CHESHIRE, Conn. -- Bozzuto's here will go live with its first-ever warehouse management system at its two distribution centers here April 19.
The system, which will use radio frequency technology, will track inbound and outbound pallets as well as direct warehouse replenishment. The system will also incorporate engineered labor standards. Previously Bozzuto's handled its distribution center operations with manual, paper-based systems.
"The standards will be in place by April 19, but we won't reap all the benefits until June when we're completely live with radio frequency [technology]," said Serge Chevalier, director of distribution at Bozzuto's. "We hope to see a 20% to 30% increase in productivity in the forklift aspect and 15% gains in productivity in the receiving, loading and selection processes."
He estimated the company will see a return on investment for this system within 18 months.
Bozzuto's 750,000-square-foot distribution center, which houses produce, grocery, dairy, meat and deli products, will be the first to implement the system.
At this facility, the system will go live for grocery and supplies April 19. Approximately four weeks later the system will go live in the perishables area, including produce, dairy, deli, meat and frozen products.
The other facility, which holds nonfood supplies and cigarettes, will also go live April 19. The warehouse management system will be used primarily to handle cross docking at this 300,000-square-foot facility.
All processes in the warehouses handled by forklift operators, loaders, receivers and supervisors will use RF, which will go live some time in June. The warehouse management system will assign tasks in the correct order to forklift operators and loaders, transmitting them via RF receivers and displays on the equipment.
"At that point in time, they either pick up and bring a pallet to a position, or fetch a pallet from a position and bring it to a pick slot. It's directed by the system," Chevalier said. "At the same time, a labor standard is given and each operator knows how long they have to do this task."
Engineered labor standards will affect all warehouse operation processes, including selection, loading and receiving.
The warehouse management system should also help increase accuracy all the way through the distribution process, "because it's tracking each pallet at each and every location, and it's also keeping track of the quantity as product goes from one position to another."