Micro fulfillment center with AutoStore – for faster deliveries

To meet customer expectations of same-day-deliveries, fast order fulfillment is essential. Peterhans Handwerkercenter integrated AutoStore inside the shop and boosted both storage capacity and warehouse efficiency. It also created a unique customer experience as a micro fulfillment center.

Peterhans Handwerkercenter AG in Switzerland wanted to shorten customer waiting time at the pick-up counters in its shop and for online orders. To achieve this, Peterhans needed to optimize its warehouse storage capacity and picking processes. Peterhans decided to completely realign its logistics, starting with a tailor-made AutoStore system empowered by Element Logic.

Integrating the AutoStore system inside the shop boosted both storage capacity and warehouse efficiency, as well as creating a unique customer experience. Combining a physical store with a warehouse area is a popular variation of a micro fulfillment center. This is a great solution to serve both online and in-store customers with flexibility, predictability and on their own terms.

“We are continuously strengthening our store through future-oriented investments in digitization and logistics. Our new fully automatic storage and retrieval system, AutoStore, simplifies important warehouse processes and supports our employees considerably in their daily work. We are storing 36 000 items, permanently available for our customers,” Dieter Egloff explains, Deputy Managing Director at Peterhans Handwerkercenter AG.

The AutoStore solution at the Peterhans micro fulfillment center includes a grid with approximately 12 000 bins stacked 20-high. Ten high-speed robots move on top of the grid, lifting bins up, restacking them, and delivering goods to the picking stations. A total of six operator ports are available to move items in and out of storage. The AutoStore system enables them to utilize the space inside their warehouse very efficiently, using less than 400 m2 of the total 4 000 m2 of the building space.

The in-store order fulfillment solution at Peterhans is characterized by three picking ports located right next to the sales counters and customers can watch how fast the robots process their orders.

A completely unplanned express order from the lowest bin level takes a maximum of four minutes. On average, it takes less than two minutes from a customer’s request until the product arrives at the sales counter.

Additional ports are located in the rear part of the AutoStore warehouse where operators handle inbound goods and pick online shop orders for external deliveries.

FASTER DELIVERY: With AutoStore integrated into the shop, customers receive their goods even faster.

A great advantage with micro fulfilment centers is its proximity to customers. By establishing micro fulfilment centers where customers are, delivery times are shortened. It also allows for better inventory control and faster and easier returns.

“We are a retail company that wants to stand out from others through customer proximity,” Dieter Egloff, Deputy Managing Director at Peterhans Handwerkercenter AG says.

“By integrating the AutoStore system directly into our retail store, it was possible to simplify processes and eliminate long walking distances, and also give our customers a more engaging shopping experience – and word gets around really fast,” Egloff continues.

Take your warehouse or micro fulfillment center to the next level

AutoStore empowered by Element Logic is a powerful, future-proof solution for quick and efficient order handling.

You can have a micro fulfilment center like Peterhans without automation, but by automating the storage capacity increases significantly. A modular AutoStore solution fits the available space and allows you to be more efficient with more stock.

The system can save up to 80 percent floor space, is scalable, and offers flexible storage capacity. This unique automated storage and retrieval system is suitable for companies of all sizes from all industries.

” In the course of a holistic realignment of our logistics, the AutoStore system serves as the central core, “ Dieter Egloff concludes.

” The simplicity of the technology, the flexibility of the storage grid and the output convinced us from the start. Thanks to perfect support and implementation by Element Logic, we can now count on a powerful, automated small parts warehouse to secure our customers’ expectations regarding quick order fulfillment. “

Do you want to read more about micro fulfilment centers?
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SMART USE OF SPACE: Element Logic designed a space-efficient grid utilising only 10 percent of the warehouse.


About Peterhans Handwerkercenter

Peterhans Handwerkercenter is an assembly and mounting hardware specialist shop that serves industrial and commercial customers in the German-speaking area of Switzerland with a wide range of high-quality products for craft and industry at attractive prices. In addition to the retail store, the company also runs its own online shop and employs 14 sales representatives.

Historically, the entire product range at Peterhans had always been stored in shelves and pallet racks, which required a lot of space and personnel. After investing in AutoStore by Element Logic in 2018, everything that fits into the AutoStore bins is stored there- except hazardous substances and products they wish to present on the shelves in the sales area.

Read more about the AutoStore solution at Peterhans:
Micro fulfilment center creates a unique shopping experience at Peterhans

Facts and figures:

  • Bins: 12 000
  • Grid size: 400m2 (1,312 ft2)
  • Warehouse size: 4000 m2 (13 123 ft2)
  • Robots: 10
  • Average delivery time: 2 minutes

Interested in learning more about integrating AutoStore into your store?

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