Vendor News: ShopKo installs Diamond Phoenix Put-to-Light System

Diamond Phoenix (Lewiston, Maine), a provider of material handling systems, installed a put-to-light system for ShopKo Stores, Inc. (Green Bay, Wis.) The new system was part of a company-wide effort to develop strategies for growth, which included finding ways to increase efficiency and reduce costs.

ShopKo Stores, Inc. is a chain of multi-department stores serving mid- to large- sized cities. It provides home goods, casual apparel and seasonal products, and many locations also include pharmacies and optical centers. Pamida Stores, a division of ShopKo headquartered in Omaha, Neb., serves smaller, rural communities and is a “one-stop shopping” experience, offering consumables and convenience items. It has 359 stores in 23 states throughout the Midwest, Western Mountain, and Pacific Northwest regions.

After determining that its current pick to light system was not meeting its needs, ShopKo turned to Diamond Phoenix to help design a paperless order fulfillment system that was flexible enough to handle both the ShopKo and Pamida operations.

Diamond Phoenix designed a system based on its DirectPick Light-Directed Picking System. Containers from vendors travel along the conveyor to a put station. The operator removes items from the containers and places them in totes on the rack, following the put lights which indicate how many items should be placed in each tote. When a tote is full, the operator pushes the tote through the rack. The totes are then placed on another conveyor and they head to shipping where they are sent to stores to replenish inventory. Since its installation, Shopko reports accuracy rates reaching 99.69%.

"Diamond’s DirectPick product is easy to use and the system is flexible enough to adapt to changes. In addition, Diamond Phoenix was willing to work with us and customize parts of the system to meet our specific needs,” said Kail Plankey, Manager of Distribution Systems at ShopKo Stores, Inc.

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