Utilizing warehouse automation to transform the health and beauty industry

When Walton DC opened in 2009, they were using an entirely manual order processing model to hand-pick 10 million pounds per year, using a three shift operation, staffed exclusively with a sub-contracted workforce. L’Oréal has made it a priority to reduce the facility operation hours from three shifts to two, while improving outbound order quality and providing a superior level of customer service. Even more prominently, L’Oréal wanted to hold a premier standard in energy conservation and worker health and safety by decreasing the amount of manually lifted and picked items each year and reducing transportable waste.


After considering several layer picking solution providers, L’Oréal decided Cimcorp, a manufacturer and integrator of turnkey robotic gantry-based order fulfillment solutions, would be the best partner to help resolve their on-going challenges. Chosen for its sophisticated gantry solution, Cimcorp also has a reputation to reduce operating costs and hours required in the facility and is also widely known for their relationships with major players in the beverage industries, global presence and adaptability to work with unique customer requirements.

Cimcorp's layer pick system

A fully automated, robotic system with the ability to pick a near limitless variety of products, access a large volume of inventory with a single machine and create customer orders in any sequence desired was strategically chosen and built in Walton DC because it best fit L’Oréal’s business needs. The layer pick system is suited for facilities that pick more than 1,000 layers per day from 50-500 stock keeping units (SKUs).

L’Oréal additionally took their layer picking system a step farther by investing in a double gantry system in order to provide 100 percent redundancy. L’Oreal furthermore determined that it was essential to implement a forward reserve cascading replenishment system for the 6,000 pallets per month, to reduce forklift travel within the 680,000 square foot facility. With this racking system, the high velocity SKU’s are stored within 200 feet from the induction stations. Cimcorp’s warehouse management system (WMS) was integrated with L’Oreal’s business interface module (BIM) to facilitate communication with the SAP system.

About L'Oréal

L’Oréal U.S.A. (L’Oréal) is the world’s largest health and beauty care company with fiscal 2015 sales of $28.39 million. Founded in 1909, L’Oréal is based in Clichy, France with headquarters in New York City, Berkeley Heights, NJ and Melbourne, Australia. L’Oréal is present in 130 countries with 43 factories and 71 distribution centers established on all continents and manufactures 85.9 percent of its products in its own plants.

L’Oréal is continuing to benefit from the replenishment of 6,000 pallets per month and 100 percent accuracy and traceability at a faster rate.


  • Reduce the facility operation hours from three shifts to two.
  • Improve outbound order quality and level of customer service.
  • Hold a premier standard in energy conservation and worker health and safety.
  • Decrease the amount of manually lifted and picked items each year and transportable waste.


  • L’Oréal partnered with Cimcorp to provide a double gantry layer pick system.
  • Developed a comprehensive, end-to-end, automated system with a warehouse management system (WMS), robotic gantries, integrated software and an interplatform communications system.

Benefits & Results

  • More efficient and consistent flow of orders and higher productivity.
  • Reduced and reallocated existing resources to other operations within the facility.
  • Egonomic, environmental and safety benefits.
  • Ability to handle 1 million cases and replenish 6,000 pallets per month.

Read our case with leading cosmetics giant L'Oréal

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L’Oréal as a culture is embracing automation to the fullest extent, says Jonathan Hart, director, Physical Flows from L'Oréal USA

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