As business growth e-commerce merchant consolidates inventory storage & speed up e-commerce order fulfillment with vertical storage solutions
E-commerce merchant Internet Fusion Group (IFG) sells an extensive array of sports and outdoor clothing and equipment. Due to the acquisition of other firms, IFG had more than tripled the e-commerce inventory it handled. It needed a storage solution to keep up not just with current growth but future growth. With the installation of 20 Modula vertical lift modules, IFG was able to boost productivity without hiring additional workers. All this, while saving a significant amount of storage space.
Find automated storage solutions to keep up with a 300% e-commerce growth and optimize their e-commerce warehouse inventory
Based in Louth, England, IFG is an online retailer that sells surf, skate, snow, outdoor and equestrian equipment and products, clothing and accessories. Over three years, it added brand websites and increased the number of its managed items from 300,000 to more than 1 million. That resulted in shipments of more than 1.6 million parcels annually.
With this growth surge, IFG urgently needed an inventory storage solution that would help the company accommodate not just the immediate growth but the inevitable future growth from further acquisitions.
Installing 20 Modula Vertical storage Systems to save space, reduce travel times for operators and speed up order fulfilment with a seamless connection to their ERP system
IFG acquired 20 Modula ML25D Lifts, a model that features the widest available trays. The e-commerce merchant was able to store half of its stock in these VLMs. This was a huge boon for IFG in terms of space-saving alone. “With Modula, using only 6,000 square feet of floor space, we could create 45,000 square feet of very flexible storage space,” says Dudley Rogers, Operations & Projects Director.
The speed of the e-commerce order fulfillment increased dramatically. As a result, IFG is able to maintain constant and stable KPI’s even through peak sales days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Without the Modula VLMs, the online retailer would need an additional 7 pick operators to fulfill order volumes. Not only were those positions not necessary, existing staff benefited from a reduction in operator fatigue because the items are delivered to them rather than forcing them to retrieve pieces stored on shelves across the warehouse. In addition, pick errors have reduced, security has improved and goods now remain dust-free from receipt to shipment.
Internet Fusion implemented wave picking, allocating four specific storage zones for the Modula VLMs. Each operator picks items from the zones in sequence. For a single line order, the item is placed straight into the pack zone. Multiple line orders are picked and placed into the collation zone to await completion before moving to the packing area. Thanks to this arrangement, IFG can now ship an item 30 minutes after an order is received.