NEW ORLEANS -- J. Sainsbury plc in September will open a new distribution center in Scotland designed to facilitate cross docking, improve order accuracy and reduce stocking levels within the depot.
"The new depot will be 200,000 square feet and will handle over 1 million cases per week," said Robert Parle, director of distribution operations for J. Sainsbury, London.
According to Parle, the warehouse will function on a "pick-on-receipt," or cross-docking system, with the help of electronic data interchange to provide advance ship notices.
The goal with this system is for J. Sainsbury to offer its stores more accurate orders and fresher merchandise.
"This technique will bring the accuracy of orders close to 100%, because as commodities flow through the supply chain faster we gain better forecasts for future product demand," Parle said during a session at the Distribution Conference here, sponsored by the Food Marketing Institute, Washington.
"Goods are also handled less often, which reduces the risk for order errors and damage," he said.
The cross-docking process will also increase storage space in the new warehouse.
Besides planning for its new facility, J. Sainsbury recently rolled out the first stage of a radio-frequency stock-control module to its existing warehouses.
In addition to these initiatives, J. Sainsbury is currently developing two new supply-chain-management systems -- sales-based reordering and supply-chain integrated ordering network -- to enable the seamless flow of product. According to Parle, these will allow the chain "to pull stock into stores from the supply chain based on consumer demand."