STOCKTON, Calif. -- Smart & Final is constructing a warehouse here that will rely heavily on advanced information systems and computerized labor management programs to boost efficiency.
Smart & Final, a 143-store chain based in Vernon, Calif., will spend $16 million to build the 250,000-square-foot warehouse, which will supply 36 of its stores, said John Goneau, vice president of distribution, traffic and warehousing.
Enhanced information systems and management programs are expected to result in about $1 million in annual savings for the chain, Goneau said. Among the systems to be employed in the warehouse are radio-frequency technology for replenishment and putaways as well as enhanced labor management programs and forklift time standards.
Although a decision has not yet been made on which software systems to purchase, Goneau said they will include a labor management program that interfaces with the warehouse data base.
"With the labor management system, the order assignment will tell us how long it should take to pull the order. So we'll have labor management tied in with the billing for deli, frozen and the back area," he said.
Anticipated savings will also come from reduced transportation costs, Goneau said. Stores in the Stockton area, for instance, which are currently supplied by the chain's Vernon warehouse, will now be covered by the proposed warehouse, saving about $1.5 million annually, he said.