Retail DC – Low temperature DC


Currently, there are three primary brands of the convenience chain stores in Taiwan.  All of them account for 90% of the market share. At present, consumers have an increasing demand for fresh foods with short expired date in consumption patterns, such as fresh juice, milk, lunch-box, bread... and other refrigerated and fresh foods, which have become the mainstream consumption of food in convenience chain stores.

The primary assignment for these three brands’ Low-temperature DCs is to provide the distribution service of all the low temperature products for all their stores, Including frozen (-25℃) chilled (5℃) and fresh bread (18℃) three temperature layers of food. The pick-to-light system is major solution to be chosen to help the operator rapidly conduct the picking operation when these DCs expect to improve the service quality for chain stores and enhance competitiveness.

Most of low temperature DCs are the "cross-docking" operating type. All of the product can hardly be delivered to DC simultaneously, due to great numbers of the store, the delivery operation cannot be done once for all the stores. So the put-by-light system is more suitable to fulfill the these low temperature DC’s operation requirement.

This application method divides the whole working area into several channels, and each channel operates independently and does not affect each other. Each storage position in the channel corresponds to one store, and the store covered by a channel becomes a batch. When one channel accomplishes all the required dispatch of the product, the new dispatching operation begins for the other stores.

Because it is a batch operation, it is necessary to classify the goods for the first time according to the total required Qty by each channel, and then the operators of each channel will perform the second classification operation, and the two classification actions are also audited effect. Put by light system is an auxiliary tool for secondary classification.

We take the one channel as the example; the picking tag is installed at one of each location in channels,  the entry of the channel is equipped the barcode scanner, the operator who is in charge of the sorting product will use the scanner to read the product’s barcode,  they can send the products to put-to-light system without operating the computer system,  then to sort the product to the specific location (store) based on the indication shown on the picking tag.   The delivery operation can be done easily in just a few steps.   In addition, there is no fixed priority for products, but first-in-first-out, which enables the sorting operation to become more flexible.  The entry of the channels also installed with other displays showing the quantity is not accomplished, then the operator can keep their eyes on immediate operational progress.

The sorting operation of a Low-temperature DC can be standardized and simplified by installing an put-by-light system.  It can reduce the training time required for the new operators, and the standardized motion can minimize the error rate to the lowest point.  Currently, the error rate on the average at one of each DC is less than one to ten thousandths.