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MDL provide distribution services to the Macmillan Publishing Group and third party distribution services to many other well known publishers, they employ 260 staff and have over 400,000 sq ft of warehousing space divided over 3 sites. Swisslog WarehouseManager will be deployed at the largest site in Swansea (Pontardulais), which covers just under 300,000 sq ft.
MDL were using the warehouse management functionality from the existing ERP system, over time this had been customised to meet the growing demands of the MDL business. While this system has enabled MDL to offer their customers high levels of service it was decided that a new WMS would be required to offer the business and its customers a sound future proof platform, which the business can grow with. The new system will also allow MDL to take advantage of new technologies such as Voice Directed tasking and RFID initiatives.
To enable MDL respond to change quickly a configurable system was needed that could deal with the specific logistics requirements, in Swisslog WarehouseManager they found a match for those requirements. Features such as Task Interleaving and the fact that Swisslog WarehouseManager can be implemented with voice picking attracted MDL to the system.
Says Guy Browning, Distribution Director for MDL: The Swisslog Team presented a professional approach that gave us great confidence in their product and the personnel who would be responsible for helping MDL with a successful implementation. These factors once allied with a highly competitive quotation and confident feedback from satisfied Swisslog customers convinced MDL that Swisslog were the right partner for this project.
At the moment Swisslog WarehouseManager will be implemented with RF picking, however MDL have the option to integrate voice picking into the operation in the future. The system will accommodate this with the use of standard proven interfaces to the voice hardware, therefore paving the way for an easy future deployment of voice. The system will enable MDL to increase traceability of the goods, improve warehouse efficiency and allow them to deal with future growth.