About Aubuchon Hardware
Paint Can Racks Keep Aisles Clear, Speed Pick Rates by 50% at Distribution Center
With dozens of paint cans stacking up in the distribution center, Aubuchon Hardware needed to get its inventory under control. The company turned to UNEX to design a storage and flow solution that would save space, increase productivity, and ensure accurate order fulfillment at the warehouse.
Aubuchon Hardware is the oldest family-owned and operated chain of hardware stores in America. The chain includes 120 stores in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont. Each day, the company’s distribution center in Massachusetts fulfills dozens of orders and ships them to Aubuchon Hardware stores across New England.
“Our stores rely on the distribution center to have the products in stock when they need them, so they can stay competitive with national hardware chains,” says Charles Aubuchon, VP of Distribution Center Operations for Aubuchon Hardware. “Inventory control is a major issue for the warehouse.”
But inventory control became a concern after Aubuchon Hardware added the Benjamin Moore® line of paint to its product offering. The primers and white paint were moving quickly, so employees shipped them by the case. “But our stores didn’t need full cases of the colors and tints because they are slow movers,” says Charles. “We decided to break the cases on the slow movers to give our stores more flexibility to order one quart or gallon at a time.”
The idea made the space-constrained stores happy but created storage issues for the warehouse. “There are more Benjamin Moore® SKUs than you can shake a finger at,” says Charles. “We couldn’t store all those extra paint cans on pallets because we’d take up all our aisle space. Plus, our existing flow racks were not strong enough to handle the weight.”