Improved Order Fulfillment Layout & Picking System, Best Volume Ever For Parts DC – Greenville TX Case Study

How a total efficiency overhaul by W.W. Cannon led to a distribution conglomerate’s best volume month ever

Sometimes, the space you have just isn’t enough. When it’s time to move into a bigger facility, W.W. Cannon can get you outfitted, upgraded and ready to go. Here’s one example of a large client making an even larger move in their operations.

Our Client
Large MRO Parts Manufacturer and Distributor

Our client is a large Maintenance Repair and Operations (MRO) parts manufacturing and distribution conglomerate located in Greenville, Texas. They have an annual revenue of more than $1 billion in sales providing items such as consumables (cleaning, labratory or office equipment), industrial equipment (compressors, pumps, valves) and plant upkeep supplies (gaskets, lubricants, repair tools) as well as computers, fixtures, furniture and more.

“This job was huge,” says W.W. Cannon Automotive Specialist Rode Chambers. “But we’re prepared for, and capable of, handling huge jobs.”

The Challenge

Move Operations to New Warehouse 55 Miles Away, Outfit New Warehouse for Increased Productivity

Due to an explosive growth in operations, the MRO conglomerate needed to double their facility square footage. But even at their size money matters, and the company didn’t want to throw away anything from the previous facility that could be utilized.

The Solution
New Distribution Center Layout While Repurposing as Much from the Previous Warehouse as Possible

Order Picking System, Zoned Accumulation Conveyor, Custom Layout Pallet Rack , Carton Flow Rack, Closed Steel Shelving and Modular In-Plant Office 

The process of moving operations was a 30 to 60 day process, with the physical move taking place over a single weekend. But as Chambers points out, it starts and ends with quality communication.

“This was a very fluid project and it changed quite often,” says Chambers.  “We did several walkthroughs, and once a week we would confirm what exactly we would be moving or installing. It was very much a back-and-forth process, and at the height of it we had daily interactions. If I wasn’t there every day, I was there at least a couple of times a week.”

The transition itself was very smooth, with existing equipment being used to complement the new distribution solutions.

“If they’re not required to buy all new equipment, we can help them save money by reusing whatever they have that’s still in good functioning order.”

“There was enough equipment left in the old facility that we were able to move some of it to accommodate them in their new facility – which saved them a substantial amount of money,” says Chambers. “A portion of their existing conveyor was moved and used to complete the new conveyor system.  What could be saved as far as pallet racks goes, we took down and put back up.”

The total integrated solution included warehouse consultation, a more efficient distribution and pick system design, pallet rack storage system with custom design for forklift drive through tunnel, carton flow racking, conveyor system, inventory shelving, large overhead HVLS (high velocity low speed) fans, certified equipment installation, as well as preventive maintenance and repairs on all existing dock doors to ensure proper working condition.

“W.W. Cannon worked non-stop to complete the move per their needs.”

“One reason they went with W.W. Cannon is they had a local, hand’s-on manager – which was me in this particular case – that worked hand-in-hand with their people to complete the project. ”

The Result
The Best Month on Record for a $1 Billion-Plus Conglomerate

The goal of the new, double-sized facility was to increase productivity and volume to meet the exploding demands of the MRO conglomerate’s own customers. Thanks to W.W. Cannon, those goals were both met and exceeded.

“The driving reason behind the new facility was to increase production and distribution, and I know that January of 2019 – their first month up and running in the new facility – was the best month that the company has ever had in terms of volume,” says Chambers.

“They were able to break volume record because of the new, efficient warehouse layout and design. With the ease of flow and twice as much storage capacity in the new facility, I expect their productivity doubled.”

The story doesn’t end there. Post-installation, W.W. Cannon was called upon once again.

“After we had completed the project, there was room in their budget for additional equipment and controls enhancements – another bay of pallet rack was installed and automatic stops were added for the conveyor system.  In the big picture very minor things, but when those things were needed, W.W. Cannon was ready to go,” says Chambers.

The installation was such a success, in fact, that the MRO conglomerate immediately hired W.W. Cannon to help them refit their former facility for a sister company.

“We build very open partnerships with our clients,” says Chambers. “And because of the trust our MRO client invests in us, we were able to outfit them with exactly what they needed to be successful.  They expect that from us – which is a big part of why they keep coming back.”

W.W. Cannon’s storage specialists are waiting to assist you.  If you need anything – even just to ask a few questions – we’d love to hear from you. To speak to us directly and learn what our design and installation team can do for your business, call us today at 800-442-3061.

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