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Cambridge University Press doubles warehouse pick rate and achieves 99.99% accuracy with RedPrairie


Solution delivers increased productivity and greater efficiency

Cambridge University Press (Cambridge), the oldest printer and publisher in the world, has doubled its pick rate in its UK warehouse and delivered a huge increase in productivity with the help of RedPrairie Corporation, a productivity software provider.

Cambridge implemented RedPrairie’s Warehouse Management solution as its existing system was no longer capable of supporting its business requirements and plans for growth, and was looking for a solution that would deliver a strong return on investment.

By integrating the Warehouse Management solution into an innovative trolley designed by Loopthinking, and rationalising the warehouse layout, pick, check and pack are now one process, and the line rate (orders picked per person per hour) has increased from 70 to an average of 138, with peaks of 180.

Ian Farnell, Warehousing Operations Consultant, Cambridge University Press, said, “Productivity has been improved, capacity is far greater, and we are enjoying a 99.99% accuracy rate. We now have high levels of management control and information, and as a company we are environmentally friendly, as our objective of becoming a paperless operation has been achieved.”

While implementing the new Warehouse Management solution, Cambridge embarked on a project to re-organise the warehouse layout to further improve efficiency. Farnell added, “We wanted to link the two projects of rationalising the layout of the warehouse and implementing a Warehouse Management solution, to ensure that both complemented each other, resulting in streamlined processes. Previously there were too many people trying to get up and down the same aisles – we used to have 78 trolleys staged throughout the process, this has gone down to 13.”

Another benefit of the RedPrairie solution is that Cambridge now invoices the customer once the goods have been picked, and scanned on the trolley. Previously, they were using a pre-invoicing process, where the operator used the invoice to pick the goods. This meant that even if the customer didn’t receive the goods because Cambridge was out of the stock, they were still invoiced. Now the customer is only invoiced for what they have been sent. This has meant that credit notes have been reduced, meaning the ledger is cleaner, customer service is better and the accuracy of picking is better.

Martin Hiscox, Vice Chairman of the Board, Managing Director and President International, RedPrairie, said, “This is a great example of how our Warehouse Management solution can deliver fantastic results. The project has already provided an excellent return on investment for Cambridge, and we are confident that the benefits will become even more apparent in time.”

With the old system Cambridge was fulfilling between around 4,000 to 5,000 order lines with 26 pickers and checkers. Now, with 13 pickers and checkers, they already achieve 6,500 orders lines. Cambridge have indentified further operational improvements within the shift window and capacity has continued to increase, with a target now of 8,000 lines a shift.

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