Dematic , an integrated supply chain solutions specialist, recently worked with EB Games to upgrade and automate EB Games Brisbane distribution centre pick line. The video game industry continues to grow at a rapid rate with predictions that the worldwide market will grow its current annual revenues.
This growth reflects the changing role and popularity of computer games. EB Games moved into Pinkenba, in October 2000. EB Games had to automate the pick operation to cope with the growth of the business and the demands from retail outlets.
EB Games spoke to a number of suppliers about introducing the latest technology to the operation and were impressed with Dematic. Dematic are industry experts in paperless picking, pick-to-light and voice picking and have been involved in a number of similar upgrades in different parts of the world.
The following were included in the upgrade:
- Dematic voice picking in the bulk storage area which manages 70 SKUs including the bulkier items such as computer hardware, speakers and consoles
- Dematic pick-to-light in the carton live storage (CLS) area, which manages 2400 SKUs
- Dematic PickDIRECTOR software, which is interfaced with the in-house warehouse management system designed by EB Games
Dematic upgraded each of the four aisles of carton live storage one at a time, leaving the other three operational, which minimised disruptions. EB Games operate an intranet accessible by each of their stores. This provides daily updates on new release.
Each of the stores places orders on the distribution centre through EDI (electronic data interchange) with a 24-hour turnaround of orders in the pick module. The stores are replenished up to six days a week and the DC can be shipping between 100 and 150 pallets and up to 80,000 items a day in peak periods; the average is 50,000 items a day.
Orders are received through EDI and uploaded to the warehouse management system which then releases the picks for the day to Dematic PickDIRECTOR software. This releases the picks in eight waves with orders for the most distant stores picked first and local stores picked in the afternoon.
According to EB Games operation manager, Darren Ryle, there have been a number of benefits derived from the implementation of the new technology. EB Games have seen a number of improvements to the operation since implementing the system.
For example in the bulk area where EB Games are voice picking, the pickers are able to cluster pick up to four orders at once, which has pretty much doubled the speed of picking in this area. Picking accuracy, the productivity and the efficiency showed an improvement.
With the Dematic pick-to-light system, pickers stay in their particular zone and there is no congestion. Pickers are also walking up to one-third less in distance because the system calculates the most direct path between picks.
The transparent nature of the Dematic software has enhanced the management’s ability to manage operation. Dalmatic’s software can track the performance of individuals as well as team statistics. Staff are rewarded for higher productivity and EB Games are now able to identify those members who are performing well.
Due to the performance of the system, EB Games are now examining the implementation of Dematic put-to-light, which will enhance the cross docking area. EB Games have also entered into a remote monitoring and maintenance agreement with Dematic. If there is a problem the Dematic people can access the system remotely, fix the issue and get things happening.