To realize its commitment to same-day shipping of incoming orders, Zeek Logistics needed an order fulfillment solution that increased efficiency. An AutoStore warehouse management system delivered that — and more.
Zeek Logistics is a US-based third-party logistics (3PL) and e-commerce fulfillment company committed to enhancing supply chain efficiency for its clients. They process, pack, and dispatch up to 2,000 orders daily.
Its extensive warehouse accommodates around 28,000 types of goods across 3,500 to 4,500 order lines. The company's comprehensive service portfolio includes order assembly, pick and pack orders, real-time online inventory management, and labeling and repackaging. Their facilities offer temperature-controlled spaces, multi-customer distribution, a thorough inspection of incoming freight, and cost-effective cross-docking services.
Zeek Logistics was initially confronted with significant challenges in meeting client demands at their distribution warehouse. Their traditional, paper-based picking method led to inefficient operations and required substantial walking for the staff, which caused a lag in customer service. Further complicating matters, the manual picking process resulted in a high error rate, which added to the delay in order fulfillment.
To keep its commitment to same-day shipping of incoming orders, Zeek Logistics turned to AutoStore and partnered with KPI Solutions to develop a flexible, scalable automated warehouse solution: a strategic move aimed at resolving their operational inefficiencies and improving service delivery.
The AutoStore system's installation has profoundly impacted Zeek Logistics' operations, enabling the company to fulfill its promise of same-day shipment of incoming orders and significantly enhancing its picking rates. The system has streamlined its logistics process by bringing products directly to the staff, increasing pick rates efficiency. The Warehouse Manager at Zeek Logistics, Jason Harber, reinforces this point, stating, "It helps us to get orders out the door more quickly. And also, another advantage of the AutoStore system is that it’s quick to learn the new process."
The AutoStore system has also significantly optimized warehouse space usage. The Grid fits into approximately 30-40% of the area previously occupied by rack storage, eliminating wasted space.
The new system has led to faster order fulfillment, considerable space savings, less downtime, and more efficient use of staff time. "It saves space, as the vertical storage grid is a much denser system than what we had before," says Harber. "Also, there’s much less mechanical equipment needed to fulfill orders in the warehouse, which ultimately means less downtime."
AutoStore introduced a vertical storage system that utilizes a large aluminum Grid for efficient storage and retrieval. When new stock arrives, employees place them into inventory Bins that are subsequently inserted into the Grid: a cubic system that houses 28,400 Bins, each with a carrying capacity of 30kg. The system incorporates 22 battery-operated Robots that glide over the Grid, identifying and retrieving the Bins containing the required products via long grippers, and delivering them to a workstation (Port) for staff to pick. Afterward, the Robots return the Bins back to the Grid. KPI’s Kompass AutoStore Module is used for inventory management, order allocation, and as an interface to AutoStore and Acumatica, their cloud-based ERP.
The AutoStore system ensures optimal operations post-picking. Once orders are picked and labeled, they are placed onto a 24V MDR conveyor, ready to be loaded into a trailer by an employee for shipping. The Robots, working efficiently around the clock, ensure that reserved Bins are strategically placed in the top two to four layers of the Grid for effortless retrieval when staff at the picking stations start their shifts. The system ensures that staff never have to wait for the next Bin, and maintains high speed throughout. It also naturally keeps fast-moving products at the top layers of the Grid, further enhancing operational efficiency.
"[The AutoStore system] makes the pick-and-pack process so simple – it's almost foolproof. I wish I’d used it 15 years ago."
The Competec Group, which sells more than 80,000 items from 1,000 manufacturers, installed one of the world’s largest AutoStore™ systems to consolidate their distribution process.
In the fast-growing world of e-commerce logistics, Active Ants leverages AutoStore's scalable and efficient automated systems to redefine warehousing efficiency and sustainability.
AutoStore can fit any warehouse or fulfillment center. Make yours the next.