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The Wine Society: Future Growth

The Wine Society is the world’s oldest Wine Club. Established in 1874 and owned by their members, for whom the very best service levels are paramount, they continue to grow by offering high quality wines to their growing membership.

This continuing and projected growth required increased capacity at their site in Stevenage and planning permission had been obtained for a large new warehouse adjoining their existing facilities. This new addition to the facilities created the opportunity for The Wine Society to look at the optimal warehouse layout and processes, Davies & Robson were appointed to partner with their management team to help deliver this process.

It was critical to The Wine Society that their best in class customer service would not be affected by plans made for any future changes to the operation. Davies & Robson reviewed and mapped the current operation to understand each of the elements of activity. The current activities have multiple streams with very different characteristics. An analysis of these current operations was then overlaid with the future growth projections, the output from this analysis was used to map how the expanded site could be optimised to meet the needs of the very different characteristics of different elements of The Wine Society’s business.

Using detailed analysis of the operation and taking into consideration projected growth in membership, volume and SKU’s, Davies & Robson recommended options as to how the expanded site could be best utilised to deliver the future needs of The Wine Society. These scenarios were mapped and costed so that decisions could be made to create the warehouse of the future.

Critical to understanding what the future may look like was consideration of the latest automation options. Extensive picking to conveyor was already used within the operation, so attention was needed to see how this could supported or replaced by using ASRS or modern Pick Tower technology. Carousel options were also explored for slow moving lines. The output from this process was costed to enable decisions to be made looking at operational efficiency, labour and capital costs - all done with minimum compromise to future flexibility.

“We selected Davies & Robson because as the leading independent Supply Chain consultants they had the skills required to help our management team look at all the elements of this complicated project. Davies & Robson worked with my team to clearly establish the best options for us now, as well as ensuring we will be able to meet our future needs.”

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