OGLESBY, Ill. -- A new regional distribution center for Supervalu, Minneapolis, currently under construction here will make use of highly automated technology to move inventory most efficiently.
The facility is designed with pick modules and a conveyer and sortation system as well as a pick-to-light system, said John Vegter, regional vice president of logistics for Supervalu's Midwest region.
In a pick-to-light system, an order selector is guided to each slot by lights. At the same time the light goes on, a computerized display indicates how many items the order selector should pick from that particular slot.
The 325,000-square-foot facility under construction here will handle general merchandise and health and beauty care products for the Midwest. Slow-moving grocery will also be handled by the facility but there is no time frame established for those operations to begin.
The facility will be used to distribute these goods to Supervalu's 12 existing distribution centers throughout the Midwest region. Previously general merchandise and HBC items were handled by eight of the 12 existing distribution centers; each facility handled its own slow-moving grocery products.
"The objective of the Midwest facility is to reduce inventory costs because in aggregate we will have less inventory," Vegter said. "We hope to also reap benefits on the procurement side because we'll be purchasing larger quantities going into one distribution center."
Supervalu already has regional distribution centers in the Southeast, located in Anniston, Ala., and in the Northeast, located in Easton, Pa.