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Project Motivation

Hachette UK, the UK's leading trade publishing group, has invested in a new central distribution centre, namely the Hely Hutchinson Centre (HHC) based in Didcot, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom. Our objective is to make storage and picking even more efficient using innovative automation technology. Shorter lead times and lower transport and operating costs are only a few of the many advantages that the state-of-the-art fulfilment centre brings. From one location into the whole world: The new multi-channel distribution centre serves the different channels (B2B, B2C and e-commerce) from one location and fulfils orders globally.

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At a glance

Key Benefits

  • Merging two warehouse sites at the state-of-the-art Hely Hutchinson Centre

  • Reduced transport and building costs

  • Flexible and scalable to meet future growth

  • More efficient storage and picking, resulting in shorter lead times, reduced operational costs


Hachette serves wholesale, retail and direct customers. The new solution supports this omni-channel profile with a combination of full case and split case picking methods. Generally, any title can be ordered as a full case or split case. Goods from split case picking are shipped in packages, returnable totes and automatically erected cartons.


Split case picking of single books is fully managed using a TGW FlashPick® (GTP) solution. Five storage aisles, each equipped with a fleet of TGW Stingray shuttles supply required source totes to one of ten “PickCenter One TS” workstations. These enable one-to-one ergonomics: Empty order cartons and totes are automatically provided at the PickCenter One TS stations and, once they are filled, directed towards the outbound sortation area to be consolidated with other cartons and totes for the same shipping destination. Prior to sortation, the split case order cartons are finished via an automatic height reduction, lidding and labelling process.


Full case (binder pack) picking is supported from a VNA pallet storage area. Mixed SKU pallets are created and brought to the TGW induction zone. Those packs that are destined for customer orders are labelled and transported via conveyor to the sortation zone. Those packs that are replenishment for the split case picking process are transferred into storage totes at one of ten TGW decant workstations. The totes can be partitioned to allow more than one title to be located within a single tote.



TGW Warehouse Software manages all picking and timely coordination of split case titles and copies them to Hachette’s JDA WMS in order to create picking lists and report back details on the contents of finished order cartons and totes. The JDA system manages conventional warehouse functions such as full case picking in narrow aisles and is also responsible for the overall customer order coordination in the manual and automated areas of the distribution centre

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Consolidation of two sites into one new central order fulfilment center that would take advantage of state of the art intralogistics technologies to reduce OPEX, improve service levels and provide consolidated shipments to regular customers.


Five-year all-inclusive contract: proactivity, continuous improvement, cost saving initiatives and a one-team approach. Hachette is maintained and supported by seven TGW On-Site Residential Engineers, who provide flexible three-shift operational support in maintenance work 312 days per year. Peaks: Monday – Friday 24/5. Focus: providing the highest levels of availability and reliability. This one-team approach allows for a successful and long-term partnership, whilst delivering optimum service and support.

On Site Technician
Fraser about his 
job at Hachette

About Hachette

Hachette UK is made up of ten autonomous publishing divisions and over fifty imprints with a rich and diverse history. The leading British publishing group is owned by Hachette Livre, the world's second-largest trade and educational publisher. It forms a close network with the subsidiaries in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and India and closely collaborates with Hachette Book Group in the United States.


Jan-Willem Klinkenberg
Head of Business Development


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