Case Study
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Carton Flow at 10° Below

About Smart & Final
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Grocery Distribution Leader Gets “Smart & Final” Answer for Maximizing Use of Freezer Space

After 128 years of superior service, growth, and success in the wholesale grocery industry, you can bet Smart & Final knows a good thing when they see it. When corporate decided it was time to revamp their existing Port Stockton Foods distribution warehouse in Northern California, Smart & Final management turned to SpanTrack by UNEX for carton flow.

What Was Needed
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SpanTrack was already being used in small quantities with great success at Smart & Final’s Los Angeles facility and in their deli operation at their Miami facility. With Port Stockton’s approximately 2800 items stocked in the freezer area and a total SKU count of about 12,000, space was at a premium. According to Bob Glinka, Smart & Final’s Manager/Industrial Engineer, something had to be done and quickly. “We had far more items than pick slots. Our only alternative was to go vertical. Instead of picking off pallets and putting the pallets in the air, we decided to put case flow in the air and make them fixed locations.”

“We had far more items than pick slots. Our only alternative was to go vertical. Instead of picking off pallets and putting the pallets in the air, we decided to put case flow in the air and make them fixed locations.”

Check Out Some Images
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Check Out Some Images
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Installation
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“We went floor to ceiling with the intention of increasing pick facings.” Glinka aid. “It worked so well on the floor we decided to try it in the air, and it worked great. Now we just receive the product, put it on an order picker, and stock just like you would a hand-stocked shelf. It’s allowed us to get more facing into the freezer without doing a major overhaul.” Glinka points to SpanTrack’s ease of use as a key benefit. “Hands down, SpanTrack beats conventional flow lanes with the plastic wheels and the clips and the dividers,” Glinka said.

“One of the main reasons we went with SpanTrack was that one person can basically change a bay out in fifteen to twenty minutes when it would normally take two people the better part of a day to reconfigure and re-slot a bay of conventional case flow lanes.” Another reason for utilizing SpanTrack was low maintenance.

“We had 60 to 90 bays of plastic wheel flow lanes in Miami and 40-50 bays in Commerce. They’re just a maintenance nightmare keeping them repaired,” Glinka said. “We don’t have to make any repairs to SpanTrack.”

“Once we started using the product, we decided not to even look at anything else. As far as I’m concerned it’s the best case flow product out there.”

At the onset, Glinka received input from the selectors and forklift operators through a series of committee meetings. The meetings were designed to find the best solutions to any problems plaguing the facility. Both management and the workers agreed Span-Track would alleviate the rotating slots nightmare. Glinka said, “The workers loved SpanTrack because the product was always at the pick face.” Another benefit Glinka pointed out was that “SpanTrack is flexible and user-friendly. It’s very easily interchangeable.” This allows Smart & Final to match SpanTrack with the product going into a particular slot. Even large boxes like bread products, which typically exceed 24” in width, are easily slotted by putting two sections of track side by side. Plus, because SpanTrack loads from the back, you always have a strict rotation of your product.

Installation
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“We went floor to ceiling with the intention of increasing pick facings.” Glinka aid. “It worked so well on the floor we decided to try it in the air, and it worked great. Now we just receive the product, put it on an order picker, and stock just like you would a hand-stocked shelf. It’s allowed us to get more facing into the freezer without doing a major overhaul.” Glinka points to SpanTrack’s ease of use as a key benefit. “Hands down, SpanTrack beats conventional flow lanes with the plastic wheels and the clips and the dividers,” Glinka said.

“One of the main reasons we went with SpanTrack was that one person can basically change a bay out in fifteen to twenty minutes when it would normally take two people the better part of a day to reconfigure and re-slot a bay of conventional case flow lanes.” Another reason for utilizing SpanTrack was low maintenance.

“We had 60 to 90 bays of plastic wheel flow lanes in Miami and 40-50 bays in Commerce. They’re just a maintenance nightmare keeping them repaired,” Glinka said. “We don’t have to make any repairs to SpanTrack.”

“Once we started using the product, we decided not to even look at anything else. As far as I’m concerned it’s the best case flow product out there.”

At the onset, Glinka received input from the selectors and forklift operators through a series of committee meetings. The meetings were designed to find the best solutions to any problems plaguing the facility. Both management and the workers agreed Span-Track would alleviate the rotating slots nightmare. Glinka said, “The workers loved SpanTrack because the product was always at the pick face.” Another benefit Glinka pointed out was that “SpanTrack is flexible and user-friendly. It’s very easily interchangeable.” This allows Smart & Final to match SpanTrack with the product going into a particular slot. Even large boxes like bread products, which typically exceed 24” in width, are easily slotted by putting two sections of track side by side. Plus, because SpanTrack loads from the back, you always have a strict rotation of your product.

“We do a lot of re-slotting. With SpanTrack one person can change out a bay in 15 to 20 minutes…it’s flexible…user-friendly…very easily interchangeable.”

– Bob Glinka, Manager/Industrial Engineer

“We do a lot of re-slotting. With SpanTrack one person can change out a bay in 15 to 20 minutes…it’s flexible…user-friendly…very easily interchangeable.”

– Bob Glinka, Manager/Industrial Engineer

That’s A Wrap!
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Smart & Final

Smart & Final, with headquarters in Commerce, California, stocks over 11,000 different grocery items, from canned foods and deli items to restaurant and janitorial supplies. They operate 218 stores in California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Florida, and Mexico, in addition to two large foodservice distribution businesses in Florida and Northern California.

UNEX Manufacturing, Inc.

Located in Lakewood, New Jersey, UNEX is a major manufacturer of carton flow products, including SpanTrack, the original “shelfless” carton flow track. With its ease of installation in ANY pallet rack, its superior flow and its rugged design, SpanTrack is “Setting the Standard in Carton Flow.”

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UNEX Manufacturing, Inc.
691 New Hampshire Avenue
Lakewood, NJ 08701

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