Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe, Inc.® automates its headquarters’ warehouse and improves order fulllment time, space utilization, order accuracy, employee safety and traceability in face of seasonal spike in sales
Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe, Inc.® is a global bread and roll manufacturer headquartered in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. From humble beginnings in a 1950s family garage turned bakery,
the company’s products are now sold through grocery stores, big box stores, restaurants and institutional establishments in 16 countries around the world.
Summer is one of the best times of the year for Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe, Inc.® and while good for business, the seasonal spike presented major distribution challenges. Using completely manual processes for order picking and fulfillment would take considerable time so they needed to plan and prep loads hours in advance of dispatch, which created problems when there were last-minute changes.
With more products going out the door during these summer peak months, the facility struggled with space constraints as well as an increase in seasonal staff. There were also concerns over employee safety while bending, lifting, and moving products around the warehouse as well as risks for errors in order fulfillment.
The company conducted extensive research into the different warehouse automation solutions on the market. After seeing a number of systems in action, one stood out in speed and accuracy – Cimcorp’s MultiPick robotic material handling solution.
After conducting a throughput analysis, Cimcorp determined a combination of high-density pallet storage and retrieval along with the MultiPick solution would be the best answer.
The picking system installed has a storage capacity of 19,000 trays and 66 SKUs, from which the MultiPick picks 21,000 trays per day. An automated pallet storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) provided by Westfalia Technologies, Inc., replenishes the inventory under the MultiPick system.
We feel very condent in the eciency gains that we have attained as well as the labor savings and order accuracies that we’ve enhanced through use of these systems.
Tony Martin, Executive vice president, Grandson to the original founders of Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe, Inc. ®
Two MultiPick gantry robots move the inventory, one stack at a time, to storage positions on the floor. Within the footprint of the Cimcorp gantry bridges, there are approximately 1,300 stack locations.
The trays required for customer order pallets are picked by the robots, formed into multi-SKU stacks, and placed on an outbound conveyor where they are transported to an automated palletizer. After palletizing, the mixed SKU pallets receive an RFID-enabled band before merging with full single SKU pallets coming from the Westfalia AS/RS system.
The pallets are accumulated and sequenced on a separate conveyor, which enables Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe, Inc.® to live load their trailers.
The benefits and results
Cimcorp’s order picking solution helped Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe, Inc.® improve space utilization. The system stores, processes and fulfills orders in 50 percent of the space that was previously used in a manual process. The rapid handling of products provided by Cimcorp enables Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe, Inc.® to schedule and prepare orders within an hour of a truck’s anticipated arrival.
In addition to promoting greater efficiencies throughout the warehouse, this enables faster truck loading for more on-time deliveries to be made.
Plus, orders don’t need to be prepared hours in advance anymore, so last-minute order changes can be taken without disrupting operations.
Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe, Inc® now also has visibility across its whole order fulfillment process to facilitate better order planning. Further, the system collects data on the movement of all goods – from the production line, through the warehouse, to the store shelf – providing 100 percent traceability.
By automating, Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe, Inc.® has been able to reduce its workforce and man hours by 30 percent. In addition, automation has eliminated the inherent safety risks in personnel manually fulfilling orders. Less human intervention has also helped increase the accuracy of outbound orders.