Beverage Industry

Case-Picking Solutions Advance Distributor

July 1, 2007

Case-Picking Solutions Advance Distributor

Vertique helps Florida’s J.J.Taylor improve efficiency

When Florida beer distributor J.J. Taylor was looking to consolidate its two facilities, it was also looking for ways to improve its system. At the time, the distributor was moving “a little more than 17 million cases — 12 million out of Tampa and 5 million out of a leased facility in Ft. Myers,” explains Jay Martin, vice president of operations.
To expand its capabilities, the company opted to enlarge its Tampa warehouse and locate sales personnel in Ft. Myers.
J.J. Taylor installed a fully automated system by Vertique, Arden, N.C. to pick its top volume SKUs. Alternate layer picking for orders is still done by hand, Martin says. A main advantage of the Vertique system allows the beer wholesaler to pick orders by stop, which allows for better deliveries, he explains.
“As a wholesaler of beverages at a supermarket stop with a sideload truck, the driver would have to go by bays and pick the orders at the store,” Martin says. “Now the driver opens one bay and the whole order is there and the pallet is shrinkwrapped — it’s ready to go.”
This allows the wholesaler to route trucks to deliver to both supermarkets and convenience stores, which increases route efficiencies.
Vertique’s solutions also have boosted productivity. On a cases-per-employee basis, the company improved nearly 20 percent on delivery and almost 14 percent in cases per delivery route. In the warehouse, personnel efficiencies also have seen improvement. He also reports the company went from 250 SKUs in the warehouse to 400.
“On top of that, the complexity of our SKU mix has gone up more than 50 percent,” Martin says.
Overall, J.J. Taylor is pleased with its Vertique case picking system.
“At the end of the day, we’re loading 17 million cases,” Martin says. “We will do that from management to mechanics, with 55 people on board and an average of 110 trucks a night. We couldn’t do it by stop without the Vertique solutions; we just couldn’t afford it.”
Martin sums up that J.J. Taylor’s partnership with Vertique is not yet complete. The company continue to work with Vertique regarding upcoming efficiencies and improving its system, Martin says.  — Vertique Inc., 115 Vista Blvd., Arden N.C. 28701; 828/654-7500; vertique.com.