Great Lakes Wine and Spirits experienced several distribution center challenges that motivated automation in the facility. The company has two distribution centers that are over 300,000 square feet.
Bill Przytulski, VP of Operations for Great Lakes Wine and Spirits explained, “Receiving is on one end of the facility and a good portion of inbound product has to be transported to the opposite end of the facilities to be put away. A lot of time was being spent by hilo operators traveling back and forth. Seegrid’s robotic industrial trucks prove to be the right solution with low cost, quick implementation, and operator friendly.”
Great Lakes Wine and Spirits purchased two Seegrid GP8D flexible AGVs to drop inbound pallets in various drop zones throughout the distribution centers to shorten the hilo operator's travel; the result is more is accomplished quickly and overtime compensation is dramatically reduced. The company estimates a savings of approximately $28,000 per year in overtime reduction.
Przytulski commented, “We like the flexibility and simplicity of the vehicles the most. There is a very short learning curve which has allowed the robotic trucks to be put into use in two days once the unit was set up onsite. It seemed like it would be a low cost way to quickly increase throughput and reduce overtime and after a few weeks of actual use, those claims are valid.”
Derek Roberts, National Account Manager for Seegrid noted, "Great Lakes Wine and Spirits identified there was a more efficient solution for transporting inbound product from the docks to the opposite end of the distribution center to be put away. Previous to the deployment of the GP8D pallet trucks, fork truck operators were traveling long distances to put away the product. Now, inbound pallets are placed in drop zones throughout the facility, shortening the travel distance for fork truck operators. The company purchased their first GP8 double pallet truck after visiting the Seegrid booth at ProMat 2013. A few months later, they chose to deploy an additional GP8 for another facility.”
Great Lakes Wine & Spirits is a family-owned-and-operated Michigan-based business. The company has developed into a multi-faceted industry leader in the alcohol beverage wholesale business and has brought jobs to numerous communities, and has provided goods and services to nearly 14,000 local businesses.
Seegrid Corporation provides simple, affordable, flexible vision-guided automated guided vehicles (AGVs) to the material handling industry. Seegrid robotic industrial trucks, flexible AGVs, are revolutionizing the movement of materials in manufacturing and distribution environments. Seegrid automated pallet trucks and tow tractors optimize workflow processes by increasing productivity and reducing costs, creating economic and operational advantages. Robotic industrial trucks deliver a rapid return on investment, improve facility safety, and reduce equipment and product damage. Fast Company magazine named Seegrid as one of the Top 50 World’s Most Innovative Company in 2013 and among the Top 10 World’s Most Innovative Robotics Company in 2013. Follow Seegrid Corporation on Twitter at @Seegrid.