OLLIE’S BARGAIN OUTLET DC IMPLEMENTS THE CIRRUS WAREHOUSE CONTROL SYSTEM

The Challenge
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 was no easy task.

The Challenge

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.

The Approach

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.

Convincing Results

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.

If you would like more information about automating your warehouse, contact Cirrus Tech.

    Contact Us For Information

    By choosing “The Crane” ASRS System from Cirrus Tech, we have gained efficiencies through our entire warehouse; how we receive, rotate and shuffle back stock, cycle count, pick and replenish pick locations.  The real surprise was the efficiencies gained on the load building side. Cirrus Tech’s “Crane,” Cirrus WMS and Cirrus Directed Picking have helped us in all areas of the warehouse.

    Jose Rivera

    Company Name : J. J. Taylor Companies, Inc.
    Designation : VP of Administration

    Choosing Cirrus Tech to implement, manage and support our Cirrus Automated Case Picking System has turned out to be one of the best decisions we've ever made.  Cirrus Tech's commitment to partnership, coupled with their exceptional 24/7 support is best in the industry by a mile.  We are proud to be partners with Cirrus Tech.

    Nick Economos

    Company Name : Eagle Rock Distributing Company
    Designation : President

    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.

    Brad Nichols

    Company Name : Eagle Distributing of Shreveport, Inc.
    Designation : CEO

    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.

    Bruce Nelsen

    Company Name : Eagle Distributing, Inc. in Nebraska
    Designation : CEO

    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.

    Jeff Knight

    Company Name : Cherokee Distributing Company
    Designation : General Manager

    The Crane System is the right fit for our operation. We will be able to build the expansion, place The Crane System inside of it and maximize the clear height to go 5 pallets high in the system. Because of the additional space savings, we will be able to absorb another operation into our existing building and still have optimal room for future growth. Cirrus is the industry leader in Crane System implementations in the beverage industry and we look forward to our partnership for years to come.

    Rodney Long

    Company Name : Long Beverage, Inc.
    Designation : President

    We’re confident that our new partnership with Cirrus Tech will provide critical support to the realization of our long-term strategic goals. In the near-term, the Cirrus Tech Crane System will play a key role in to our efforts to modernize our warehouse and delivery operations. As we look towards the completion of our new facility, our investment in the Crane System will result in a substantial one-time construction costs savings while providing a platform to realize impressive reoccurring annual warehouse efficiencies.

    Frank Sourbeer Jr.

    Company Name : Wilsbach Distributors, Inc.
    Designation : President

    The Cirrus System will provide our company with many years of growth along with excellent annual efficiencies that will allow us to best serve Birmingham and the surrounding areas. We are pleased to partner with a like-minded company like Cirrus Tech as partners in warehouse automation. We are looking forward to the implementation of our new system.

    Louis Maisel

    Company Name : Gulf Distributing Company of Birmingham
    Designation : President

    With Cirrus Tech's HLA approach to automation, our company is able to take advantage the best automation for our environment today (The Cirrus Tech Crane System) while giving us a vision and the ability to add components down the road that will provide our warehouse with a nearly fully automated solution. It is exciting to have a road map to full automation that we can grow into over time.

    Frank B. Fuhrer III

    Company Name : Frank B. Fuhrer Wholesale Company
    Designation : CEO

    OPTIMIZATION THROUGH GRADUAL AUTOMATION FOR ULTA BEAUTY

    The Challenge
    Prior to partnering with the Cirrus Tech, ULTA was picking products manually with printed pick lists. While they did have a WMS that handled the higher-level functions, the manual processes

    The Challenge

    Prior to partnering with the Cirrus Tech, ULTA was picking products manually with printed pick lists.  While they did have a WMS that handled the higher-level functions, the manual processes proved to cause a substantial loss of productivity, so much so that they were verging on slowing the growth of the company. In the ultra-competitive cosmetic and personal care market, ULTA was compelled to optimize their distribution process to offer optimal order quantities while providing a high service level and shorter delivery times.

