Founded over 100 years ago, Neesvig’s is a family owned meat processing and specialty food fulfillment firm. They distribute products nationwide as a one-stop shop for e-com food fulfillment. The firm specializes in third party logistics services for dozens of top brand food suppliers and retailers of perishable, frozen, refrigerated and dry goods.
Continuous growth was overwhelming their previous facility and limiting their ability to add additional customers. Neesvig’s decided a new facility was required and hired The Numina Group to perform a facility engineering design study and define means to improve the order fulfillment operation. The outcome of the study concluded that a new facility incorporating lean automated pick, pack, and ship processes would yield substantial savings and quickly justify the investment.
On completion of the study, Nessvig’s hired Numina to implement the material handling automation. The automated processes are controlled by Real-time Distribution System, RDS™, Numina’s Warehouse Execution and Control System WES-WCS.
RDS™ includes a voice directed order fulfillment automation module that manages the entire pick, pack, and ship order fulfillment process throughout the new distribution center. At order start RDS manages Cartonization to direct cooler size selection, and manages document insertion and license plate barcode label application.
Pick by voice directs order picking throughout the operation. At order release, RDS batch picking begins in the freezer and directs bulk picking of products. The products are then moved and dynamically slotted to the forward cooler area pick module. Customer orders are picked to the shipping container/coolers. Items are picked and pack validated using a combination of voice and hands-free barcode scanning for capture of the SKU, GS-1 lot numbers, and sell by dates.
At the exit to the pick module coolers receive the proper ice pack quantities so orders arrive frozen at the customer’s home. “Voice picking has streamlined the process, reduced errors, and increased worker productivity” said Paul Werwinski, President of Neesvig’s. “We reduced picking labor in the freezer by 50 percent.”
Pick and pack completed shipping coolers convey to the in-line scale. Orders that pass the weight audit convey to the print-and-apply labeling systems for automated application of the shipping label. “The print and apply has eliminated the manual processes of weighing and hand applying the shipping labels, significantly speeding up the shipping process” Werwinski said.
At the exit of the print and apply labeling system, coolers convey, are automatically shrink wrapped, and sorted to UPS/FedEx parcel trailer. Automation gave Neesvig’s efficiency gains across the entire operation providing an excellent ROI and scalability to handle Neesvig’s growth. According to Werwinski, the investment has reduced labor costs by 35 percent and increased throughput by 40 percent during peak periods. “From start to finish, we have less touches, faster order completion time and less errors, Automation has paid off for us.”
If you’re interested in reducing labor costs by 35% or more in your operation, please contact The Numina Group at 630-343-2622.