pick productivity by changing the pick algorithm and pick tote, identifying products more effectively, implementing smaller packing (box & bagging) lines to meet peak. Better control room software with enhanced routine for order release.
  • Longer Term – Three different volume models created to simulate different growth rates. Detailed identification of capacity constraint in each area of the operation. Solution options modelled for future growth & decision timeline identified to implement changes on time against growth rates.

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Benchmarking & audit
Automation & mechanisation