July 14 2015

Westfalia ASRS Wirtz Beverage
Wirtz Beverage Illinois ASRS

Strategic Warehouse Space Decision

The right warehouse layout can maximize space and ultimately accommodate a distributor’s future growth

Westfalia Technologies, Inc. featured in Beverage World Magazine article by Heather Landi

According to the article in Beverage World titled Strategic Decision, SKU proliferation is a challenge faced by most beverage distributors and it's driving the need for more strategic use of warehouse space. Wirtz Beverage of Illinois made a strategic decision to invest in an AS/RS and building redesign to support increased demand. With the growth of the business, Wirtz Beverage of Illinois needed a warehouse that would provide the efficiencies that they needed to match their go-to market strategies.

As craft breweries continue to grow and generate more SKUs, distributors such as Wirtz are struggling to find the necessary space for storing these products. One of the solutions that Ryan Companies US is promoting is “going higher as well as smaller aisle space allowing beverage distributors more square footage.” Wirtz Beverage did just that, designing an AS/RS system that includes three tandem cranes capable of moving 200 pallets per hour, carrying more than 1,000 SKU’s. Standing tall at 42 feet, Wirtz Beverage Illinois’s distribution center’s AS/RS take up only 110,000 square feet of the 604,907 square foot building yet is able to store 1.3 million cases, one third the space of a conventional warehouse alternative.

Jack Holleran, president HDA Architects states that, "strategically employing automation and redesigning pick areas or loading areas to maximize product flow can create optimal efficiency in the warehouse and give distributors a better return on their investment."

To read more about Wirtz Beverage of Illinois AS/RS click here to view the video.