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Improved store service and supply chain performance

REWE expands logistics center in Neu-Isenburg with WITRON

REWE and WITRON are optimizing the supply chain processes for large-volume slow-movers at the logistics center in Neu-Isenburg during ongoing operation.

Image: WITRON

In order to remain capable of reacting flexible to the dynamic purchasing behavior, the food retailer REWE optimizes the complete supply chain process of large-volume items with low sales frequency during ongoing operations in the logistics center in Neu-Isenburg together with WITRON. Productive use is scheduled for mid-2021.

More than 5,000 different, slow-moving items such as canned vegetables or wine packages will be picked ergonomically and store-friendly from the storage tote onto store pallets or roll containers – this is done in a 5-aisle AS/RS with a total of 25,000 storage locations at four workstations. A process that generates not only cost-efficient and logistical advantages, but also ecological benefits since REWE will have to transport +30% fewer totes to the store and back to the logistics center.  

In this respect, the “goods-to-person” solution OPS (Order Picking System) will precisely be connected to the already existing tote picking system DPS (Dynamic Picking System). In close cooperation with the customer and the architect, the selected picking system from WITRON was designed in a way that no structural changes to the existing building are necessary.

Both modules interact intelligently with each other in inventory management and picking so that all items can be picked both in OPS and in DPS. A WITRON warehouse management system dynamically determines the most suitable picking system, according to priority and depending on the “most cost-efficient” pick”, “fastest pick”, daily volume, season, or the respective product group. In addition, the existing DPS repack is also used for repacking into the OPS totes.  Storage into the OPS system can then be either single-stage and directly from the repack area into the OPS or two-stage with interim buffering in the DPS.  

Since the beginning of 2015, the food retailer REWE has been supplying more than 6,500 customers throughout Germany with 17,5000 different dry goods from its logistics center in Neu-Isenburg. WITRON modules for efficient case, piece, half, and full pallet picking ensure a cost-efficient supply of all stores with maximum customer service. On a peak day, more than 500,000 pick units are picked in a store-friendly manner. During the design phase, the overall system layout has already been developed by WITRON and REWE in a way that it can be adapted flexibly and sustainably to new requirements regarding growing volumes, number of SKUs, and permanently changing business processes. It was also taken into account that future extensions can be integrated largely without any problems during ongoing operation - both in terms of IT and mechanics.