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1 KNAPP.com Case Study Boots UK Burton-on-Trent, Great Britain Boots UK, a member of Alliance Boots, is the UK s leading pharmacyled health and beauty retailer offering a wide range of health and beauty services and products. As part of its continued commitment to ensuring its customers can access the products and services wherever, whenever and however they want, it has developed infrastructure and made a significant investment to purchase and completely refurbish the new automated Burton Service Centre. As the importance of multichannel retailing increases, Boots UK needed a solution which worked for it as a business and was responsive to its customer needs. It therefore decided to create a new fulfilment operation for its boots.com business offering order processing, as well as the Christmas gift ranges and the international product distribution, locating it within a multi-operational service centre in Burton-on-Trent (the Burton Service Centre). From here, all boots.com customer orders are fulfilled by a solution which is efficient, improves quality and accuracy for the customer and meets the challenges of significant seasonal variations with high peaks. Key data Solutions Software Sector E-Commerce Pallet lifter KiSoft WMS Location Burton-on-Trent, UK Wedging machine KiSoft WCS Warehouse size 40,000 m ² Lidding machine KiSoft SRC Burton Service Centre can currently process up to 900,000 singles per day. Carton erecter Stacker Destacker

2 Ergonomic Pick-it-Easy work station Goods-in area The challenge Boots UK worked with KNAPP, expert provider of warehouse automation solutions, to design and implement a tailor-made solution for boots.com. The solution is an innovative one that is specifically tailored to suit the demands of Boots UK s e-commerce customers. The boots.com business is characterised by a large inventory with small orders made up of a mix of items and a very high seasonal peak. It operates in an immature and fast changing market, where delivering the promises made to customers is critical. Therefore Boots UK required a solution which: provided a platform to transform the service offered to their customers enables future business growth delivers a step change in profitability through reduction in fulfilment operating costs For Boots UK customers, the investment into the new Burton Service Centre means that it will be even easier for them to get the right product, on time and with better delivery options. The key customer benefits include order on-line and collect-in-store and in future, order even later for next day delivery. Reduced packaging and wider product availability decrease the time required for the fulfilment of orders; helping more customers in the same amount of time. In total the new automated service increases time efficiency by 65 per cent. Furthermore, order traceability is improved thanks to innovative track and trace technology, which allows even faster and more accurate delivery to the customers, supporting Boots UK s ambition to become No1 for Customer Care.

3 OSR Shuttle rackline view The solution KNAPP designed and built a high-performance solution focused on meeting customer requirements, and the demands of a highly seasonal business. The KNAPP solution, in its current form, delivers a platform to support future business growth and provides capacity until The solution continues Boots UK supply chain vision to have operational capability that is modern, competitive and efficient through the inherent benefits of consolidation and automation. The KNAPP solution provides Boots UK with the following advantages: efficient operations which minimise manual handling; use space effectively and are energy efficient reduction in warehouse variable costs, including cardboard and void fill flexibility in operational processes to adjust to peaks and troughs in workload high solution availability due to the resilience built into the solution design an appropriate balance between automated and manual processes scalability due to modular design flexibility to adjust to future business requirements The improvement of the warehouse processes results in tangible benefits for Boots UK customers: improved stock availability improved picking accuracy improved presentation of products and invoice in carton Thanks to close collaboration with WRAP (Waste and Resource Action Programme), the Burton Service Centre enjoys reduced environmental impact, notably via reduction in the use of cardboard and packaging. The technical features of the distribution centre include: OSR Shuttle (a high-performance and versatile halfautomated storage and picking system with goodsto-person technology) for containers up to 15 kg with insertion bins OSR Shuttle for containers up to 25 kg Warehouse Management System (KiSoft WMS) and warehouse control software (KiSoft WCS) manual packing area for added-value services, such as gift wrapping Dispatch ramps for efficient sortation and delivery

4 Goods-in area This programme has been a significant step change in the Boots UK multichannel business. It will provide a platform for future growth and will enable us to further improve our service to customers. Chris Holyland, Head of E-Commerce, Boots

5 Optimized container flow A look inside the Burton Service Centre Goods-in Storage in the OSR Shuttle The majority of inbound comes from the Boots UK Service Centre in totes (plastic containers). Totes with single items are received into the automation in their original tote without further handling. Totes or pallets with multiple items arrive at the repack stations and are then repacked into the appropriate containers for storage at the OSR Shuttle. KiSoft WMS determines in which OSR Shuttle a product is put into storage and guides the staff through the repacking process. Packaging removed through the repack process is disposed of automatically using the trash conveyor. The containers are automatically transported to the OSR Shuttle system where they are put away into storage. Order start One of four different carton sizes is automatically selected by the system according to the size of the customer order. A different carton erector is available for each carton size. At order start, cartons are directed to a label station where a shipping label is automatically applied to each carton. The cartons are then conveyed to the relevant work stations in the picking areas. The automatic order start and the utilisation of carton erectors eliminate manual activity, reduce the cardboard required and reduce volume transported through the supply chain. Palletised goods Pallet lifters are available for ergonomic processing of pallets and palletised goods. The pallets are either put into storage in the shelf reserve area or in the pallet racking. Goods-in area Automatic order start

