Projects / Retail / Distribution / Hoogvliet relies on omni-channel logistics
Hoogvliet relies on omni-channel logistics
The logistics service provider from Parkstein will realize a state-of-the-art, automated distribution center in Bleiswijk (south of the Netherlands) for all distribution channels of the Dutch food retailer Hoogvliet. The strategic goal of the company is to become the “most attractive omni-channel retailer on the market.
Customer: Hoogvliet
After 25 years of service, the food retailer Hoogvliet closed its manual warehouse in Alphen an den Rijn and moved into a new state-of-the-art omni-channel distribution center in Bleiswijk. “Our delivery quality and customer service have improved again since then, while logistics costs have dropped”, explains Hoogvliet CEO Siep de Haan proudly.
Bleiswijk/Venray (Netherlands)
Industry sector
Retail / Distribution
11,700 different items - dry, fresh, and frozen goods
OPM, DPS, CPS, pick-by-voice, automatic shipping buffer, automatic empties buffer
385,000 pick units per day, daily supply of more than 70 stores as well as numerous online customers
Special features of the project
In the Dutch retail market, several national and many regional providers compete for customers. The middle-sized companies have a strong market presence. Hoogvliet, the full-range retailer is one of these regional providers and wants to grow. The plan is clear: The owner-family wants their company to become the “most attractive omni-channel retailer on the market”. For CEO Siep de Haan, this meant thinking about new logistics structures a few years ago. De Haan knows his way around the retail business in Europe. He worked for Aldi over several years and is now responsible for the medium-sized company’s business. “Omni-channel is an important topic for us, because we want to grow in all channels”, explains de Haan. The ambitious plan, however, called for rethinking the internal and external supply chain processes. The Dutch company searched for a long time, checked many systems, and found WITRON as a partner in 2017. “Our existing, manual warehouse became too small and we needed more efficiency in our processes to continue to grow. And, of course, we also wanted to keep ergonomics, sustainability, and costs in mind”, remembers de Haan. The old warehouse in Alphen aan den Rijn in the south of the Netherlands has been in service for 25 years. The new logistics center in Bleiswijk opened its doors in mid-2020. The Hoogvliet team speaks of the “backbone” because the entire business model was and is dependent on the new logistics center.
The Order Picking Machinery (OPM) with a total of 13 Case Order Machines (COMs) for the fully automated picking of cases onto roll containers will be used in the dry goods and fresh produce environment, and the Car Picking System (CPS), a semi-automated picking system, will be used for the route-optimized picking of cases. An automated tray warehouse is located in front of the OPM. “Hazardous goods” such as aerosol cans are picked in the CPS within a separate area. The Dynamic Picking System (DPS) is used for highly dynamic and semi-automatic picking of small items in the dry goods assortment. Replenishment for the picking areas is handled from a six-aisle high bay warehouse for dry goods and fresh items. WITRON will install manual order picking systems for frozen goods, fruits, and vegetables, as well as meat products. After picking and consolidation in the various picking areas, the goods are automatically provided for dispatch by means of transfer cars and gravity conveyors.
Customer opinion
“Our colleagues now have to think in processes. This was initially a change for many employees, but we managed this change process very well together with WITRON”, says Siep de Haan. The responsible persons communicated the new tasks in one-to-one conversations. “Only six employees from our 300+ staff members in the logistics section left the company. For jobs that were eliminated in the new logistics center, numerous employees were integrated into other business units. The entire team is decisive for success in such a demanding project. I think, in addition to a good concept and professional project management, team performance has a decisive share in the overall success.” De Haan is proud of his logistics center and his team. “Our delivery quality and customer service have improved once again, while logistics costs have decreased at the same time. We are very pleased with the results. What needs to be kept in mind is that such an automated warehouse changes the way we work throughout the organization. Everyone has to develop, only then does the concept work.”