Decathlon and TGW Jointly Realize Their Largest Individual Intralogistics Project
This project is Decathlon’s largest intralogistics investment to date. For TGW, it’s the largest order in company history. Decathlon first started operations in the summer of 2013 in a plant with a floor space of 75,000 square meters, located in the northern French city of Rouvignies.
From here, products are shipped to 25 regional storage centers.
The new intralogistics center is scheduled to go live in 2019 and will be the most highly automated Decathlon hub in Europe. This investment is part of the company’s new strategy entailing continental instead of regional warehousing (French: CAC, centre d’approvisionnement régional), where each center stores special types of products. An even higher level of automation will ensure growth, increase e-commerce, reduce logistics costs in favor of lower retail prices, increase employee work satisfaction, and provide new services.
The new tote warehouse system with 72 aisles is being built in three individual project phases and is outfitted with the latest generation of TGW’s Mustang storage and retrieval system. Individual order picking is done via two interconnected FlashPick® systems. This Smart Piece Picking solution provides for 16 aisles with high-efficiency Stingray shuttles, 26 workstations, one container-buffer sequencer, as well as twelve automatic palletizing stations. Individual areas are connected by 12 kilometers of energy-efficient KingDrive® conveyor technology and controlled by TGW Software Suite.
„We’ve now successfully completed phase one”, David Bendien explains, who is the CEO of TGW Southern Europe. “Also, we signed a 10-year full-service contract, which means that we will support the local Decathlon operative teams with our know-how even after going live.“
The management of Decathlon in Rouvignies particularly stressed the fact that employees were included and involved in these crucial restructuring activities. The state-of-the-art automation units are linked to a new information system, the so-called Highway, which interconnects all Decathlon services. Currently, 60 percent of permanent Decathlon employees are included in the restructuring efforts in form of task groups. The goal, here, is to reach 100 percent.
For both companies, this project marks the beginning of a long-term cooperative relationship, a commitment soon to be sealed with a formal partnership agreement.