November 11, 2013

Dateline: Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This summer found us in the land of cheese, brats and beer. Capacity was there to acquire order processing technology to help cost-effectively process large pick-and-pack distributions.  Capacity ships weekly replenishment orders to thousands of WalMart stores on behalf of its Client under what is known as a DSDC (“Direct Store Delivery Consolidation”) program, and invested in this technology to ensure that the short processing window and tight financial constraints were met.

 

A pick-to-light system at work.

 

Known in the industry as a “Put-to-Light” or “Pack-to-Light” system, this technology allows Capacity to pick bulk goods from reserve rack locations for a large group of orders and use lighted LED modules to quickly and accurately fill orders for individual stores.  Capacity purchased the system from Lightning Pick Technologies of Germantown, Wisconsin.  Before shipping our configured system to California, Lightning Pick hosted a “conference room pilot” for our team to test and finalize functionality.  Let’s go!

 

The system installed in our LA warehouse

Here’s a video about how our new system works.

 

Lightning Pick - Pick to Light
Lightning Pick – Pick to Light
We played ball in Milwaukee. OK, we watched.

 

 

Rohan Bhobe, master developer at NJ HQ, worked together with colleague Sasmitha Kalathur to build and test the data interface in a remarkably short period of time.  He flew in from Newark for the conference room pilot.  The rest of our team flew in from around the country to take in a (surprise!) baseball game at Milwaukee’s stunning Miller Park.  OK, so it was the last-place Brewers taking on the last-place Padres, but consider the following:

 

  • Tickets for the seats 12 rows behind home plate were just $33 each!
  • Two colleagues from Lightning Pick joined us for the game, giving us the chance to meet in person before the official meeting.
  • Rohan had never been to a sports stadium before.  That’s right folks, not a soccer stadium in Germany where he attended university, or a cricket match in India where he grew up.  First time for everything in life!
  • Years ago, Scott and Jeff attended a playoff game in Anaheim together, with Scott’s Angels taking on Jeff’s Yankees.  Both teams have since crumbled miserably, but it was time for another game.
  • Five types of 10 foot tall sausages ran an exciting foot race around the field during a mid-inning break, with bratwurst coming in first and chorizo finishing last.
  • During the seventh inning stretch, two wholesome-looking couples danced the polka ON TOP OF BOTH DUGOUTS to strains of the Beer Barrel Polka (“Roll out the barrel, roll out the barrel of fun.  Roll out the barrel, we’ve got the blues on the run…”)
    Ever been to a sausage race?

Missing from the scene were our previously-wholesome Wisconsin native friends (long since corrupted by life in the Big City):  Bob DeBaker from Becca Cosmetics and Caryn Blanc from transportation partner Triangle.

 

By the way, Capacity’s connection to Wisconsin goes back a ways. Our CFO Arlen Fish studied and sampled the local brews (in that order, we think) at UW-Madison.

October 29, 2013

This post appeared originally in our October newsletter. If you’d like to subscribe, and we hope you will, please drop a line to info@capacityllc.com

Dateline: Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This summer found us in the land of cheese, brats and beer. Capacity  LLC was there to acquire order processing technology to help cost-effectively process large pick-and-pack distributions.  Capacity LLC ships weekly replenishment orders to thousands of WalMart stores on behalf of its Client under what is known as a DSDC (“Direct Store Delivery Consolidation”) program, and invested in this technology to ensure that the short processing window and tight financial constraints were met.

 

A pick-to-light system at work.

 

Known in the industry as a “Put-to-Light” or “Pack-to-Light” system, this technology allows Capacity LLC to pick bulk goods from reserve rack locations for a large group of orders and use lighted LED modules to quickly and accurately fill orders for individual stores.  Capacity LLC purchased the system from Lightning Pick Technologies of Germantown, Wisconsin.  Before shipping our configured system to California, Lightning Pick hosted a “conference room pilot” for our team to test and finalize functionality.  Let’s go!

 

The system installed in our LA warehouse

Here’s a video about how our new system works.

