Huuskes lowers personnel costs by 20% with new order fulfilment system

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Huuskes Versproducten BV from Enschede (the Netherlands) manufactures and delivers convenience meals and processes ingredients to prepare convenience meals. Huuskes supplies products throughout the Netherlands to hospitals, nursing homes, senior citizen's homes, service flats, company restaurants, national caterers, governmental organisations and retail. The company was founded in 1956 and is family owned. It started as a supplier of meat products

In the past, Huuskes operated a manual warehouse in Enschede. Totes coming from the Production areas were placed on roll cages manually. The roll cages were picked up by forklift trucks. This caused a lot of truck movement through the facility, especially at peak times. Order fulfilment was chaotic and time consuming and it was difficult for staff to check if the orders were complete and correct. Huuskes is also experiencing fast growth. They had to redefine their order fulfilment process to handle the growth and improve their customer service. Huuskes selected Vanderlande Industries to design and build an order fulfilment system in the Expedition hall.

Marco Hagmolen, Production Manager of Huuskes, commented: "This new order fulfilment process has lowered our personnel costs by nearly 20% in Expedition as well as in other departments. We have also been able to improve accuracy by 60%. Overall, this new way of working has lowered our costs and improved our customer service significantly. We selected Vanderlande, because we were impressed by their professionalism. We felt we were talking to a very reliable partner. Throughout design and implementation these feelings were confirmed. We had a very smooth transition to the new system and are very pleased with the service and support we have experienced."

Seven Production areas are situated on either side of the Expedition hall. Conveyor lanes bring products in totes from the Production areas to the Expedition hall. The "lifeline" of the system is a long sorter lane located in the centre of the building. The totes are placed on the sorter manually and sorted to destination. Eight outfeeds are for 'same day' delivery, four for 'non-same day' delivery. Operators apply barcode stickers to the totes before they are put on the system. A simple, highly flexible control system enables Huuskes to ensure that the orders which need to be delivered the same day are sorted to the right destination. It also enables Huuskes to work in advance for the days of the week to come. After sortation, the totes are placed manually on a cart and brought to the Transport area to be loaded onto the vehicles.

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