    ULTA’s challenges included:

    • A substantial inventory of products
    • Enormous variety of SKU’s to manage
    • A rapidly growing number of retail stores
    • Time-consuming manual processes
    • Substantial number of orders per month

    The Approach

    The collaboration with Cirrus Tech goes back to their first distribution center in Phoenix, AZ, when we provided processes, testing environments and training to transition day-to-day Warehouse IT operations to their internal IT department.

    The success of this project resulted in a flawless and seamless transition and convinced ULTA to choose Cirrus Tech as a long-term partner to help the company increase the efficiency and the capacity of its warehouse step by step.

    Picking Operations

    We started with a pick to light cart in order to maximize productivity and throughput. The second system was a “Cart” controlled process and a “Vertical Carousel” controlled process. The picking process starts with file downloads from the host SAP system. These are referred to as IDOCs or file interfaces. There are 3 types of IDOCs/interfaces: the Material master interface, the Delivery interface and the STOCK TOs (or Replenishment interface). We implemented a system that had to be optimized for the daily execution of orders from 30-40 stores and anywhere between 500 to 3000+ SKUs and several quantities for each one.

    Batch Management

    In order to organize the picking activities in the warehouse, the Cirrus WCS provides users with an interactive screen. Through this screen, users can set a batch state to “authorize”, “unauthorized” or “close”. After a batch is created, picking can be executed only after a batch is authorized. During this process the received deliveries are copied into a “Workqueue” table and are made available for picking. When users unauthorized or close a batch, the same items are deleted from the workqueue.

    Picking through the vertical carousel channel is executed in a different area of the warehouse. All the information related to the vertical carousels is stored in a separated database on the server. Separate screens are also provided for this functionality. The main difference between the main flow and the carousel picking is that through vertical carousels, users can pick items for all the stores in the batch simultaneously.

    Sorters

    The shipping sorters used at the two operating DCs feature a shoe-sorter in Phoenix and in Romeoville a belt sorter with pop-up wheels was implemented. Our Cirrus WCS assigns and directs sorter and collection instructions. ULTA uses “profile” based diverting, which means that, through the Cirrus WCS, they can define different store-to-lane assignments for different days of the week and store this information in the database.
    Convincing Results

    Cirrus Tech designed the automated warehouse in several phases hand in hand with ULTA, in order to enhance the company’s potential, one advancement at a time.

    By partnering with Cirrus, ULTA now has a comprehensive Warehouse Control System in place that they are able to manage internally and has shown real operational benefits by reducing cost, improving productivity and increasing shipping accuracy.

    What was once a bogged down process of picking a single store at a time has improved with the addition of 6 Order Carts. Rather than picking the orders for one store, an operator can now pick for 6 stores at once with a cart that is designed to handle the load. And rather than a printed sheet of paper, the operators now use handheld scanners to check barcodes and place the correct product in the proper stores bin.

    Benefits

    • Reduced operator walking by 25%
    • Improved the order picking accuracy
    • Improved order fulfillment rate
    • Able to pick for up to 8 stores at a time rather than just one
    • Ability to process and pick orders electronically
    If you would like more information about automating your warehouse, contact Cirrus Tech.

      Contact Us For Information

      By choosing “The Crane” ASRS System from Cirrus Tech, we have gained efficiencies through our entire warehouse; how we receive, rotate and shuffle back stock, cycle count, pick and replenish pick locations.  The real surprise was the efficiencies gained on the load building side. Cirrus Tech’s “Crane,” Cirrus WMS and Cirrus Directed Picking have helped us in all areas of the warehouse.

      Jose Rivera

      Company Name : J. J. Taylor Companies, Inc.
      Designation : VP of Administration

      Choosing Cirrus Tech to implement, manage and support our Cirrus Automated Case Picking System has turned out to be one of the best decisions we've ever made.  Cirrus Tech's commitment to partnership, coupled with their exceptional 24/7 support is best in the industry by a mile.  We are proud to be partners with Cirrus Tech.

