Warehouse automation specialist, KNAPP AG, is celebrating its success at the 2012 Grocer Gold Awards, at which it scooped the accolade ‘Technology & Logistics Supplier of the Year’ for the handling solution it delivered to the pharmacy-led retail giant, Boots.

Held on 13 June at London’s prestigious Guildhall, the black-tie awards dinner attracted all the top players in the UK grocery retail industry to recognise excellence in service, initiative and commitment in the food and drink sector. KNAPP fought off tough competition from other nominees in the category – including Kuehne-Nagel and NFT Distribution Operations – to win the award for the logistics solution it supplied to Boots’ new service centre in Burton-upon-Trent.

£50 million investment

The new distribution facility – which was officially opened in February – not only supports order processing for the 25,000 product lines of Boots’ e-commerce operation (boots.com), but also its Christmas gift ranges (some 2,500 product lines) and its international distribution, which prepares orders for Boots stores abroad. Boots has invested over £50 million in the Burton Service Centre, which includes both the purchase of the existing 460,000 sq ft building – the area of six football pitches – and its total refurbishment to provide leading-edge warehousing facilities.

The Grocer Gold Award recognises the fact that the automated material handling systems designed and installed by KNAPP at the new warehouse have increased time efficiency by 65% compared to the previous manual operation and improved order traceability through the use of innovative track and trace technology. They also ensure faster, more accurate deliveries to customers, with the commitment from boots.com to offer even later ordering times for next-day delivery in the future.

State-of-the-art solution

At the heart of the state-of-the-art handling solution supplied to Boots are 12 of KNAPP’s OSR Shuttle™ systems, which provide automated storage combined with goods-to-person order picking at KNAPP’s ergonomically designed Pick-it-Easy workstations. Three OSR Shuttle™ systems with 48,385 storage locations handle containers up to 15 kg in weight and the other nine – with 25,704 locations – are for containers weighing up to 32 kg. Ideal for slow- and medium-moving goods, the OSR Shuttle™ systems process the majority of the inventory at Burton. Fast-moving products, meanwhile, are picked in a flow rack area at workstations that utilise pick-to-light technology. A total of 26 dispatch ramps ensure the efficient sortation of deliveries. KNAPP also supplied its KiSoft WMS (warehouse management system) and KiSoft WCS (warehouse control software) to optimise all warehouse movements and processes. In addition, Boots has contracted KNAPP to provide a team of resident engineers in order to maintain the centre’s handling system.

Teamwork

The Grocer Gold Award was presented to Heimo Robosch, Director of Integrated Projects for KNAPP, by Adam Leyland, Editor of The Grocer magazine, and the popular comedian, Hugh Dennis. Also present at the awards ceremony was David James, Managing Director of KNAPP UK Ltd, who commented “We are absolutely delighted to have received this prestigious award and we look forward to enhancing our long-standing partnership with Alliance Boots as their Burton operation continues to grow. The teamwork of all involved in this project was exceptional and undoubtedly a huge factor in its success.”

KNAPP UK Ltd

Mr Craig Rollason, Head of Sales & Marketing

Tel: 01844 202149

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