Case Study

MS Direct

MS Direct Implements Innovative 3PL E-Commerce Fulfillment Solution

Kardex Holding AG

As one of the fastest-growing sectors in the modern economy, keeping pace in e-commerce requires innovative thinking and investment in the technology that gives an edge. That’s why MS Direct turned to AutoStore for proven results in order fulfillment solutions.

MS Direct, Switzerland’s leader in customer relationship management and e-commerce, has been helping companies to access customers in the Swiss market since 1999. The company provides fulfillment solutions for major regional and global brands, cross-border logistics and administrative assistance, and software services for businesses.

Having been in the e-commerce field since its earliest days, the MS Direct team recognized the growing importance of faster shipping times and maximum availability of products. For that reason, they recently broke ground on a 20,000 m² (215,278 ft2) fulfillment center on Lake Constance in the canton of Thurgau. To power their transition to a sustainable, efficient new method of operations, they were looking for an automated warehouse system that would keep them at the forefront.


The challenge

Facing sector-wide exponential growth year upon year, MS Direct began to prepare their infrastructure to support clients in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Importantly, they needed an automated warehouse solution that would minimize throughput times, maximize availability, and offer enough flexibility to expand according to the company’s needs. As the fastest order fulfillment system on the market, and with expandability and efficiency built in by design, AutoStore was the clear best choice for the Lake Constance facility.

Benefits of the AutoStore system

Between their own precise objectives and the AutoStore system, MS Direct was able to implement an automated warehouse solution to shorten the distance between customers and their clients. The exceptional storage density ratio offered by the AutoStore Grid system, up to four times higher than that of traditional storage systems, maximized space in the new facility.

The grid, made up of any arrangement of 17 standardized parts, can be configured to fit within warehouse spaces of any size or layout while retaining capacity for further customization. The system’s 99.6 percent availability, meanwhile, sped up processing times and bolstered its design-inherent sustainability and efficiency. What’s more, it did all this without interrupting ongoing operations, and the scalable Grid system will facilitate as-needed expansion in the future.

Finally, the AutoStore system’s low rate of energy consumption, along with features such as built-in energy recovery allowing their Robots to recharge at lower costs, will support MS Direct’s cost management efforts as well as their commitment to sustainability.

How the system works

Initially, the automated warehouse system implemented through AutoStore will include space for 30,000 storage Bins, with capacity to double that number in the naturally-lit hall where the Grid has been installed. Included are 48 battery-powered Robots, moving along the Grid’s aluminum rails to retrieve, arrange, or deliver Bins via a conveyor system to any of nine workstations for picking and replenishment.

Furthermore, the new AutoStore system will support and be integrated with a range of additional innovative projects planned for MS Direct’s new facility while supporting ongoing operations.

System overview

  • 30,000 Bins
  • 48 Robots
  • 8 CarouselPorts
  • 1 ConveyorPort

The comparatively high order volume of our customers requires additional capacities and highly efficient processes — an automated solution that stores the items very densely was the logical consequence here.

Dr. Luca Graf
CEO, MS Direct

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