Hudson’s Bay uses advanced order fulfillment technology

The technology increases the timeliness and accuracy of the retailer’s orders.


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To develop an order fulfillment center capable of competing with Internet retail giants, Hudson’s Bay—North America’s oldest retailer—partnered with a materials handling solutions provider. The 750,000-square-foot facility, which is located in Scarborough, Toronto, now holds Canada’s most advanced order fulfillment technology and has improved the retailer’s operations so it has a competitive advantage with online shopping.

As customers place an order, it is now received by the facility’s warehouse management system, which then interacts with the warehouse control system (WCS). The WCS software then communicates to fill orders in a matter of minutes.

The process begins with automatic carton erectors, while Hudson’s Bay’s robotic, goods-to-person system schedules robots to deliver goods to operators. By the time boxes receive labels and travel to the automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) workstations through a conveyor system, the AS/RS robots have already delivered the appropriate product. Operators then pick the product from the robot’s tote, place it in the carton, and confirm it through a put-to-light indicator.

Once an order is complete, it travels by conveyor to shipping. On its way, each carton receives documents through a robotic print-and-insert system, as the box is weigh checked, given a shipping label and sorted based on the carrier.

On a daily basis, Hudson’s Bay fills 60,000 to 70,000 customer orders—with each order processed in as little as 15 minutes. The robotic, goods-to-person AS/RS features 16 aisles in all (with 19 robots per aisle) and stores approximately 1.5 million units.

With the new system, Hudson’s Bay customers are now receiving faster, more accurate orders. And, the flexibility and scalability of the robotic, goods-to-person system is allowing Hudson’s Bay to easily accommodate new products—along with an increasing number of orders—as the company continues to grow.

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