Established in the year 2000 and now boasting over 580,000 active customers, Ocado is the world’s largest dedicated online grocery retailer. Its fourth Customer Fulfilment Centre (CFC4) opened last year in Erith, South East London and at 563,000 sq ft is not only the largest in its network, but is also the largest automated warehouse for online grocery in the world.
Servicing Ocado’s growing customer base in London and the south-east of England, at full capacity it can process over 200,000 orders per week. It stocks both Ocado’s and Morrisons’ full range of groceries, and is divided into ambient, chilled and frozen zones.
Safety is always the most prominent consideration in a warehouse of such a scale and complexity, which is why Ocado consulted with Warrington-based ASG Services – a single-source supplier of warehouse safety solutions – to explore the most suitable line marking solutions.
Warehouse line marking provides powerful visual segregation for pedestrians as well as a visual guide to maximise storage areas.
In an application such as CFC4, the line marking required needed to be sufficiently durable to withstand the most aggressive warehouse vehicle traffic and to retain its long-term visual integrity.
ASG was able to amend the programme to work around the operation. They were dynamic and reacted if they weren’t able to gain access to a certain area and needed to change the plans at the last moment. It was very well organised.
Avin Pertab Project Engineer – Ocado Erith DC
Having provided durable internal line marking for Ocado at its CFC3 site near Andover, ASG was again entrusted to provide around 3.5 km of diamond shaved line marking at Erith. Diamond shaved line marking is the most durable and accurate form of line marking available in the UK.
It involves using specialised equipment to ‘shave’ an area of the concrete floor surface to a depth of 1-4mm. This removes any seal or powerfloat coating and reveals virgin concrete and a rough surface which helps the paint system to key more firmly.
The line edge created during this method provides a very accurate and clean finish, significantly increasing its ability to withstand constant overrunning by materials handling equipment, and guaranteeing its performance even at temperatures of -20°C in the freezer section. Once painted, the surface is then coated with a fast-curing resin, enabling rapid handover of the site.
Additionally, ASG supplied and installed clatter bars to prevent materials handling equipment such as fork lift trucks from damaging racking, low ceiling areas and doorways at Erith.
Avin Pertab, Ocado’s Project Engineer at the Erith site, says he would “definitely recommend ASG to my peers”.
“ASG was able to amend the programme to work around the operation. They were dynamic and reacted if they weren’t able to gain access to a certain area and needed to change the plans at the last moment. It was very well organised.”
Russell Bôbin, UK Sales Manager for ASG Services, adds: “The main challenge was to work around the live operational site, allowing Ocado staff to continue to work whilst keeping them away from the drying paint. To overcome this, we created a clear works plan so all parties knew what areas could and couldn’t be accessed at various times.”
Due to the success of IMHX 2016, we are happy to announce that we are once again exhibiting at IMHX 2019 which is being hosted on the 24-27 September 2019. You can visit us in hall 19 on stand G135, we hope to see you all there!
Following the success of our trade only product RackNets™, ASG services have now launched the latest product in warehouse safety, MezzNets™.
Where RackNets™ is designed to protect the back-of-pallet racking structures, MezzNets™ is a 2.3mm cord net designed to stop the falling of boxes and small stock items from a mezzanine floor. MezzNets™ is available for both handrail and floor-to-ceiling applications.
You can find out more about our MezzNets™ solution by clicking here, alternatively give Jordan a ring on +44 (0) 1925 710923.
Poundworld is one of the UK’s leading discount retailers and is owned by US private equity firm TPG. Operating under the Poundworld and Bargain Buys brand names, the business serves over two million customers and sells around 11 million products a week.
In 2017, Poundworld moved in to a purpose-built 524,000 sq ft national distribution centre (NDC) in Normanton, West Yorkshire. Following its construction stage, the multi-million-pound Normanton NDC required a range of equipment to bring it to an operational level, several aspects of which were to be bespoke to this particular facility.
The equipment and services required at this stage of the project included: racking location labels; internal shot-blast line marking; external line marking; external galvanised security cages; internal mesh cages; internal and external pedestrian and vehicle barriers; and supervisor workstation plinths.
With the client being a low-margin discount retailer, a particular challenge of the contract was to ensure the work was delivered within budget.
Having worked together on a previous contract, supply chain consultant Hatmill Ltd again chose ASG Services to help deliver the required aspects of the fit-out to its client, Poundworld.
ASG has worked on projects of a similar scale for other retailers – including Next, Regatta, Co-Op and Ocado – and clearly demonstrated its ability to provide a variety of products from one company and install them within the given timescale.
