OLLIE’S BARGAIN OUTLET DC IMPLEMENTS THE CIRRUS WAREHOUSE CONTROL SYSTEM
With 120 stores, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet is a storied company and is the Mid-Atlantic’s largest retailer of closeout, surplus, and salvage merchandise. Averaging about 40,000 containers per day in a facility that was not designed to house a state-of-the-art warehouse control system, installing a fully customized Cirrus WCS was no easy task. When Ollie’s Bargain Outlet in Pennsylvania called upon Cirrus Tech to create and integrate a Cirrus Warehouse Control System (WCS) as-well-as Cirrus Programmable Logic Controls in their distribution center, the Cirrus Tech team rose to the task.
At Ollie’s the process begins the night before when all the carton labels are pre-printed for the pickers and packers. There are two main picking lanes and each lane has two levels. The pick-to-light process in these lanes is vital to their operation. First, the picking lanes are stocked with the items going out that day. Once an operator scans the item, the light display reports how many items are required for each WAVE. Operators pick, label and deposit the product onto the conveyor that will cart the item off to the spiral lifts. Once the spiral lift carries it to the second level, it then heads straight down the line to the lane merge.
Of the 4 merge lanes, individual lanes can be given priority over other lanes based on product flow, product type, barcode information, routing priorities, or as a first in first out situation. After the merge they are sent towards a barcode scanner just prior to the sorter.
The Cirrus Inventory Control System and PLC software intelligently monitor these barcodes to allow Ollie’s Bargain Outlet to determine which shipping lanes each barcode is assigned to in the fulfillment system.
Our Cirrus WCS and PLC Software solutions enables Ollie’s Bargain Outlet to easily accommodate increases in orders, while utilizing automation to dramatically reduce handling and packaging costs. The result is a Cirrus WCS solution that meets the client’s growth expectations and dramatically reduces labor costs while increasing order fulfillment accuracy.
The Cirrus Crane System will increase our available pallet storage significantly. When we take into account the organization and many efficiencies the system will bring, this will be a real game changer for us in our warehouse.
With the gravity-feed conveyor of the Cirrus Tech Crane System, it's just first in, first out...So it just eliminates all of the touching for about 70% of your product.
In terms of receiving, I don't have to carry a pallet 100 feet, 200 feet. It's just 20 feet away to getting input into our Cirrus Tech Crane System and I can input between three and four trailers at a time.
With Cirrus Tech we will receive product and put it in a rack location - it's in the system with one touch. The next time we touch it is for order building, and so we plan to take a minimum of four touches out of the process. That's where the efficiency is.
By choosing “The Crane” ASRS System from Cirrus Tech, we will gain efficiencies through our entire warehouse; how we receive, rotate and shuffle back stock, cycle count and replenish pick locations. The real surprise will be the efficiencies gained on the load building side. Cirrus Tech’s “Crane” and voice solutions will help us in all areas of the warehouse.
The Cirrus Tech Crane System provided our company an opportunity to consolidate an entire warehouse (Norfolk, NE) into the existing warehouse here in Fremont, NE. It will incorporate 5 years of growth while providing less than a 5 year ROI with the efficiencies of the system.
My picking with the Cirrus Tech Directed Picking solution is at least 3 times faster and more accurate than when our employees picked orders manually using a sheet of paper.
The Cirrus Tech Crane System not only saved us from doing a costly expansion, it also helped us organize our warehouse in a manner that put efficiencies in places that we would have never realized by building a new warehouse.
A major advantage of the Cirrus WMS is being able to know where all of the SKU’s are at any given time. This is especially helpful during crunch times when that rarely requested item would otherwise have to be hunted down in the warehouse. Now, the system instantaneously tells us where to find it.