Arvato Supply Chain Solutions, which has been responsible for the ecommerce business for Rituals Cosmetics in the UK since 2018, has opened a new logistics hall in Hanover, Germany for the wellbeing brand.
The supply chain and ecommerce service provider will manage the online business of Rituals for Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Poland from this location.
The new distribution centre, where Rituals occupies a quarter of the space, covers an area of almost 47,000 square meters. The heart of the automation solution for Rituals is a high-performance AutoStore warehouse system to enable fast and efficient processing of the rapidly growing online order segment.
Arvato is now responsible for Rituals’ online business in Benelux, the UK, USA, Hong Kong, Spain, and Portugal.
“Until now, we have served the DA-CH region and Poland from our location in Gennep in the Netherlands,” said Julia Boers, president of consumer products at Arvato Supply Chain Solutions. “However, the order volumes have expanded so rapidly it was necessary to look for alternatives or expansion options, and we made the decision to set up another location for Rituals in Hanover.”
The automation solution installed by Arvato Supply Chain Solutions in Hanover is designed to deliver on the promise of swift order processing. The eight-meter-high AutoStore system houses a total of 32,000 bins filled with Rituals products, arranged on a multi-level grid in rows over a floor area of almost 4,000 square meters.
Up to 120 robots can operate at the top of the AutoStore. They move autonomously along rails in all directions, gather bins from anywhere in the grid according to the articles needed for an order, and transport them to the respective work or pick stations.
The system is equipped with six workstations – or ports – for replenishment of goods in, and 13 ports for picking. All up and downstream processes are connected to the system via conveyors, including 18 packing tables, sorter system, automatic carton erecting and closing machines.
“We continue to handle 15-20% of order volume outside of the AutoStore system,” added Jan van Meerbeck, vice president consumer products at Arvato Supply Chain Solutions. “These are either fast-moving items- goods with a very high demand throughput or oversized articles from the Rituals product range.”
An example of one of these articles is the popular Rituals advent calendar, which does not fit into an AutoStore bin. Additionally, many value-added services are performed for Rituals. Orders are wrapped in wrapping paper, greeting and gifts cards are placed in the box, and – just like in the retail store – personalised perfumes or shampoos can be mixed for an end customer at the specially placed Hair Temple and House of Rituals Talisman station in the warehouse.
A distinctive feature of the AutoStore system in Hanover is the integration of a dangerous goods storage area for products such as deodorants. “We implemented a similar system as a world first in the AutoStore in Gennep, and have now adapted it successfully for Hanover,” explained Jan van Meerbeck.
The move to the new distribution centre also brings other advantages. In the Arvato network, Hanover is the central hub for direct traffic for the DA-CH region, Northern, Eastern, and Southern Europe. This translates into closer proximity to the market, and faster throughput with late cut-off times and shorter delivery lead times to the end customer.
Furthermore, the capacity of the AutoStore can be easily expanded to meet growing online order numbers. Jan van Meerbeck concluded: “We still have the potential for expanding capacity to meet up to 50,000 orders per day.”