Case Study: Deseret Book Takes Their Warehouse to New Heights, Literally

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Deseret Book is both a publisher and retailer. As such, it maintains a book club, retail stores, and an online retail and informational website.

Client Profile: Deseret Book is like a mix of a Hallmark gift shop and a religious bookstore. What started in the late 1800’s with George Q. Cannon publishing and selling a pamphlet for youth has grown into 45 stores and a wide online retail selection in the US and Canada.

 

Market: International

Industry: Books & Religious Art

“With Hoj’s solution, we were able to incorporate the packing station right into the mezzanine and improve the flow using conveyors and carts to improve the overall response time.” – Scott Cornelius, Manager of the Deseret Book Distribution Center

The Challenge:

When Deseret Book started this project with Hoj, they had one overall challenge they needed to overcome. Time. Employees spent too much time in the picking process, taking four to five business days to fulfill customer orders. That is detrimentally long in the two-day shipping world we live in.

With old racking, long pick paths and inefficient warehouse design, Deseret Book’s overall picking processes needed to change in order to fulfill orders quickly.

This battle with time and the physical warehouse setup broke down into three bite-sized challenges that needed attention.

1. Lack of storage space. Moving to a bigger warehouse was out of the question. They just needed a better storage solution.

2. Lack of pick faces. Not only did they need more space, they needed to find a way to make more products easily accessible for pickers.

3. Employee safety. With long pick routes and lanes, machines were crossing paths with pickers all too often, which led to a hazardous environment.

 

The Solution:

Deseret Book expressed their need to heavily overhaul their operations. Hoj presented various solutions based on several in-depth logistical studies, which included every detail down to box size, box color, pick paths and shelving.

To help Deseret Book overcome their challenges, the first priority was to help them maximize their warehouse space. Understanding that the available space was bound by the four walls of the warehouse, the most logical and effective solution was to think vertically. A second story mezzanine and an integrated conveyor system solution was the best place to start.

Opening up Deseret Book’s space easily allowed room for more pack stations, more pick faces and improved conveyer systems.

Before this transformation, their packing stations were in areas that weren’t always convenient. With these stations now built right into the mezzanine, picking, packing, and shipping all occur without having to move locations.

The Results:

The new overall setup with the mezzanine, the pack stations and the conveyer systems has been a great solution for Deseret Book. It has dramatically reduced the time needed to fulfill orders, doubled their storage space, doubled their pick faces, shortened their pick paths and improved employee safety.

In fact, when put to the test during their most recent peak season, Deseret Book filled 20% more orders with 20% fewer labor hours. They overcame their main challenge, and ultimately cut costs in other areas.

Scott Cornelius, Manager of the Deseret Book Distribution Center said that working with Nick Wills, Account Executive at Hoj, as the single point of contact throughout the entire project helped everything stay true to a tight timeline. The project was completed a few weeks ahead of schedule and successfully set them up to handle the holiday rush. Scott added,

“One of the greatest things we found working with Hoj was the teamwork. They brought a team to us, headed by Nick, and we were able to put them in the same room with our team, take their ideas, take our ideas and develop a synergy that really set us up for the future.”

Deseret Book continues to grow and now has room to safely expand their storage, packing stations and pick areas, making them well positioned for the future.