UNEX Strings Together a Collection of Carton Flow Solutions for Candy Wholesaler
And the Results are Sweet!
In 1938, a Mom & Pop penny-candy operation opened in a small Vermont town. Success followed, and Capital Candy Co., Inc. emerged as a full-fledged wholesaler for grocery and convenience stores. Growth was good, and more was on the way. At a rapid fire pace, manufacturers began introducing new product extensions by the hundreds. Capital Candy was running out of space and the surges in inventory made the need to increase productivity greater than ever.
Exploring the Options
Even with 70,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space spread over three buildings, Capital Candy was stretched to the limit. “In any space-con-strained building like ours – a 175 year old granite shed with lots of poles, beams and posts – maximizing the cube is imperative”, says Operations Manager, Jim Thibeault.
The company considered several options:
- Move to a new building – deemed too expensive
- Construct an addition – again, too costly
- Stack inventory higher – an inefficient approach since perishables have to be rotated regularly
- Reorganize facility – the most practical, cost effective solution
Working with a consultant, Capital Candy decided to reorganize the pick areas for each product group with UNEX carton flow solutions to match the unique needs of each area. This would maximize pick efficiency and provide a space friendly operation allowing Capital Candy plenty of room to grow.
Reconfiguring the Warehouse
Applying a multifaceted carton flow approach allowed Capital Candy to reconfigure its warehouse and unleash greater productivity for each pick area.
The Grocery Area needed a major overhaul, requiring the construction of a three-level pick module. On the firstlevel, UNEX’s low profile Span-Track was installed. Low Profile’s drop-in design nests between the beams, maximizing vertical space for product storage. The second and third levels were set up for pallet storage, which allowed Capital Candy to make the most of limited warehouse space.
The Cigarette Area has UNEX Roller Rack with high profile Span-Track installed. High profile sits on top of the beams, allowing the carton flow track to extend beyond the structure, which enable Capital Candy to store more units per SKU.
In The Freezer and cooler sections, UNEX combined low and high profile Span-Track in pallet rack to create Easy Access/Fast Pick of cold inventory items. “When we put in something new, we like to use Span-Track”, explains Thibeault, “because everything here is short-coded and needs to be FIFO managed. We have to ensure that customers always receive fresh products.”
The Candy Line replaced the existing plastic wheel track with UNEX Shelf TRACK, a built-to-last, full-width aluminum roller track that ‘drops-in’ to existing flow rack shelves – a “sweet rolling major improvement,” says Thibeault.
Customized Flow Solution: UNEX engineered a custom flow rack installed with gravity conveyor sections to accommodate the unique handling requirements of Capital’s dairy line.
Measuring the Results
Since implementing UNEX solutions, Capital Candy has realized all of the project’s objectives and gained several other benefits in the process.
- 1,000 New SKU’s Added
- Pick Rates Improved 35%
- Labor Costs Down/Sales Up
- FIFO Issues Resolved
1,000 new SKUs have been added to the warehouse due to the space gained during there configuration. Inventory is now rotated appropriately. “In the past, if you got a delivery twice a week, sometimes the latest ended up on top of the previous delivery, and the lower inventory went out of date,” says Thibeault. “UNEX’s carton flow approach put an end to that problem.”
Focusing on the Future
Capital Candy’s 70 year legacy continues, and so does the company’s confidence in UNEX. “We’ve done business with UNEX for over 30 years and never had the need to look at other suppliers,” says Thibeault. “Everything has always worked great. UNEX’sreputation for quality is bullet proof.
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