Savoye automates French clothing giant Kiabi

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Automated warehouse solution provider Savoye Logistics has been chosen by the French clothing giant, Kiabi, to supply a complete automated solution for its new Lauwin-Planque site in Northern France. The 66,000m2 site has been developed to store and distribute the fashion retailers flat garments to its 250 outlets in France, Italy, Spain, and soon Romania and Russia.

Established appoxiamtely 40 kilometres from the companys headquarters in Hem, Nord-Pas de Calais, the warehouse will feature storage, sorting and software installations from Savoye, including, eight double depth miniloads, shuttle cages and two high rate sorting machines, driven by Savoyes WCS system.

Kiabi continues to flourish as a company, explains Martin Elliott, Savoyes UK sales manager. As a company Kiabi required a warehouse solution that would allow flexibility to match demand but also cater for future company growth.

The new system began operation in September 2009 and will have a maximum rate of 1,800 boxes an hour, allowing the storage of over 110,000 boxes. The installation of the solution will continue until 2011 with the first high-rate Bomb-Bay sorting machine being installed at the end of the year and a second one, following close on its heels, next year.

These rapid sorters will be fed from the shuttle cages and work on the principle of a trap door which opens to deposit the garment in the container. Each machine will sort 21,600 garments an hour and will have more than 600 destinations. Ultimately, over 150 million items should be processed in this way at the Lauwin-Planque platform.

To ensure maximum productivity and that the implementation achieved its return on investment target, Savoye employed its bespoke simulation software to assess the whole process, function by function. Our solution took into account the constraints inherent within the fashion sector: a very high flow of goods transported via different warehouses, multiple sourcing and sales channels, sorting loose products, dispatches in bags without cardboard over packing. A number of different scenarios were submitted to Kiabi to ensure that we created an integrated solution that met its exact specification, but also maintained a user-friendliness and easy adaptation to the current operation, continued Martin Elliott.

The new contract further strengthens Savoyes presence in the textile industry, a sector in which it is already well-established, with numerous installations throughout the world. These include, Chantelle, Petit Bateau, Aubade, Columbia Sportswear, Sportmaster, Jennyfer, Xanaka, and the Obabi and Okadi brands.

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