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Company wraps up two new projects

Following on from the establishment of its new distribution centres in Centurion, Gauteng, and Mahogany Ridge, in Kwazulu-Natal, retailer Clicks embarks on another initiative at its Montague Gardens distribution centre, in Cape Town. Universal Storage Systems says it is proud to be trusted with the planning and execution of this major contract, due largely to its record of many previous successes with such projects, coupled with Clicks' confidence in Universal's local support infrastructure, as well as competitive pricing, says regional director Alan Moule. According to Clicks' in-house industrial engineer and project leader Gary Davidson the expansion is designed to prepare the retailer for the challenges presented by growth and expansion projections into the next five years. The overall objectives are twofold – to maintain and improve customer satisfaction through improved systems and efficiencies, while keeping running costs within acceptable boundaries. The unprecedented success and inevitable expansion of Clicks' new Body Shop subsidiary also needed to be provided for in the expanded facility. Two main strategies are driving the current development – the centralisation of imported products into Cape Town, and the move towards local suppliers delivering more goods into the distribution centre, rather than direct to the ever- increasing number of individual stores. Both plans are aimed ultimately at the overall reduction of stockholdings, and the cost benefits and efficiencies provided thereby. The project involved a large installation of new pallet racking, as well as gravity carton flow-racks, both of which were able to be accommodated comfortably into the space already available in the existing building. Alan Cornwell, special projects manager responsible for coordinating the project, says that this is thanks to long-term planning at the time of original construction. The centre's handling capacity was increased by nearly 50%, with the addition of almost 10 000 new full and half pallet slots in high-bay racking, the lower levels of which are fitted with gravity-flow picking beds for over 20 000 bin locations providing ground-level picking of more than 5 000 line items on 16 km of flow-track.

The total contract value to Universal was more than R4-million, involving about 500 t of steel, and is the company's largest project in the Western Cape to date.

In other developments, due to an ever-increasing demand for its products, Nestl
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