Bag Sorter System
eCommerce growth through technical innovation
In the bag. Ready. Go! The bag sorter system.
Arvato manages the eCommerce processes for the fashion brand C&A, in particular the customer and financial service and entire logistics services for several European countries.
C&A now has 1,575 stores in 21 countries and combines its own online shop with its physical business through multi-channel activities such as Click&Collect. Since the start of the collaboration between C&A and Arvato, the online shop has recorded an annual growth in the double digit percentage range.
To support this strong growth logistically and to optimize associated processes, Arvato has developed a new concept, focusing on automating logistics processes and enhancing productivity, speed of delivery, and sales. The result is the world's first bag sorter, implemented within only nine months without impacting existing operations.
Automating logistics processes. From the bag to the customer.
Thanks to the high growth rate of C&A's online shop since it went live in 2008, 100% capacity of Arvato's logistics location in Langenhagen was already in sight after just five years.
A new approach had to be developed, one that took into account the challenges of the formerly completely manual commissioning, the high manpower requirements and the reaction times to peaks and processing speeds. With the new logistics concept, new methods and possibilities of automatic order processing were envisioned, marking a clear increase in performance and delivery speed.
Innovative logistics solution: developing and implementing the bag sorter
The result of Arvato's newly developed concept is the bag sorter with integrated dynamic buffer functionality. The bag sorting system makes it possible to process not only hanging and flat-folded goods but also shoes and accessories fully automatically in up to 91,000 sorter bags throughout a multi-level conveyor system.
An important initial challenge was linking the IT of system of the manufacturer, Dürkopp, with Arvato's control elements. After an implementation period of only nine months with uninterrupted warehouse operations, the bag sorter was put into operation in August 2013. In day-to-day business the bag sorter has met and surpassed all expectations. The current rate of 10,000 articles sorted per hour will be expanded in the next growth step to 15,000 articles per hour.
In peak periods, more than 20,000 packages are shipped daily. Thanks to the bag sorter, products associated with not only planned but also ad hoc marketing campaigns by C&A can be prepared for customer shipping within 24 hours.
Effects of the bag sorter
With the help of the bag sorter efficiency has been enhanced significantly and the output per employee-hour substantially increased. This was also due in large part to the fact that the routes needed to commission products have become much shorter with the new system.
The key facts shows:
- Increase in productivity and order processing speed
- Quick reaction to ad hoc campaigns
- Better preparation of planned marketing campaigns
- Direct use of returns of up to 70,000 articles with the dynamic buffer
- Absorption of peak times
- Reduction of picks
All of our expectations were met 100%. Short-term marketing campaigns and seasonal peaks can be handled without difficulty.Knut Brüggemann, Head of eCommerce Operations C&A Online