Vanderlande offers optimal omni-channel solution for Udea

From its base in Veghel, The Netherlands, Udea is a market-leading wholesaler of organic foods, natural personal care products and sustainable non-food items. The company delivers to specialist organic retailers and food service companies, and also processes B2C orders from its web shop.

Sustainable growth

A desire to remain competitive in a constantly changing environment led Udea’s management to combine the activities of both of its existing distribution centres (DCs) into one new facility – the Veghel Foodpark.

A single DC operation would allow Udea to house all of its products under one roof, accommodate further growth within a smaller footprint, and keep its operations cost-effective.

Less is more

Udea required an automated solution that provided the necessary levels of availability, performance and reliability to match its omni-channel needs. It had already started offering automatic ordering for its stores, as well as supplying consumers directly.

To realise these ambitions, Udea needed a partner who could not only integrate all of the hardware, but also provide after-sales support. To this end, it turned to ‘neighbour’ Vanderlande to propose and deliver the most appropriate solution.

Adapting to ADAPTO

At the heart of Udea’s new centralised DC is Vanderlande’s ADAPTO, an automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS). This is configured to provide the levels of availability, performance and reliability to match Udea’s omni-channel needs, while enabling efficient and fast delivery to stores and consumers.

The AS/RS system has 138 shuttles and 14 lifts (over 23 levels) storing products in specified temperature zones. There are 100,000 double-deep storage locations for the optimum use of space and a high throughput of fast-moving goods.

Alongside eight ergonomic decanting stations, there are 12 picking stations, with raised, user-friendly platforms. Operators can pick the instructed quantity for both consumer and store orders. This results in Udea processing 7,000 SKUs and picking 40,000 order lines per day with growth to 55,000 order lines per day.

Significant benefits

The complex project began in March 2018 and the first orders were processed in October 2020. Vanderlande’s ADAPTO system is making a real difference on many levels, as Udea Supply Chain Manager Johan Heemskerk explains.

“Since we started the new operation, 70% of all order lines come from ADAPTO, which is helping us to make error-free and fast deliveries to our customers. Stock picked from a shop floor is only on one level, but with ADAPTO there are 23 levels and that’s a big advantage. When you look at the number of orders picked per person, per hour, the quantity is five, six or even seven times higher than when compared to the old way of picking from the warehouse.”

Another significant advantage of installing the Vanderlande system in the new DC is that it has allowed Udea to reduce its footprint from 50,000 to 30,000m2.

Setting the standard

With the successful omni-channel installation in its new DC, the cooperation between Udea and Vanderlande is already bearing fruit. It is helping the Dutch organic food retailer to not only set the standard, but also to optimise its vision for an even more sustainable food chain.

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