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Project Motivation

Hachette UK, the UK's leading trade publishing group, has invested in a new central distribution center in Didcot, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom. Our objective was 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 fulfillment center brings. From one location into the whole world: The new multi-channel distribution center serves the different channels (B2B, B2C and e-commerce) from one location and fulfills orders globally.

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Key Benefits

  • Merging two warehouse sites into the state-of-the-art Hely Hutchinson Center

  • Reduced transport and building costs

  • Flexible and scalable to meet future growth

  • More efficient storage and picking, resulting in shorter lead times and 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 book 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® goods-to-person 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 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 picking is supported by a narrow-shelf warehouse area for pallets. Mixed pallets are assembled and transported to the TGW intake are. Packages that are destined for customer orders are labelled and transported via conveyors to the sortation zone. And packages that are intended as replenishment for the split case picking process are positioned in storage totes at one of ten TGW repackaging workstations. The totes can be partitioned to allow for the storage of more than one title within a single tote.



TGW Warehouse Software manages all picking. This includes the timely coordination of split case picks and copying them to Hachette’s JDA WMS in order to create picking lists and to report back details on the contents of finished order cartons and totes. The JDA system manages conventional warehouse functions like 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 center.

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The new central fulfillment center uses state-of-the-art warehouse automation technology to reduce operating expenses, 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 for 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, while delivering optimum service and support.

On Site Technician
Fraser about his 
JOb at 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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