First Choice doubles spare parts warehouse space

First Choice Catering Spares is doubling the storage capacity of its warehouse in what marks the second stage of a major automation project.

The expansion will see the installation of a further six ‘lean lift’ mechanised storage units, creating an additional 17,000 locations to store parts.

The extra storage capacity will help First Choice get closer to its 90% first-time shipment target, enabling more customers to get the parts they need within 24 hours.

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The first stage of First Choice’s automated storage and retrieval system was installed three years ago and increased storage capacity by a factor of nine for the same footprint of the conventional racking systems they replaced.

They have also allowed the picking speed to be increased fivefold, while bar code scanning authentication reduces the risk of miss-picks.

The company claims its database now contains 750,000 individual parts and is growing at a rate of 50 items a day.

First Choice currently holds more than 20,000 lines of spare parts and ancillaries for professional cooking, refrigeration and warewashing equipment at its Cannock HQ. In addition, it holds more than 5,000 lines of larger items in bulk storage.

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