Automated warehousing distribution systems from leading storage and materials handling specialist, Dexion are driving efficiency in the apparel industry.

The thriving fashion retail business has triggered a global demand for quicker and more efficient logistics and distribution operations within the apparel industry; Dexion’s automated warehousing solutions are helping to meet the demands of an extremely dynamic industry, according to Client Director, Colin Yeo.

According to Mr Yeo, apparel distribution centres typically service hundreds of fashion retailers and handle up to 50,000 cartons per day, shipping millions of garments each week to outlets and end consumers. Using automated warehousing as a distribution solution delivers significant advantages in terms of economies of scale, increased productivity and rapid responsiveness to market demands.

Dexion’s automated warehouse system directly eliminates much of the traditional manual handling associated with garment handling and its preparation for order fulfilment. For instance, quality control operators simply take the incoming cartons off the conveyor system in the receiving area, identify and check them, then buffer them in the fully automated carton warehouse.

The individual cartons are stored and retrieved by highly dynamic mini-load stacker cranes, capable of handling cartons of various dimensions in a multi-deep environment, while providing easy access and maintaining stock integrity.

Mr Yeo explains that this method reduces costs for the user by its very operation as the automated warehouse enables and facilitates rapid picking, sorting, and shipping at the time it is required.

Automation not only increases warehouse performance but also reduces labour requirement. Depending on the business’ individual requirements, there are broadly three order fulfilment solutions available within an automated warehouse:

Solution One

Zone Route Picking: Picking occurs with order cartons being diverted into target zones

Solution Two

Cross Docking and Goods-To-Person: Combines a cross-docking system for fast-moving items and a highly dynamic goods-to-person picking solution

Solution Three

Automated Sorter Picker: Picking orders by a high-speed sorted solution for the entire SKU range, capable of handling up to 35,000 items per hour

Dexion’s solution also allows value-add services to be easily integrated into the automated process by simply integrating workstations into the flow. Orders that require reworking are automatically redirected to the workstation to receive labelling, promotional items, individual packaging or other special services, and then reintegrated into the main material flow and conveyed to the despatch area for shipping.

The system is also recommended for special e-commerce demands, which typically involve small order volumes requiring fast turnaround times. Integrating e-commerce functions with store replenishment activities ensures both operations have access to shared stockholding locations, thereby increasing efficiency and eliminating storage duplication.

Dexion’s automated warehousing solutions can be customised to the specific requirements of each customer, while delivering excellent distribution centre performance, high picking and inventory accuracy, significant reduction in operational costs, and rapid return on investment.