9to5 Case Study: Improve Warehouse Efficiency & Productivity
9to5 Seating specializes in the design and manufacture of office seating for customers from major companies to schools and hospitals to "mom-and-pop" businesses.
In building a new warehouse and production facility, 9to5 Seating had a simple but aggressive goal: create the capacity to quadruple production in a new production and warehouse facility that is LEED Gold certified.
9 to 5 Seating specializes in the design and manufacture of office seating for customers from major companies to schools and hospitals to “mom-and-pop” businesses. Through a combination of global and domestic production, the company offers customers an exceptional selection of product designs and upholstery materials.
All the products 9 to 5 Seating manufacturers are made to order and ship in 48 hours. To increase production, the company joined forces with Raymond Handling Solutions of Los Angeles to design the handling system.
"We looked at many avenues and options before choosing Raymond Handling Solutions to help us design and implement the new facility"
"We looked at many avenues and options before choosing Raymond Handling Solutions to help us design and implement the new facility" said Dara Mir, 9to5 Seating president. “We chose Raymond Handling Solutions for the level of service, experience and knowledge it provides. It was a one-stop solution that made implementation much easier based on Raymond Handling Solutions’ depth of knowledge about storage.”
Raymond Handling Solutions, a Sales and Service Center of The Raymond Corporation, took time to fully understand 9 to 5 Seating’s production flow to recommend and provide the ultimate process to optimize the new facility. Raymond Handling Solutions worked with the 9 to 5 Seating team to design a U-shaped material flow. The circulation consists of lift trucks receiving incoming raw materials and components, feeding the VNA racking system, delivering components to the pick module and moving finished goods to shipping.
In the handling scheme, raw materials and some finished components arriving at the dock are handled by operators on Raymond® Model 4250 stand-up counterbalanced electric lift trucks.
To increase efficiency and turnaround time when orders for chairs arrive, Raymond Swing-Reach® trucks pick the necessary assemblies and components from the racking and either carry them directly to the pick module or stage them at the aisle ends for other trucks to deliver.
For each individual chair, pickers in the pick module create kits that are placed in totes with different barcodes. The totes are sent down the conveyor line and are automatically sorted to the correct assembly stations. The handling process interfaces with the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system so company personnel can determine the status of a given order at any point in the process from assembly through shipping.
Once assembly is complete, a conveyor takes the chairs to the packing area. Workers use the counterbalanced trucks or Raymond Model 8400 pallet trucks to load the trucks. A Raymond Model 7400 Reach-Fork® truck stores and handles corrugated material for the packing area, and a Raymond walkie stacker works with a racking system that stores rolls of chair fabric.
The company is achieving its aims to boost efficiency substantially in the new facility. Mir estimates that, in total, the handling process — including the lift trucks, conveyors and pick module — has increased productivity by more than 40 percent compared with the previous facility.
"With the new design, we’ve been able to reduce the number of handling touches by about four."
“One of our key goals was to reduce the number of touches per product, from receiving new incoming product from our vendors to storing that product to pulling it for actual manufacturing,” Mir says. “With the new design, we’ve been able to reduce the number of handling touches by about four.”
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