Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc is the UK’s second largest fresh food manufacturer. Headquartered in Bradford, England, the company produces most of its own food – including freshly baked bread, seafood, fresh produce, chilled foods and meat products – in its 16 manufacturing sites. The company is the UK’s fourth largest supermarket chain and serves good quality fresh food and groceries to over 11 million UK customers in more than 500 stores and via its online home delivery service.
Food Manufacturing & Distribution
Morrisons had acquired a 105,000 sq. ft. meat processing facility in Winsford, Cheshire. The site, a centralised fresh pork and lamb retail packing plant, saw significant expansion and re-investment adding beef products to its capabilities. Morrisons buys livestock from the farm and processes them at its abattoirs in Colne, Spalding and Turriff, Aberdeenshire. Meat from the abattoirs is shipped to its fresh meat packing facility. The Winsford location manufactures a range of retail packed products from burgers, meatballs, and mince to steaks and chops. This is a high volume operation running 24×7.
Production at Winsford is continuous and high volume, and requires complete transparency and traceability with each tray of meat being managed as serial tracked, and variable weighted, items. As a consequence, at very short notice, Morrisons needed an alternate chilled warehouse facility to deal with the increase in volumes on the run up to Christmas. While finding a facility was successful, it was impossible to migrate its existing systems to the new warehouse with a finished goods picking facility within the required timeframes. The chosen 3PL warehouse was already a user of In-DEX WMS.
Robust and functionally rich In-DEX WMS Warehouse Management Software enables Morrisons remote warehouse picking operation to operate efficiently, increasing picking accuracy and reducing load times. These, when combined, immediately improved service levels to Morrisons’ RDC’s. A comprehensive business review and requirements gathering exercise was undertaken after which the company decided that a Warehouse Management System was required for its Winsford warehouse to operate more efficiently.
Following a RFP software market review, In-DEX WMS was selected. The deployment was seamlessly integrated with Morrisons’ existing Oracle system. This resulted in improved workflow efficiency, picking accuracy and efficiency and, ultimately, enabled benefits of over £1 million per annum.
Live KPI dashboards on the warehouse floor and despatch office ensured everyone is aware of performance in real-time ensuring that Morrisons always has full shelves in-store and satisfied customers.
WMS Software Warehouse Optimisation: Results:
“Before In-DEX WMS was deployed, picking accuracy and finished goods rotation were an issue in our fast paced warehouse. The accuracy rates are now constantly in excess of 99% picking over 40,000 cases per day and when you’re dealing at case level this is best in class. The Principal team pulled out all the stops to get In-DEX WMS configured and implemented inside six weeks, with an extremely smooth implementation.”
Alan Staines. Head of Technology, Manufacturing Systems, Wm Morrison plc
“After the system was deployed on a permanent basis, full integration with Oracle and other in-house end-of-line production systems was required. Resilience needed to be demonstrated and proven addressing Morrisons’ stringent levels. But, to be honest, at this stage the operation and operatives were known to all, users were familiar with the application and while we couldn’t stop production, the second cutover back to the Winsford factory went smoothly and this go-live was another huge success.”
Joe O’Shea, Director, Principal Logistics Technologies