I would absolutely work with ASG again. They ‘get’ what customers want, in terms of a one-stop shop, and they are very good at managing the customer relationship.
John Hayward Logistics and Supply Chain Consultant, Hatmill Ltd
“We are unique in what we provide,” says ASG’s Sales Director Chris Hopkirk. “No one else can provide such a range of labelling and safety products and services from one company. We make delivery of these easy for the customer.”
Hatmill’s logistics and Supply Chain Consultant John Hayward adds: “We invited ASG to tender for the job, and Chris Hopkirk and (UK Sales Manager) Andy Burns were by far the most proactive and attentive, and were also commercially keen. The key part behind our decision to award the
business to ASG was their capability to provide a one-stop shop for the works involved.”
Poundworld’s new NDC services its entire network of 350 retail stores across the UK. The job was completed on time, on budget, and to the customer’s satisfaction.
One of the more impressive aspects of the project was the installation of five bespoke observation plinths – designed and supplied by ASG – which offered supervisor colleagues a
desking and IT solution whilst providing visibility across the shop floor.
Hopkirk says: “In order to demonstrate that we could deliver accurately and efficiently, we provided clear AutoCAD drawings of the scheme to allow the customer to fully understand the extent of the work involved.”
“They proved to be a good solution,” says Hayward, “and ASG worked well with our M&E contractors to ensure that the designs fitted in with capabilities in areas such as cable access. That was a really good piece of work. I would absolutely work with ASG again. They ‘get’ what customers want, in terms of a one-stop shop, and they are very good at managing the customer relationship.”
Hopkirk concludes: “A warehouse cannot be operational without those elements we designed and installed, and yet these critical aspects are often an afterthought. We would encourage anyone working on major projects such as this to save themselves time and money by talking to us – a company that has experience and expertise in advising and delivering the right labelling and safety solutions – early in the process. That way enables us to work seamlessly during the fit-out to help ensure the project is handed over to the client to their specified budget and timescale.”
With the recent expansion of offices in Warrington, we are extremely delighted to announce that we’ve taken delivery of our new netting machine. This will allow us to have greater control over order processing meaning a significantly quicker lead time of our RackNets™ product to our customers.
Due to outgrowing our previous office and warehouse space, ASG services have recently moved to new premises just 50 yards from our old home on Easter Court in Warrington. Our new 8,000 sq ft warehouse allows increased capacity on our core products, such as racking labels, warehouse signage and back-of-rack netting.
With the move we took the decision to increase our netting productivity by installing our very own netting machine, giving us greater control on production and reduced lead times to our customers.
ASG had an extremely successful time during the busy period of exhibitions in 2016, including attendance at the leading materials handling exhibition IMHX in April, and at the PPMA Exhibition in September, both at the NEC in Birmingham.
The quality of end user visitors at both shows was very good, including a high number of blue chip companies who had enquiries.
Our key message was to promote our expertise in delivering large scale labelling and safety projects, alongside the promotion of key equipment, including steel mesh partitioning that was on display.
We also highlighted our key customers that we deal with to visitors. These include Dr Martens, Ocado Group, Kawasaki Robotics, Kuehne+Nagel, Brakes, London 2012, Wincanton and Halfords.
ASG is pleased to announce it has welcomed a number of new staff into the company recently. New team members who are now part of ASG include:
RackNets safety netting system offers an enhanced protective barrier against falling loads stored within pallet bays.
With traditional anti-collapse steel mesh solutions offering limited safety benefits for the user, RackNets™ netting is a modern alternative to Anti-Collapse Steel Mesh at the back of racks. Available through our trade partners.
Our new risk assessment calculator has been recently added to the ASG website, giving users the ability combined with their own risk assessments to determine the best RackNets solution for their business and needs. Once users have filled out the online calculator form with their specific storage requirements, hazards – including pallet fall-out and fall-through – and application used, such as wide or narrow aisles, they are advised of the most appropriate RackNets solution to use.
We recently invested in new high quality equipment, including printers and floor shavers.
Our new diamond shaved kit – a DTF25 3 phase diamond floor shaver – is in addition to existing kit, and is an upgrade providing our unique diamond shaving preparation.
This preparation is the most durable in our range, enabling line marking to last up to a decade in busy warehouse and manufacturing areas.
Our new printer, a Develop Ineo+ 1060 Konica Minolta brand, replaces an existing printer and will be used for printing all location labels supplied and installed to our customers.
It is a hot fusion digital colour laser printer with a 1200dpi print resolution capable of handling paper weight up to 300g/m2.