There was a celebratory official opening of the New National Distribution Centre in the Netherlands on 23rd May in Haarlem, for a long term client of Bisham, Brammer Plc.
Brammer is a UK company with a strong position throughout Europe; in 19 countries with a total of 350 local depots and a National Distribution Centre in each of the countries. It is Europe’s leading distributor of industrial maintenance, repair and overhaul products and services, including bearings, mechanical power transmission, pneumatics, hydraulics, tools and health and safety equipment.
The Netherlands National Distribution Centre is a prime example of the close cooperation between the client and the supporting consultancy.
It is a 3,500 square metre site (with high bay element) handling palletised product and a large number of items that are held in small format shelving. It is a complex business with a SKU range of circa 35,000 in stock lines plus a similar number of SKUs available as bought in lines against specific requirements.
Bisham carried through the strategic analysis and initial concept design based on re-purposing what was originally a 3,500 square metres manufacturing unit – the building design and execution of the necessary building works was managed by Brammer, with Bisham designing and project managing the installation of the MHE and the Warehouse Management System/WCS software developments.
The re-purposing of a “Brown field site” presented interesting challenges in the design of the semi-automated MHE and storage configuration, the ultimate design succeeding in optimizing the use of the available space and providing an element of “future proofing”.
To handle this diversity of product range and the need for extreme variations in the speed of through-put across the product range, as well as conventional APR the site has a mezzanine shelving zone that is serviced by an “intelligent” goods to person conveyor system, as per the design concepts established by Bisham.
The existing ERP IT system had some Warehouse Management System functionality – Brammer and Bisham worked closely with the software-house to improve and develop the existing system to meet the needs of modern distribution process, including the introduction of barcoding and RF technology.
The four primary requirements of the project were to
- Provide increased capacity for the medium term growth as well expansion potential for longer term growth.
- To be located within a geographic radius that would ensure maximum staff and skills retention.
- Redevelop a “Brown field site” rather than expend resources on a “Green field development”
- No risk to business continuity during the migration to the new site.
All four objectives were delivered successfully –
Bisham managed the MHE and IT elements of the project from beginning to end, bringing them in below budget; whilst closely co-ordinating with the build project, through to the migration from the existing sites into the new site.
Bisham have worked with Brammer over a number of years and the establishment of a new NDC in the Netherlands is one of several projects across Europe where Bisham has provided Brammer with the resources to carry through a change program designed to prepare the business for the uplift in European economic activity.
As part of its European focus, Bisham has also carried through projects for Brammer in Czech Republic, Germany and France as well as projects across Europe for other clients.