Katoen Natie achieves faster order picking
Katoen Natie provides Intergamma with order fulfilment for its online stores. To keep up with the rapid growth of Intergamma’s online stores, efficiency improvements and cost savings were needed. Katoen Natie achieved both aims by investing in a flexible warehouse configuration.
Intergamma, the parent concern of Gamma Nederland, Gamma Belgium and Karwei construction stores, developed and implemented a multi-channel strategy several years ago. Its investment included the development of 3 online stores, the integration of traditional and new sales channels and the organisation of e-logistics.
Outsourcing of fulfilment
Katoen Natie has been providing the order fulfilment for Intergamma’s online stores since 2013. These have since been fully integrated with the shop floor, including through the installation of internet terminals and order collection desks. Customers can order any item either at home and in the construction stores.
The construction stores have limited storage facilities that is mainly used for the fast moving goods in their range. However, the multi-channel strategy now means that the stores can sell slow-moving goods. Katoen Natie delivers the goods to customers’ homes from a central warehouse or from one of the stores in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Intergamma decided to outsource its logistics process to Katoen Natie because of its prime geographical location and the ability to easily scale the operation in terms of M2 and FTE. Katoen Natie’s distribution centre in Antwerp is located centrally in the sales market and is near to the PostNL and PostNL Extra@Home distribution centres which are excellently suited to meeting Intergamma’s e-commerce challenge.
Investments in efficiency improvements
Katoen Natie is continuously investing in e-commerce solutions to improve their service. For instance, using shelving without partitions turned out to be inefficient as there was too much space between the columns and products would slide over and into each other. Small products used to be stored on various mezzanine floors and the walking distances were extremely long which meant that order picking was time consuming.
Order picking areas built using CurTec crates can be quickly and easily installed, expanded, moved and stored again. The crates can be stacked on top of each other so that they occupy little storage space.
Katoen Natie’s investment in order picking crates made it possible to have flexible, compact and well-positioned order picking areas on the ground floor. This increased the percentage of articles that could be picked on mezzanine floors from 4% to 58% and Katoen Natie was able to increase its storage capacity on the ground floor by a factor of 3. As a result, the order picking process became considerably faster and simpler.
Order picking crates increase safety and cleanliness
Order picking crates from CurTec are perforated and according to Katoen Natie are combine perfectly with a sprinkler system. Whereas closed crates create a barrier, perforated order picking crates ensure that the water from fire extinguishers can be well distributed and should not create any flue spaces. Furthermore, it was found that the perforation did not allow dirt to accumulate in the crates.
Katoen Natie is extremely satisfied with its personalised order picking areas. If you would like to know whether there is a solution for your e-commerce challenge, please contact us.
For many years, Nic. Oud Webshop Service was the logistics partner for the travel sector in the Netherlands. However, they have focused increasingly on the rising trend of on-line stores over the last five years. And this has been a success. They now provide fulfilment services for around 85 on-line stores.
“As a manufacturer of plastic order picking crates, CurTec actively participated with improving our logistics process. This enabled us to reach a flexible storage solution together that is well-suited to us.”