News Archive

Distribution Centre

by msecadm4921

Distributor Norbain SD has opened its Distribution Centre at Ashton Moss, Lancashire, by junction 23 of the M60.

The 50,000 square foot facility more than doubles Norbain’s stockholding capacity, with the number of pallet locations rising from 870 to 3,250 and with the number of pick locations from 4,600 to 9,500. In addition the company has the option to build a further 20,000 sq ft of warehousing on an adjacent site.
The main construction of the Distribution Centre was completed at the beginning of June followed by an extensive internal fit out that included the creation of a mezzanine floor within the main warehouse area for the storage of small parts. The move from the company’s old warehouse in Stockport to Ashton Moss took place over the August bank holiday weekend. In a highly organised logistical operation that lasted sixty hours every item was relocated to a pre-determined position within the new Distribution Centre.

What they say

Alan Heath, Norbain’s Operations Manager says, this level of detail ensured customer service levels were maintained throughout: "Everything worked to plan just as intended. Customer service levels were maintained throughout, with not a single lost or delayed delivery. This is down to the tremendous team effort of everyone involved in Operations. A project that began over two years ago has culminated in the successful opening of the industry’s largest and most technically advanced distribution centre. This will prove pivotal in the future development of Norbain in the UK and abroad."

The greatly increased stockholding capacity will enable Norbain to increase stock levels of product lines, plus provide the space to consider further product line expansion, the firm adds.

"The pressure on the old warehouse was intense", says Alan Heath. "It was becoming a real challenge to turn product around quickly enough for customers in increasingly cramped conditions. We can now increase our stockholding of popular lines and, when the correct opportunity arises to take on new brands, be confident that we have more than ample capacity to accommodate them. Norbain’s place at the forefront of security distribution in Europe is now assured. With this new distribution facility both our customers and our suppliers will come to recognise that no other company in Europe can manage security distribution as effectively as Norbain."

The new distribution centre features technology including picking trucks incorporating small fixed stepladders to help pickers collect items swiftly and safely and two automated shrink-wrap machines to speed the process of shrink-wrapping goods whether for storage or despatch. There are also two purpose built forklift trucks that can automatically lift pallets to the pre-set height of each stack level. Cameras on the forks provide drivers with an additional aid to ensure pallets are stored correctly. Three conveyor systems help move goods around the facility. One similar to a ski lift sends goods skyward to the mezzanine floor. Two others move goods from the mezzanine area, either to despatch, for orders fully completed and ready for the carriers, or back down to the main picking area for part picked items that need to be combined with other goods prior to despatch.

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