Projects / Retail / Distribution / SuperValus logistics advantage
SuperValus logistics advantage
With sales of nearly 41 billion euros and 160,000 employees, SuperValu is one of the largest retail companies in North America. The company has been storing and picking cases at its Hopkins, Minnesota, facility using OPM technology since 2006. Since 2008, a WITRON DPS system for picking small-volume items has been an integral part of SupervValu’s logistics strategy in Brea, California. At the Lancaster (Pennsylvania) site, another distribution center with OPM technology went into operation in 2009.
Customer: SuperValu, Inc.
SuperValu is one of the leading grocery retailers in the United States. Founded in 1870, the company is headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. The trade company is listed in the S&P 500 stock index and employs some 160,000 people.
Lancaster, USA
Industry sector
Retail / Distribution
18,000 items in the dry goods range
OPM with 22 COM machines, 10 stacker cranes
Up to 256,000 cases per day
Special features of the project
OPM eliminates picking errors, reduces damage, and significantly improves store shelf replenishment efficiency. This inevitably leads to a higher service level and thus to greater customer satisfaction. In addition, personnel costs were significantly reduced by the new technology. It was also possible to implement the OPM technology in an existing building. Without the need for a pickfront, the OPM system can reduce conventional warehouse footprint by 40%. As a result, it was possible to handle more volume in a much smaller footprint. Another major benefit is the reduction in conventional material handling equipment, including reach trucks, forklifts, picking cars, and battery charging equipment. WITRON’s highly optimized order routing ensures that picked pallets are dispatched in a more orderly sequence to shipping. Inventory controls and auditing can be eliminated or significantly reduced.
The OPM system in Lancaster was integrated into an existing 21-meter-high building covering a footprint of 16,300 square meters. The site services 400 stores daily from a dry goods range of 18,000 different items. On a peak day, 22 COMs (Case Order Machines) pick 256,000 cases onto order pallets in a store-friendly manner. The facility includes a 10-aisles automated pallet warehouse with 54,000 storage locations as well as a tray AS/RS with 44 stacker cranes and 400,000 storage locations. More than 95% of all items can be handled with the fully automated system. At the Hopkins distribution center, the OPM system uses 18 COM machines to pick 177,000 cases daily from a dry goods range of 13,000 different items. The automated 17-aisle pallet warehouse contains 56,000 storage locations. The 36-aisle tray AS/RS is designed to accommodate 339,000 storage locations.
Customer opinion
Our expectations were exceeded. WITRON’s three automated systems consistently rank as the top performers in SuperValu’s network of 29 logistics centers. They are economical, cost-efficient, flexible, and generate numerous benefits in the warehouse, for transportation, and all the way to the store. We can very well imagine using these technologies in other logistics centers as well.