WinCo Foods, an American supermarket chain operating in 10 states, is renowned for its comprehensive range of products, including bulk foods, fresh produce, meats, and bakery goods. Established in 1967 in Boise, Idaho, WinCo stands out as an employee-owned entity with over 139 stores, making it one of the largest ESOP companies in the U.S.
WinCo Foods faced a significant challenge at its Boise, Idaho distribution center. Built in 2009 to serve 28 stores, the center was operating at full capacity due to expanded needs for 6 additional supermarkets. The central issue was increasing storage capacity in a -10°F temperature-controlled environment without resorting to outsourcing. With limited space and high operating costs for cold storage, optimizing every square inch of available floor space was crucial.
To maximize space utilization, WinCo Foods partnered with KPI Solutions to design an expanded freezer and implement a crane-based Automated Storage and Retrieval System (AS/RS). This system efficiently serves 7 levels and accommodates 5,000 to 6,000 pallet positions within a 5000 sq ft area, whereas prior they were able to service 2,000-3,000 pallet positions.The KPI team further innovated by designing a pit for the crane, adding an extra three feet to the system, which allowed for an additional storage level.
- The automated system doubled inventory storage capacity compared to conventional racking systems, allowing for maximum utilization of floor space.
- Reduced labor needs and faster travel times for storage and retrieval operations.
- Operational efficiencies were significantly increased by allowing the AS/RS to perform “let downs” and replenishments into pick slots.
“We’ve been very satisfied with the work KPI Solutions has done here in the Boise distribution center”
Vice President of Distribution, Winco Foods