Choosing Warehouse Automation Technologies at WIPTEC

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CASE STUDY. The case is intended to be a decision-making exercise requiring students to use analytical reasoning to support their decisions in choosing technologies for a new distribution centre.

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Choosing Warehouse Automation Technologies at WIPTEC: Abstract

Buoyed by the success of Le BockAle, originally a micro-client, WIPTEC president Martin Ball believed he could benefit greatly from serving a wide range of micro-, small, medium, and large clients at his company’s new distribution centre in Longueuil, Quebec. Because of their large order volumes, his medium and large clients were already generating substantial revenues for WIPTEC. While micro- and small clients did not generate similar revenues, Ball reasoned that if they could capture untapped marketplaces, they would experience exponential growth, and if he supported them during their growth phase, he would be rewarded with much higher business volumes. Ball had thus pledged to provide local businesses with the logistical support they needed to grow, but traditional warehousing principles were not flexible and scalable enough to handle the resulting product variations and fluctuations in order size. He had therefore asked his project manager to work with the system integrator to choose one or more technologies that could integrate micro-clients and improve existing processes to reduce service costs for existing clients. The system integrator had shortlisted a few person-to-goods (PTG), goods-to-person (GTP), and automation sortation technologies and submitted them to the project manager for further discussion.

Teaching objectives

  • Identify technologies to improve existing warehouse processes
  • Compare PTG and GTP technologies
  • Select the best warehouse technologies for a new warehouse

Additional information

Also available in French.

Teachers’ notes are available for university teachers only. Please contact the HEC Montréal Case Centre.

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