The Calise & Sons bakery, located in Lincoln RI, is one of the biggest independent bakeries in New-England. Founded in 1908 Calise & Sons serve over 1,000 wholesale and retail customers through own distribution today. Outstanding customer service is a cornerstone for Calise & Sons. Orders received by 3:00 PM are delivered fresh the next day. With a product range of more than 140 manufactured products and over 300 sku’s all together, this is not only a challenge in production but keeping orders straight and shipped quickly and accurately, even more for dispatching and shipping.
In 2009 the Calise family committed to a capacity expansion needed to keep up with the continued growth in the business. The production expansion was only possible, by moving part of the route order fulfillment off site. And so a depot in Providence was established to handle the 24 local routes. If accurate distribution was a challenge before, the new operation with the extra step of bulk shipping to the depot, tightened that operational window even more. It was clear to Michael R. Calise, President of the bakery, to invest in some automated type of order picking system. By 2010 the first Pick by Light system was installed in the Providence depot. The technology proven more efficient, the second installation at the main production facility followed suit in 2012. The system at the main plant in Lincoln handling the order selection of the other depots and distributors in Calise’s network.
Calise’s growth continued unabated. In August of 2015, Calise purchased the route sales of a local bakery and in the following year Calise opened two new distribution facilities. DSD routes expanded overnight from 54 to 81, providing service to all major retailers and foodservice customers throughout RI, MA and CT. The Providence depot was converted to a full-blown distribution center for picking all routes and distributors. This step required not only an expansion, but also a fundamental change in the operation of the Pick By Light system.