      Nick Economos

      Company Name : Eagle Rock Distributing Company
      Designation : President

      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.

      Brad Nichols

      Company Name : Eagle Distributing of Shreveport, Inc.
      Designation : CEO

      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.

      Bruce Nelsen

      Company Name : Eagle Distributing, Inc. in Nebraska
      Designation : CEO

      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.

      Jeff Knight

      Company Name : Cherokee Distributing Company
      Designation : General Manager

      The Crane System is the right fit for our operation. We will be able to build the expansion, place The Crane System inside of it and maximize the clear height to go 5 pallets high in the system. Because of the additional space savings, we will be able to absorb another operation into our existing building and still have optimal room for future growth. Cirrus is the industry leader in Crane System implementations in the beverage industry and we look forward to our partnership for years to come.

      Rodney Long

      Company Name : Long Beverage, Inc.
      Designation : President

      We’re confident that our new partnership with Cirrus Tech will provide critical support to the realization of our long-term strategic goals. In the near-term, the Cirrus Tech Crane System will play a key role in to our efforts to modernize our warehouse and delivery operations. As we look towards the completion of our new facility, our investment in the Crane System will result in a substantial one-time construction costs savings while providing a platform to realize impressive reoccurring annual warehouse efficiencies.

      Frank Sourbeer Jr.

      Company Name : Wilsbach Distributors, Inc.
      Designation : President

      The Cirrus System will provide our company with many years of growth along with excellent annual efficiencies that will allow us to best serve Birmingham and the surrounding areas. We are pleased to partner with a like-minded company like Cirrus Tech as partners in warehouse automation. We are looking forward to the implementation of our new system.

      Louis Maisel

      Company Name : Gulf Distributing Company of Birmingham
      Designation : President

      With Cirrus Tech's HLA approach to automation, our company is able to take advantage the best automation for our environment today (The Cirrus Tech Crane System) while giving us a vision and the ability to add components down the road that will provide our warehouse with a nearly fully automated solution. It is exciting to have a road map to full automation that we can grow into over time.

      Frank B. Fuhrer III

      Company Name : Frank B. Fuhrer Wholesale Company
      Designation : CEO

      EAGLE DISTRIBUTING OF SHREVEPORT

      The Challenge
      Eagle Distributing of Shreveport is a quality focused Anheuser-Busch family owned distributor, and like many companies in the beverage industry,

      The Challenge

      Eagle Distributing of Shreveport is a quality focused Anheuser-Busch family owned distributor, and like many companies in the beverage industry, they were faced with the challenge of spending over $5,000,000 on expansion to support increased demand.

      The Approach

      Knowing today’s modern facilities need to process increasingly complex tasks while providing flexibility for future needs, Darrell Dunham of Cirrus Tech approached Eagle Distributing of Shreveport with the idea and design of a High Volume Storage and Replenishing System that would provide them with significantly more space (over 50% more) in the warehouse and allow them to automatically replenish product as well.  The CEO of Eagle Distributing of Shreveport, Brad Nichols, and his management team evaluated Mr. Dunham’s design and decided to implement the Cirrus Tech Crane System to maximize the efficiencies of the system, provide more space to the warehouse, and forgo a costly expansion.

      With 83% of the beer now stored in The Cirrus Tech Crane System (“The Crane”), the company still needed a solution to increase picking accuracy to the remaining medium to slower moving SKUs on the warehouse floor. These items actually accounted for a majority of the total SKU count on the warehouse floor.  Cirrus Tech Directed Picking software provided the perfect solution, enabling Eagle Distributing of Shreveport to become a much safer and more efficient work environment.

      Convincing Results

      As an addition to their existing facility, The Cirrus Tech Crane System has enabled Eagle Distributing of Shreveport to maximize storage space,  lower operating costs (reduced energy, labor and product damage costs), as well as increased inventory accuracy.

