Lean pickings for diet chef

Due to the continued significant growth of Diet Chef Ltd (the UK-based diet home delivery company with over 25,000 customers across the UK and Northern Ireland) the company identified the need to redesign their warehouse and order picking operations to cope with the high volume throughputs and requirement to pick to short order lead times.



Diet Chef engaged the specialist Warehouse team at Gideon Hillman Consulting to ensure that the logistics, warehouse and order picking operations and resources were optimised in full for the current and future volume requirements.

The key focus was on developing a leaner picking operation through reducing order pick times, picker travel distances and increasing throughput capabilities without increasing man hours unnecessarily; whilst ensuring customer service commitments continue to be met.

"The approach taken by our Warehouse Specialists was to work closely with Diet Chef management and staff to fully understand all aspects of the business that impacted on, and that were affected by, the warehouse and logistics functions" says Gideon Hillman FCILT, Managing Director of Gideon Hillman Consulting.

The consultant team successfully delivered the optimised design for the replenishment warehouse and picking / packing facilities including the most efficient product range and SKU pick face locations.

They also provided scale CAD drawings showing rack and equipment layouts and defined work areas, and full bill of equipment required for racking and MHE suppliers to quote against.

A set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) were provided for all aspects of the operation; including the adjacent bulk storage warehouse, as well as  break down and replenishment, picking & packing operations and an optimised Operational Resource plan to ensure the cost per item picked is minimised once the new facility layout design is implemented.

The consultants were able to make a capacity assessment of the fully optimised existing facility in terms of maximum volume throughput and operational capabilities and were able to confirm its suitability for the duration of the 3 to 5 year planning horizon.

"The consultants from Gideon Hillman Consulting ensured that the project was delivered on time and met all of our objectives; working with them was a great experience" said Brian Gray, Operations Director of Diet Chef Ltd.
In addition they carried out a WMS (Warehouse Management System) review and developed a system requirement specification to suit the new operation; enabling Diet Chef to engage in meaningful WMS evaluation with suitable system suppliers.

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