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TriFactor Home / Material Handling Systems Case Studies / Natural Life Collections: Retail Giftware Supply

Material Handling Case Study- Natural Life Collections- Conveyor Systems And Storage Systems

Company Description

Natual Life Collections, Inc. is a locally-owned company based in Jacksonville, Florida.  As a aleader in the giftware industry, the company distributes its products, such as collectibles, ornaments, charms and glass crystals, to larger retailers like Hallmark and smaller gift shops and outlets throughout the United States.

Situation

The company was operating out of several small facilities. Distribution was handled from office space converted to encompass industrial shelving and order picking operations. Corporate was located in a separate office in Saint Augustine, FL and overflow inventory was stored in a separate warehouse and required trucking to distribute. Distribution was not automated and relied on hand carts and paper picking to fill orders.  Because seasonal items arrive in large quantities at particular times of year, Natural Life Collections, Inc. needed to improve its product storage and distribution efficiency. Further, the company could no longer support it’s 20%-30% annual growth.

Order Picking Area with Gravity Conveyor On Each Side of the Powered Roller Conveyor that takes prodcut to Shipping

Assessment

Working with Natural Life, TriFactor agreed that combining the operation in one central location would meet their current goals (throughput, value added services and capacity).  Increasing distribution efficiency with automation in a phased approach would also allow for future expansion while controlling initial costs.

Solution

Natural Life agreed with the proposed solution and the project was completed on time and on budget, taking Natural Life Collections, Inc. from zero automation in three separate locations to a consolidated semi-automatic distributin center encompassing all functions.  The new facility incorporated a U-shaped pick floor layout for better process flow and efficiency,  It also included reserve storage racking, a basic automated order picking system using carton flow rack, industrial shelving, mobile shelving, powered conveyor and semi-automatic case sealing.

Results

The project delivered a 30% increase in productivity, while allocating space for future expansion t double the existing picking capacity as business grows.  Natural Life Collections, Inc. has met its required goals of increased throughput and greater capacity, while realizing a savings in both its overall costs and workforce requirements.

ROI

36 Months

Related Information

System Summary

Company:

Natural Life Collections, Inc.

 

TriFactor Provided:

Facility Layout

Project Management

Phased implementation Plan

Teardown & Reinstall Existing Equipment

Coordination with GC & other trades

Size:

35,000 Square Feet

 

Facility Type:

Distribution Center

Corporate Office

 

Products Handled:

Giftware products

 

Markets Served:

United States

 

Products Utilized:

Carton Flow Shelving

Industrial Shelving

Pallet Rack

Powered & Gravity Conveyor

Semi-Automatic Case Sealer