A high-performance logistics centre in Scandinavia is currently being expanded into an omni-channel logistics centre.
Since April 2012, the Finnish logistics service provider INEX Partners, a subsidiary of the retail company SOK, has been picking all general merchandise items at the Sipoo site using automated and semi-automated logistics systems from the general contractor WITRON Logistik + Informatik GmbH.
The 68,000 square-metre facility, located near Helsinki, used to exclusively supply the group’s 1,000 stores with more than 300,000 different items annually.
Now, the rapidly growing e-commerce business and the processing of click and collect orders will also be integrated.
The goal of SOK / INEX is to process a wide variety of distribution channels centrally, from a single logistics centre in a cost efficient and flexible way.
The omni-channel logistics centre is scheduled to commence operations in the first quarter of 2022.
The INEX distribution centre in Sipoo is considered to be one of the most efficient logistics centres in Northern Europe, designed for processing more than one million units per day, comprising clothing, cosmetics, sports items, electronic equipment, media, gardening equipment and furniture.
Many of the non-food items are subject to the latest trends or seasonal changes, which results in a constant change of products.
As a result, highly dynamic and flexible logistics structures were required in the material flow processes right from the start.
WITRON has already delivered a high degree of flexibility to supply approximately 1,000 stores in the SOK network.
This flexibility is now also a decisive factor in the development and logistical integration of further distribution channels such as click and collect and home shopping.
In principle, all items in the general merchandise product assortment are available to SOK / INEX customers, not only as a complete retail unit but also as 'single items'.
The formation of single items is generated dynamically as required in a separate process before picking. The logistics centre also handles all returns.
Significant growth is expected over the coming years due to the successive transition of the 1,000 SOK stores to the newly integrated omni-channel process and the increase in the overall e-commerce volume.