Holland & Barrett chooses Pick-to-Light again
Working as a system integrator, Pcdata has modernised and optimised Holland & Barrett’s logistics process at its Burton-on-Trent DC with the installation of a new Pick to Light system.
Since the turn of the century, Europe’s largest vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements retailer Holland & Barrett has been using a Pcdata Pick to Light system at its main distribution centre in Burton-on-Trent.
“The system is used to pick orders for single items for our stores,” Mark Kendrick, distribution director at NBTY Europe, says. NBTY Europe is part of NBTY, a global leader in the production of nutritional supplements. NBTY Europe has more than 650 Holland & Barrett shops in Great Britain, NBTY Europe also has more than 100 De Tuinen shops in The Netherlands.
The whole Pick to Light system was replaced and expanded during the 2014 summer. As system integrator, Pcdata also optimised the logistics process at the same time.
Due to the many years of intensive use, the Pick to Light system in Burton-on-Trent needed to be replaced. The choice to continue using the technology was a no-brainer for Kendrick: “Over the years, we’ve also gained experience with other technologies. For instance, we make use of voice picking at the picking of our web orders and our bulk picking (large items and full cartons). But it was very clear to us that we would choose Pick to Light again for the picking of the single items for our stores. It is the most productive solution beyond a doubt.”
Pcdata was also chosen again. The decision to work with Pcdata was also one that the distribution director didn’t take long to make. “Of course we looked at other suppliers too. That is only to be expected in this kind of large projects. But it quickly became clear that Pcdata is still first choice,” Kendrick states. “They know our processes and needs like no other. What’s more, they always provide excellent service.
Excellent service is essential, because Pick to Light is a crucial component of our logistics process. System stoppages must be avoided at all costs.”
Rebuilding with a limited time period
This is also why the old Pick to Light system was completely renovated within a period of only five weeks. To avoid supply problems, Holland & Barrett had temporarily increased store stocks. “But even so, we still needed twice as many people as usual for the remaining orders. This was only because we couldn’t make use of the pick-to-light system,” says Kendrick.
Together with Pcdata, Kendrick put together a detailed plan for the replacement that was closely monitored on an hourly basis by the main logistics contractor. These meticulous preparations helped in the smooth implementation of the project.
“Our customers didn’t even notice the major modernisation of the system that was taking place,” the distribution director happily notes.