Situated in the Republic of Ireland’s thriving capital, Tec Industrial Ltd., is a leading supplier and distributer of hydraulic hoses, fittings and adaptors. Operating in a purpose-built facility, the family-run business has over 80 years’ experience serving the manufacturing, construction, utilities, oil distribution and plant hire industries, to name a few.
To supply such sophisticated industries and deliver exceptional service, Tec Industrial Ltd., would need to strategise and devise a plan for storing high quantities of active inventory without the costly expense of relocation. With floorspace at a premium in Dublin, Tech Industrial Ltd., was in search of an efficient storage solution that would cause minimal disruption during busy supply periods.
Tec Industrial Ltd.’s inventory varies from small fittings and adaptors to large hydraulic hoses; so effective logistic operations is critical to their future success. With their supply chain continuing to expand, Tec Industrial Ltd. needed to ensure demand never outstripped capacity. Initially, a mezzanine was introduced in the facility to utilise the height of the building. Although this step provided the business with an additional 35% of floor space to accommodate current stock, the added level was a temporary fix, and soon, a more futureproofed storage solution, to cater for planned future company growth was needed.
Tec Industrial Ltd. Operations Manager, Jason Coburn, explains:
“By installing a mezzanine, we recognised the benefits of utilising the height of the facility and this encouraged us to explore automated vertical storage units. Aware of what our problem was, we approached the market in search of the best solution. Tec Industrial Ltd. have 2,500 active SKUs (stock keeping units) and an extended catalogue nearing 10,000 SKUs. Investing in a vertical lift module (VLM) would allow us to store fast-moving components in a small portion of our warehouse. The remaining larger, slower moving stock is located on traditional racking systems.
Industore’s Sales Director for Ireland, Trevor Elliott, conducted a comprehensive site audit, and unlike his counterparts from other organisations, recommended we erect one Hänel Lean-Lift through the existing mezzanine, to maximise inventory storage on an extremely small footprint and ensure the lift was located in the most strategically significant area. To fully understand what was being proposed, our team were invited to Industore’s Irish hub, and given a live product demonstration. Industore’s customer service and well communicated vision for joint-success, instilled confidence in the project and undoubtedly won them the order.”
Today, the Hänel Lean-lift houses 70% of all Tec Industrial Ltd.’s small fittings and adapters, which accounts for over 85% of the organisations total stock. Situated on galvanised shelves, stock is neatly organised in specially mapped containers and retrieved at an ergonomic height, in seconds. Equipped with an LED lighting strip, Tec Industrial Ltd. staff are navigated directly to the SKU, significantly reducing human-made errors. Jason Coburn continues:
“Lots of our SKUs are visually identical, which can sometimes make picking orders difficult. By storing these fast-moving components in the Hänel Lean-Lift, we’ve optimised picking and packing operations and created a streamlined process. Stock control is at its best, thanks to a lockable sliding door, allowing us to protect more sensitive products from dirt and dust, while reducing the number of losses or damages. Using the MP14 N controller, our stock transparency is at an all time high, allowing us to monitor our SKU numbers, ensuring we are able to meet supply demands. Our team no longer have to traipse the warehouse looking for fittings and adapters. Instead, it’s delivered directly to them – not only has this improved our goods-to-person (“G2M”) principle in a short time period, but the Lean-Lift has freed up more floor space for larger packing and distribution area.”
In just 6-months, the time, efficiency and packing accuracy has improved operations by roughly 60%. Tec Industrial Ltd. has forecast that the machine will pay for itself within 12-months, based on speed of picking and packing goods out alone.
In the coming months, Tec Industrial Ltd. will work closing with Industore engineers and IT specialists to integrate an ERP system with the Hänel Lean-Lift. This will allow the picking and replenishment process to be automated. The IT integration will empower Tec Industrial Ltd. To further enhance their service provision. We look forward to seeing Tec Industrial Ltd. leap ahead with Industore hardware and software – and will revisit this case study in 2024.