6 Ergonomic Pick-it-Easy work station Picking areas Within the warehouse different picking areas are available for fast, medium and slow-moving articles. The cartons are automatically routed to the appropriate picking area based on the customer order profile, where the items are picked directly into the cartons. Flow racks Fast-moving products are picked in the flow rack area. The picking activity is guided by Pick-to-Light. Faster moving lines are located in flow rack channels or pallet locations in the flow rack picking area. OSR Shuttle The majority of inventory is processed by the OSR Shuttle which is the heart of the KNAPP solution. The half-automated storage and picking system OSR Shuttle is ideal for slow and medium moving inventory. The OSR Shuttle offers storage locations for products with different dimensions and design. The containers are automatically retrieved by the shuttles and supplied to the ergonomic Pick-it-Easy work stations. OSR Shuttle for containers with up to 25 kg The OSR Shuttle for containers with up to 25 kg is suited for space-saving storage and efficient picking of heavy products. The storage containers from goods-in are automatically supplied to the OSR Shuttle and put into storage. For picking, the OSR Shuttle retrieves the storage containers. Pick-it-Easy work stations The Pick-it-Easy work stations are designed according to the latest ergonomic principles. Using the proven goods-to-person principle, the containers are automatically supplied to the station at an optimal height for the user the work material is also supplied in the ideal handling position. The work stations have been designed with the user in mind, using high quality materials and anti-fatigue mats. The user is guided by Pickto-Light technology which enables an accurate and efficient workflow. OSR Shuttle for containers with up to 15 kg The OSR Shuttle for containers with up to 15 kg is especially suited for storing and picking small products. To achieve an especially high storage density, the storage containers are subdivided into insertion bins. The Pick-it-Easy work stations make it possible to simultaneously pick orders and put products away into storage in the OSR Shuttle. This concept guarantees the optimal use of all locations and minimizes empty container bins. Pick-it-Easy work stations

7 Pick-it-Easy work stations Carton lidding machine Dispatch preparation Well over a half of customer orders do not require manual packing, and are automatically finished. These orders are transported to one of the conveyors for finishing according to their size. First, a wedging machine automatically places a piece of cardboard into the carton so the products do not shift during transportation. An automatic invoice machine then prints and inserts the customer invoice; finally the carton is lidded, sealed and transported to the dispatch area. Added-value services for e-commerce orders Boots UK offers its customers a gift wrapping service. The KNAPP solution supports this requirement through separating these customer orders within the KiSoft WMS, and creating batch orders out of the single orders. The articles are picked into one carton and then transported to the manual packing area where they are gift-wrapped and separated into the initial single orders. Here the KiSoft WMS informs the colleagues about the packing requirements for the order. Products with liquid content, such as bathing essences or perfumes, receive additional plastic packaging. At the manual packing area, colleagues also check to ensure the orders are complete and correct. Finally, an invoice is added to each order. The completed order is then transported to the boots.com dispatch area. Pack stations Dispatch for store delivery

8 Automated dispatch preparation Lidding and sealing of dispatch cartons Dispatch area The dispatch area consists of dispatch ramps which can be flexibly assigned to different shipment routes. Some dispatch ramps are usually reserved for direct to customer delivery and the majority are available for delivery to the stores. Direct to customer delivery Over half of orders are sent directly to customers in the UK and internationally, with the remaining being sent for collection in stores. The cartons are diverted to one of the dispatch ramps. Here the cartons travel directly into the dispatch trailer using boom conveyors. Delivery to stores Boots UK offers its customers the option of having online orders delivered to a store, where the customer can collect their order. Groups of stores are assigned to each one of the dispatch ramps, according to their destination. The cartons are automatically directed to the correct dispatch ramp where they are then scanned onto a pallet. Completed pallets are then manually loaded onto the vehicles. The ingredients of success For years KNAPP AG customers have benefited from the company s vast experience, its innovative solutions and the technological leadership in e-commerce. KNAPP demands the best from itself in order to meet the demands of our customers. Only businesses that constantly strive for improvement, keep their competitive edge. KNAPP developed and built a tailored solution for Boots UK, designed exactly for the requirements of its customers and a growing e-commerce business. KNAPP was selected for this project because its solution proposal met Boots UK s challenging requirements, using proven technology, and was able to demonstrate its track record in delivery. KNAPP worked very well with Boots UK throughout the entire project, from the offer phase, planning and installation to system start-up and the post installation support. The project was delivered by a team of highly-qualified and experienced KNAPP employees. Due to the outstanding cooperation with the Boots UK team and the open dialogue for finding the perfect solutions together, the Burton Service Centre was completed on time and has enabled Boots UK to meet customer expectations. With KNAPP s innovative solution, Boots UK has a fulfilment capability that will allow it to further develop the services it offers its customers, and be able to handle future growth of the boots.com business. Boom conveyor for direct-to-customer deliveries KNAPP AG Günter-Knapp-Strasse Hart bei Graz Austria Tel.:

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