      With The Cirrus Tech Crane System Eagle Distributing of Shreveport:

      • Stores the top 54 SKUs, or 80% of the highest volume products within the pallet storage system
      • Now stores over 3,200 pallets — an increase of 1,400 more pallets in the same space
      • More effectively manages the slow moving SKUs
      • Manage productivity and picking accuracy by having a 99.7% or higher pick accuracy

        Contact Us For Information

        By choosing “The Crane” ASRS System from Cirrus Tech, we have gained efficiencies through our entire warehouse; how we receive, rotate and shuffle back stock, cycle count, pick and replenish pick locations.  The real surprise was the efficiencies gained on the load building side. Cirrus Tech’s “Crane,” Cirrus WMS and Cirrus Directed Picking have helped us in all areas of the warehouse.

        Jose Rivera

        Company Name : J. J. Taylor Companies, Inc.
        Designation : VP of Administration

        Choosing Cirrus Tech to implement, manage and support our Cirrus Automated Case Picking System has turned out to be one of the best decisions we've ever made.  Cirrus Tech's commitment to partnership, coupled with their exceptional 24/7 support is best in the industry by a mile.  We are proud to be partners with Cirrus Tech.

        Nick Economos

        Company Name : Eagle Rock Distributing Company
        Designation : President

        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.

        Brad Nichols

        Company Name : Eagle Distributing of Shreveport, Inc.
        Designation : CEO

        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.

        Bruce Nelsen

        Company Name : Eagle Distributing, Inc. in Nebraska
        Designation : CEO

        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.

        Jeff Knight

        Company Name : Cherokee Distributing Company
        Designation : General Manager

        The Crane System is the right fit for our operation. We will be able to build the expansion, place The Crane System inside of it and maximize the clear height to go 5 pallets high in the system. Because of the additional space savings, we will be able to absorb another operation into our existing building and still have optimal room for future growth. Cirrus is the industry leader in Crane System implementations in the beverage industry and we look forward to our partnership for years to come.

        Rodney Long

        Company Name : Long Beverage, Inc.
        Designation : President

        We’re confident that our new partnership with Cirrus Tech will provide critical support to the realization of our long-term strategic goals. In the near-term, the Cirrus Tech Crane System will play a key role in to our efforts to modernize our warehouse and delivery operations. As we look towards the completion of our new facility, our investment in the Crane System will result in a substantial one-time construction costs savings while providing a platform to realize impressive reoccurring annual warehouse efficiencies.

        Frank Sourbeer Jr.

        Company Name : Wilsbach Distributors, Inc.
        Designation : President

        The Cirrus System will provide our company with many years of growth along with excellent annual efficiencies that will allow us to best serve Birmingham and the surrounding areas. We are pleased to partner with a like-minded company like Cirrus Tech as partners in warehouse automation. We are looking forward to the implementation of our new system.

        Louis Maisel

        Company Name : Gulf Distributing Company of Birmingham
        Designation : President

        With Cirrus Tech's HLA approach to automation, our company is able to take advantage the best automation for our environment today (The Cirrus Tech Crane System) while giving us a vision and the ability to add components down the road that will provide our warehouse with a nearly fully automated solution. It is exciting to have a road map to full automation that we can grow into over time.

        Frank B. Fuhrer III

        Company Name : Frank B. Fuhrer Wholesale Company
        Designation : CEO

        LEADING MEAT SUPPLIER DRIVES
        PRODUCTIVITY WITH CIRRUS TECH AND KEPWARE

        The Challenge
        A top beef producer located in Dodge City, Kansas ships several thousand boxes of meat per hour. The company requires a system that can read 20,000 tags from 10 PLCs every three seconds—reading, processing and returning the data—to ensure smooth routing of boxes for delivery.

        The Challenge

        A top beef producer located in Dodge City, Kansas ships several thousand boxes of meat per hour.  The company requires a system that can read 20,000 tags from 10 PLCs every three seconds—reading, processing and returning the data—to ensure smooth routing of boxes for delivery.

