Projects / Retail / Distribution / Boots UK and WITRON are logistics partners
Boots UK and WITRON are logistics partners
The Stores Service Centre (SSC) of the UK’s leading pharmacy, healthcare, and beauty retailer, Boots UK, is one of the largest and most successful automated logistics facilities in the world. Headquartered in Nottingham (United Kingdom), the SSC serves over 2,500 Boots stores across the UK and handles 8,500 shipments per week. It is a highly integrated and efficient system, run by 2,200 employees operating 24 hours a day, six days a week.
Customer: Boots UK
Boots UK is part of the Retail Pharmacy International Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, one of the world’s leading health and wellness pharmaceutical companies. With more than 2,500 stores in the UK, Boots is the leading health and beauty pharmaceutical company in the United Kingdom and some 90 percent of the population is within 10 minutes’ drive of a Boots store. The Nottingham site has been home to the Boots brand since the 1920s, and as order volumes increased, so did the on-site work processes. Today, the site is also home to one of the group’s two central distribution centers. Boots UK operates a high-performance and highly automated supply chain, delivering some 25 million units per week to stores across the country through its central distribution channels. The Nottingham Stores Service Centre, which performs highly automated piece picking, is a central and decisive factor for the entire supply chain and the heart of the Boots business.
Industry sector
Retail / Distribution
Pharmaceutical, healthcare, and cosmetics
1.2 million order lines per day
Special features of the project
In addition to the day-to-day improvements, there have been some major adjustments since the system was launched, such as the update of the IT server systems in September 2016, which at that time equaled an “open-heart surgery” due to the scope of the update. However, all work could be carried out during ongoing operations. The result is that the performance of the system has been significantly increased, without any impact on the ability to deliver to the stores. We are very proud of this partnership and together we will continue to work hard to improve the system and create additional efficiencies in the facility and in customer service.
At Boots, WITRON has implemented a total of 252 picking workstations and thus the largest DPS system (Dynamic Picking System) to date. In addition, over the past ten years, there have been constant changes in the way Boots does business in order to continuously improve its work processes. One of the most important optimizations was the integration of some 10,000 premium cosmetic items into the existing product range over a period of five years (2011 - 2016).
Customer opinion
We have developed a supply chain solution that fits our business perfectly. The solution helps us to generate sustainable competitive advantages. An important part of the WITRON solution was the store-friendly presentation. We now pick store orders exactly by product groups, which allows us to match the contents of the totes and roll containers to our store layout. This gives store employees more time to serve customers instead of restocking shelves and sorting inventory. Automation has led to significant productivity gains in the warehouse, allowing us to work more efficiently and reduce costs.