 

Lightning Pick - Pick to Light
Lightning Pick – Pick to Light
We played ball in Milwaukee. OK, we watched.

 

 

Rohan Bhobe, master developer at NJ HQ, worked together with colleague Sasmitha Kalathur to build and test the data interface in a remarkably short period of time.  He flew in from Newark for the conference room pilot.  The rest of our team flew in from around the country to take in a (surprise!) baseball game at Milwaukee’s stunning Miller Park.  OK, so it was the last-place Brewers taking on the last-place Padres, but consider the following:

 

  • Tickets for the seats 12 rows behind home plate were just $33 each!
  • Two colleagues from Lightning Pick joined us for the game, giving us the chance to meet in person before the official meeting.
  • Rohan had never been to a sports stadium before.  That’s right folks, not a soccer stadium in Germany where he attended university, or a cricket match in India where he grew up.  First time for everything in life!
  • Years ago, Scott and Jeff attended a playoff game in Anaheim together, with Scott’s Angels taking on Jeff’s Yankees.  Both teams have since crumbled miserably, but it was time for another game.
  • Five types of 10 foot tall sausages ran an exciting foot race around the field during a mid-inning break, with bratwurst coming in first and chorizo finishing last.
  • During the seventh inning stretch, two wholesome-looking couples danced the polka ON TOP OF BOTH DUGOUTS to strains of the Beer Barrel Polka (“Roll out the barrel, roll out the barrel of fun.  Roll out the barrel, we’ve got the blues on the run…”)
    Ever been to a sausage race?

Missing from the scene were our previously-wholesome Wisconsin native friends (long since corrupted by life in the Big City):  Bob DeBaker from Becca Cosmetics and Caryn Blanc from transportation partner Triangle.

 

By the way, Capacity’s connection to Wisconsin goes back a ways. Our CFO Arlen Fish studied and sampled the local brews (in that order, we think) at UW-Madison.

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September 25, 2013
Bayonne Bridge at sunset
New Jersey’s Bayonne Bridge at sunset

At Capacity LLC we’re proud to call New Jersey home (not forgetting our crucial California warehousing operation!). We already know that the area is a vital distribution hub, of course, but it’s always welcome to have that viewpoint validated by a third party, as this feature on DC Velocity explains.

 
The Port of New York/New Jersey is one of the largest entry points for goods coming into the U.S., behind only its West coast peers in Los Angeles and Long Beach. The port district itself is 25 miles long and handles in excess of 75 million metric tons (RITA, 2009) every year. That’s a lot of cargo to sort, store, and redistribute to final destinations! Whether moving further into the U.S. via intermodal transport solutions or finding a consumer closer to the New Jersey-area, goods must move quickly through the port and make use of solid infrastructure to travel to a distribution center (DC) to await the next phase of their journey. New Jersey – and particularly central NJ – provides “easy access to all the major modes of transportation: road, rail, air, and ocean.” 

 

With a high concentration of the population in the Northeast, New Jersey doubles as a core base of operations for warehousing and logistics. We see time and again that major retailers find their sweet spot in this state, whether that means creating their own facility, as exemplified by Amazon’s massive facility under construction in Robbinsville, NJ, or employing a company like Capacity LLC to provide retail fulfillment solutions, as have brand names like Macy’s and Target. The combined efficiency of pulling cargo straight from port to DC, and efficiently managing its storage/delivery through to final point-of-sale is an attractive proposition for company and consumer alike. 
 
Even with this prime position, however, New Jersey’s logistics providers can’t rest on their laurels. Major impacts are expected from such transport developments as the impending Panama Canal expansion, meaning that the state and region must be ready to handle the anticipated growth. Already an efficient operation, new developments will see billions of dollars of investment come to fruition in the near future, with the raising of the Bayonne Bridge and the implementation of the ExpressRail System being two projects at the heart of this expansion. 
 
The jobs and economic growth that come with this adaptation of our industry is hugely welcome after a tough year of natural disasters and the struggle to get things back to normal. Watching our area develop is one of the highlights and, we’ll say just one more time, something that we’ at Capacity LLC are proud to play a part in!
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