The International Federation of Warehouse Logistics Association (IFWLA) 2014 Annual Conference in Chicago, Ill., last week included a warehouse tour from IWLA-member, DSC Logistics at its Elwood, Ill., facility.
The 1.2 million-square-foot, multi-client facility is one of the larger spaces the company operates. Scott Morgan, vice president of strategic partnerships, welcomed the group with a brief overview of the company history and the types of clients serviced at the facility. During the tour, the DSC staff highlighted several unique features/services in the facility designed to meet the client’s needs and maximize efficiency of space and production.
Client #1: Musical Instrument Manufacturer
One client covers 305,000 square feet in the warehouse and totaling 4.9 million cases of throughput in 2013. DSC stores and completes light assembly of musical instruments including trumpets, drum sets, guitars and more. The facility goes through an annual audit procedure in order to obtain Foreign Trade Zone status—meaning if the product does not get sold, it does not have to go through customs in order to be stored in the facility. This is useful for international product manufacturers who are looking to have easy access to their products in countries but avoid additional taxes if these products are never sold. It also makes same-day shipping requirements possible, because the product is already on shore.
Client #2: Consumer Product Company
Another client uses DSC for kitting/packaging of onsite promotional materials for products. The facility handles all signage used to promote the product in gas stations and convenience stores. These signs are often unique in shape and size. DSC uses a Packsize machine to swiftly cut cardboard to the perfect shipping sizes for the signage.
The process uses a laser beam measure to measure box size that is needed and wirelessly sends that information to the custom box machine through a Bluetooth connection. From there the box is produced, taped manually, packed with promotional materials, labeled and readied for shipping.
Client #3: Specialty Shoes
DSC also handles a diabetic shoe line with at least 6,700 different SKUs to accommodate a customized audience with different styles, widths and size combinations. With 576,000 pairs a shoes at any given time, DSC logistics created a seamless inventory organizational system to match optimal picking patterns based on popularity of sizes, color coding and numerical order. The solution is highly stacked narrow-isle racking sized to slimly fit a forklift—which creates a safety barrier for the operator. It also improves efficiency of picking the shoes from one end to the other at every height level.
Client #4: Paper Company
This client sends toilet paper in bulk to the DSC Logistics facility. The rolls are nearly 6-feet tall and are shipped seven per full-truckload. DSC uses an oversized roll-clamp attached to a forklift to load and store these massive toilet paper rolls. From there, they are placed on a specialized machine that unrolls the paper into smaller, normal-sized rolls that are cut and packaged for retail.