CASTORAMA Poland, a prominent player in the DIY retail sector within Poland and part of the global Kingfisher group headquartered in the UK, continues its commitment to enhancing logistics efficiency. Following the successful implementation of the SmartCube® Jumbo, a transformative solution aimed at optimizing their operations, Castorama Poland now introduces the SmartCube® Light to further bolster their logistics process. In 2018, Castorama Poland witnessed substantial growth, prompting the establishment of a new distribution centre, with two central hubs in Lodz and an additional facility in Strykow. These distribution centres work five days a week to supply over 100 stores across Poland.
Four years ago, Castorama Poland adopted K.Hartwall’s SmartCube® Jumbo to replace traditional pallets and long & odd size products in order to increase the efficiency of their operations.
This transition yielded impressive results:
- Faster picking
- Reduced product damage
- Minimized stretch foil consumption
- Higher vehicle cubic fill
The key challenge for Castorama was to improve the handling of long and odd-sized items across their supply chain, i.e. in transportation, at the warehouse, for picking & packing and even in-store receiving.
The SmartCube® Jumbo is a fully foldable and stackable cage with dimensions 849 x 2609 x (H)828 mm and a safe working load of 1000 kg proved instrumental in meeting these challenges. Notably, K.Hartwall designed it with compatibility in mind, facilitating its integration with other material handling equipment, including wooden pallets and plastic boxes, either loaded or empty. Moreover, it seamlessly integrates with other SmartCube® models.
This high compatibility was particularly appealing to Castorama as they saw a direct opportunity to further streamline their operations beyond the handling of only odd & long items.
After gathering information from Castorama regarding load weight, dimensions and other details of the other products to be transported, K.Hartwall recommended testing the SmartCube® Light, designed to carry up to 500kg. The synergy between the SmartCube® Light and SmartCube® Jumbo was evident, with the ability to stack two SmartCube® Light cages on top of one SmartCube® Jumbo for even greater vehicle cubic efficiency. After a successful three-month trial, Castorama confirmed that the SmartCube® Light was the perfect solution, boasting compatibility with both the SmartCube® Jumbo and wooden pallets, resulting in a double win.
Initial estimates indicated an 8-12% increase in truck fill when combining the SmartCube® Light and SmartCube® Jumbo. Remarkably, the actual outcome exceeded expectations, doubling truck fill from 40% to an impressive 80% with the SmartCube® models.
Beside improved truck utilization, Castorama could list additional benefits such as:
- Drastic reduction in stretch film usage, saving time and money
- Faster picking and less prework as there are no need to build customized pallets
- A remarkable drop in product damages, down to just 0.1% of transported goods
The first analysis and calculations showed a return on investment of less than 2 years!
The SmartCube® Light is a fully foldable and stackable cage with dimensions 1221 x 816 mm (H)1211 mm and a safe working load of 500 kg. A couple of months after testing different options Castorama acquired several thousand units of the K.Hartwall SmartCube® Light.
The shift from traditional pallets to the SmartCube® brought comprehensive improvements to Castorama’s distribution centres:
- Easier and faster picking – the large and secure sides of the SmartCube® Jumbo prevented longer and odd-shaped goods from falling
- Increased cubic fill – accommodating more goods than on wooden pallets
- Substantially reduced product damage – less than 0,5% of all goods transported arrived damaged as the SmartCube® Jumbo’s walls provide superior protection.
- Simplified prework – no need to build any customized pallets/combination of pallets before starting the actual picking, making the process smoother
As Castorama’s logistics department remains dedicated to optimizing their supply chain, they face the challenges posed by varying goods, peak seasons, and the ever-expanding eCommerce sector.
Mr. Andrej Łażewski, Logistics Director, comments: “The SmartCube® Jumbo together with Smart Cube® Light is the best possible solution as it makes our DC process much faster and safe . We appreciate K.Hartwall’s proactive approach, introducing innovative solutions like the SmartCube® Light to enhance our logistics. Within the first month implementation, we observed a 10% savings in transportation.”
As for the store personnel of Castorama, they love the new solution for the following reasons:
- Safer and faster unloading
- Reduced product damages
- Enhanced stability and packing of the goods
- Easy folding for storage and return transport, 5pcs in one stack
Furthermore, the SmartCube® Light offers versatility, as it can be equipped with horizontal bars for standing items and a vertical wall to partition loads when needed.
Regional Sales Manager
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