        From the warehouse to the retail location, the system requires complete automation with no human intervention.  Cirrus Tech designed an automation solution that could provide routing direction within seconds. Originally, the beef producer based its automation system on RSLinx drivers from Rockwell Automation with data collected from Allen-Bradley PLCs.  However, the performance was not meeting the company’s needs. “The drivers were slowing down the process—draining 80 percent of CPU space to read and respond to the more than 20,000 tags each second. The system just wasn’t getting it done,” said Chris Fonke, EVP of Software, Services & Solutions.  For Cirrus to help, it had to offer an automation solution that provides routing direction within seconds.

        The Approach

        In order to meet the company’s performance requirements based on its large tag count, Cirrus Tech knew it was time for the customer to change its automation processes from their three dispersed plants.  Cirrus Tech helped the plant pull data from dozens of PLCs and equipment, analyze the detail, and send direction back to the system controllers.

        The Results

        This customized Cirrus Tech Automation System solution easily filters information and provides direction within two seconds, a powerful single-point interface that interchanges data at lightning speed resulting in delivering a game-changing, extremely efficient solution to the customer.

          Contact Us For Information

          By choosing “The Crane” ASRS System from Cirrus Tech, we have gained efficiencies through our entire warehouse; how we receive, rotate and shuffle back stock, cycle count, pick and replenish pick locations.  The real surprise was the efficiencies gained on the load building side. Cirrus Tech’s “Crane,” Cirrus WMS and Cirrus Directed Picking have helped us in all areas of the warehouse.

          Jose Rivera

          Company Name : J. J. Taylor Companies, Inc.
          Designation : VP of Administration

          Choosing Cirrus Tech to implement, manage and support our Cirrus Automated Case Picking System has turned out to be one of the best decisions we've ever made.  Cirrus Tech's commitment to partnership, coupled with their exceptional 24/7 support is best in the industry by a mile.  We are proud to be partners with Cirrus Tech.

          Nick Economos

          Company Name : Eagle Rock Distributing Company
          Designation : President

          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.

          Brad Nichols

          Company Name : Eagle Distributing of Shreveport, Inc.
          Designation : CEO

          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.

          Bruce Nelsen

          Company Name : Eagle Distributing, Inc. in Nebraska
          Designation : CEO

          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.

          Jeff Knight

          Company Name : Cherokee Distributing Company
          Designation : General Manager

          The Crane System is the right fit for our operation. We will be able to build the expansion, place The Crane System inside of it and maximize the clear height to go 5 pallets high in the system. Because of the additional space savings, we will be able to absorb another operation into our existing building and still have optimal room for future growth. Cirrus is the industry leader in Crane System implementations in the beverage industry and we look forward to our partnership for years to come.

          Rodney Long

          Company Name : Long Beverage, Inc.
          Designation : President

          We’re confident that our new partnership with Cirrus Tech will provide critical support to the realization of our long-term strategic goals. In the near-term, the Cirrus Tech Crane System will play a key role in to our efforts to modernize our warehouse and delivery operations. As we look towards the completion of our new facility, our investment in the Crane System will result in a substantial one-time construction costs savings while providing a platform to realize impressive reoccurring annual warehouse efficiencies.

          Frank Sourbeer Jr.

          Company Name : Wilsbach Distributors, Inc.
          Designation : President

          The Cirrus System will provide our company with many years of growth along with excellent annual efficiencies that will allow us to best serve Birmingham and the surrounding areas. We are pleased to partner with a like-minded company like Cirrus Tech as partners in warehouse automation. We are looking forward to the implementation of our new system.

          Louis Maisel

          Company Name : Gulf Distributing Company of Birmingham
          Designation : President

          With Cirrus Tech's HLA approach to automation, our company is able to take advantage the best automation for our environment today (The Cirrus Tech Crane System) while giving us a vision and the ability to add components down the road that will provide our warehouse with a nearly fully automated solution. It is exciting to have a road map to full automation that we can grow into over time.

          Frank B. Fuhrer III

          Company Name : Frank B. Fuhrer Wholesale Company
          Designation : CEO