DHL Exel’s JD Wetherspoon National Distribution Centre (NDC) in Daventry, Northants operates 24/7 to provide consolidated distribution of frozen, chilled and ambient food and drink items to more than 650 pubs throughout the UK and Ireland.
Chess had already implemented voice and RF based solutions at other DHL Exel contracts and was chosen for the new site because of operational similarities. The solution, based on the WMS developed for DHL Exel by Chess during the 1990s, incorporates advanced voice picking and radio frequency (RF) processes. New functions have been introduced to support fresh produce picking, load composition, improved customer data exchange and reporting.
Full pallet movements are managed by Empirica using mobile RF terminals, while the voice picking solution issues instructions directly from the WMS, with operatives responding via a headset. Picking productivity is maximised while errors are cut to a minimum through hands and eyes free working and clear unambiguous instructions.
Chess also devised routines for the application to translate incoming orders into loads and pick lists and assess the number of cages required to complete orders based on weight, size and quantity. This necessitated new links with an existing routing and scheduling application. The system also generates EDI transmissions with data on goods received and dispatched to ensure synchronisation of data with the customer.