Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) was presented with the prestigious Manufacturing Logistics Award at the Supply Chain & Logistics Association of Australia’s recent national awards ceremony in Melbourne.
The award recognises the achievements of CCA’s supply chain remodelling program Project Jupiter, which has substantially improved order fulfilment efficiency, reduced distribution and transport costs, and cut greenhouse gas emissions.
A key element of Project Jupiter was the construction of a new distribution centre (DC) at Eastern Creek to service CCA’s 14,000 Route Trade customers from Bega to Coffs Harbour.
Route Trade customers range from corner stores and convenience shops through to service stations, small grocery and fresh food outlets, as well as an increasing number of bottle shops and liquor wholesalers, and account for close to half of CCA’s throughput during the summer peak.
Within just eight weeks of operation, CCA was achieving record-breaking productivity rates of more than 1400 picks/hour at the Eastern Creek DC thanks to a world-first order picking methodology developed by logistics systems supplier Dematic.
The new Negative-PUT process optimises case picking productivity by pairing suitable orders and fulfilling them through ergonomically designed ‘goods-to-the-man’ pick modules.
The Dematic Industry Logistics Manager, David Rubie, said the Negative-PUT process takes advantage of a practice sometimes used by experienced pickers to reduce their workload.
“Smart pickers will occasionally notice that among the orders they have there are a couple with which they can kill two birds with one stone, or, in this case, complete two orders with one pick,” said Mr Rubie.
“This practice is very opportunistic, however, Dematic’s patented Negative-PUT software re-sequences orders to generate the highest quantity of negative pick opportunities and the optimum order fulfilment sequence for any batch of orders, creating substantial productivity gains.”
“Around 70% of the DC’s orders pass through the Negative-PUT module, with about 35% of the orders complete when they exit,” explained Grant McClean, CCA’s Major Projects Manager.
“The net effect of the Negative-PUT process is that around 20% of the cases required for mixed pallet orders are despatched without ever being picked,” he said.
Voice-directed computing is used for all other case picking, with CCA’s team of up to 25 pickers equipped with Dematic’s latest wireless Bluetooth-enabled Vocollect voice computers and headsets.