July 24, 2003, 12:00 AM

How Magellan’s cut pick, pack and ship time in half

By analyzing sales of SKUs and placing the most popular items in the first few aisles of its new distribution center, travel-related cataloger Magellan’s has reduced by half the time to pick, pack and ship an order.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

 

Travel-related e-retailer and cataloger Magellan’s International Travel Corp. has reduced by half the time to pick, pack and ship an order by analyzing sales of SKUs and placing the most popular items in the first few aisles of its new distribution center in Carpinteria, CA, Steve Miskulin, director of distribution, tells InternetRetailer.com. “The pick path was cut in half, and so the time to get an order out was nearly cut in half,” Miskulin says.

Magellan’s outgrew its distribution in Goleta, CA, and in March moved it 30 minutes away to Carpinteria where it got twice as much space for the same cost, Miskulin says. As part of the move, it analyzed its layout and SKU popularity with an eye toward a more efficient configuration. “For instance, luggage is one of the bulkier things we sell and in the old facility it was the first thing we picked, so we had to haul the luggage all over the place as we picked the rest of the order,” he says. “In the new facility it’s the last thing we pick, just before the order-check station.”

Magellan’s, which stocks 3,000 SKUs, analyzed not only the demand, but also the amount of space each product took up so as to make sure appropriate space was available in the high demand areas for bulkier products.

For the distribution center to retain the efficiency it gained with the new configuration, the company will have to constantly analyze demand, Miskulin says. “Now that we’ve done it once, it just becomes a constant maintenance thing,” he says.

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