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The Australian beverage company, Foster's Group, is so pleased with its recently implemented warehouse management system at its new multi-beverage warehouse at Yatala, southeast of Brisbane, that it has named software vendor MARC Global as its nominee for the GLSCS Great Supply Chain Partner program.
According to Foster's business systems and services manager, Robbie Attard, the MARC WMS implementation is a critical element in a $170m project to improve supply chain operations and reduce costs for the Carlton & United Beverages (CUB) division. The project included closing CUB's Sydney brewing operation and upgrading two brewing and warehouse facilities in Yatala. The upgraded Yatala facilities supply one quarter of all beer consumed in Australia.
The new warehouse at Yatala is a 20,000-square-meter facility that is the receiving point for four packaging lines. It can store 16,000 pallets in bulk and racking storage locations. The four packaging lines are directly interfaced to a mass accumulation table that holds up to 100 pallets ready for direct loading and transportation. An existing 5,000-square-meter warehouse at the Yatala site is utilized for storage of kegs produced from two upgraded production lines.
"The MARC WMS solution seamlessly integrates all production line receipts and facilitates direct loading from the accumulation table to outbound vehicles," says Attard. "We avoid nearly all double-handling of product, so warehouse efficiency is greatly improved."
The site has been designed to handle a weekly production capacity of over a million cases of packaged beer (13,800 pallets) and 92,500 draught beer kegs (10,300 pallets) as well as external receipts of over 2000 pallets of packaged beverages (including wine, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages) and 500 pallets of kegs.
A single installation of the MARC WMS optimizes resources at the two Yatala warehouses with paperless, system-directed operations, while providing real-time visibility of inventory, orders and shipments.
According to Attard, the efficiency benefits of the MARC WMS already documented at the CUB facilities are:
• Decreased travel time of forklifts
• Maximized loaded travel time for forklifts
• Reduced loading time of trucks
• Increased operator productivity based on matching equipment with tasks
Foster's Group also has implemented state-of-the-art Intermec RF equipment at the Yatala warehouses, so the MARC application is available to forklift drivers via RF on touch screens.
"This RF system is the first of its kind in Australia," says Attard. "We are excited about the future ability to directly interface with other warehouse applications such as a yard management and tracking systems for kegs and pallets."
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