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HEMA looks ahead

The company HEMA BV headquartered in Amsterdam has decided to almost double the performance of their existing distribution center in Utrecht. Currently there are about 600 HEMA stores being supplied from the DC in Utrecht. The number of HEMA stores has grown by 50 per year, spread across the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, and France.  With expectations that store growth will continue in the years ahead, HEMA made the decision to expand their DC in Utrecht. In order to improve service levels together with this expansion, HEMA decided to prepare the distribution center for the future, with realization partner Witron.

The Utrecht DC  (“Lage Weide”) is an automated distribution center with more than 210,000 tote locations and 26,000 pallet locations.  It was designed and realized by WITRON in 2003. HEMA has a wide range of articles - nearly 30,000 items covering fashion, hardware, and food – a perfect match for WITRON’s highly successful Dynamic Picking System (DPS).
WITRON’s DPS is based on a modular design, allowing the system to be extended by 12 ergonomic picking workstations, 16 ergonomic repacking stations, and 7,500 tote locations.  Additional software optimizations will be made to expand functionalities and improve material flows as required for the future demands. At this point it is examined whether the pallet storage capacity needs to be expanded.

Based on WITRON’s optimizations in conjunction with modified operating schedules, the expanded system will enable a performance increase of nearly 50%, bringing the daily capacity from 470,000 picks to more than 700,000 picks. This represents a performance increase of almost 50%.

Because the entire conversion and all extensions must be performed during regular working hours, WITRON must take care not to disrupt on-going operations. As such, the project will take place in two phases within very strict timelines.