A panel of three highly-respected supply chain experts—John Hill, director at St. Onge Co., a supply chain strategy and logistics consulting firm; James A. Tompkins, chairman and CEO of Tompkins International, a supply chain consulting and implementation firm; and Jeff Woroniecki, chief operating officer at MHI—has awarded Modern Materials Handling magazine’s Productivity Achievement Award for Warehousing/Distribution to eBay Enterprise’s Walton, Kentucky distribution campus. That particular location is operated by eBay as a third-party logistics (3PL) e-fulfillment services provider.
The facility was featured on the July 2015 cover in an article entitled “eBay: Speed, flexibility and cost.” The feature story describes how the operation added automation technologies from Matthews Automation Solutions’ brands Lightning Pick and Pyramid (and other vendors) to boost productivity and accuracy in order fulfillment.
According to Modern’s Senior Editor Josh Bond, finalists in the Warehousing/Distribution category are recognized for their ability to provide outstanding customer service, quickly respond to changing business conditions, deliver orders that meet customer requirements, and improve operations. Winners were also judged on how projects inside the four walls enable or complement the broader business objectives of the company, in addition to achievements in productivity, throughput or efficiency.
“This year’s winners were nearly unanimous, and Modern’s editors and guest judges agree the winners offer models for success in their respective fields as well as for the future of the industry as a whole,” writes Bond.
Among the various automated solutions in action, eBay Enterprise’s Craig Hayes, vice president of fulfillment (pictured on the magazine cover at right), explains how the Lightning Pick light-directed picking system is used, under the supervision and direction of Pyramid’s Director warehouse control system (WCS):
“We’re using RF-directed batch picking to a tote in the mezzanine that is then put on a conveyor to the put-to-light area,” Hayes says. There, lights direct associates on one side of the wall to place items in a specific cubby. When all the items for that order are in a space, a light on the other side of the wall alerts a packer that the order is ready to process for shipping. “With a mezzanine and put wall, it’s fairly inexpensive to add more bin space or another cubby if the business changes,” Hayes says.