Efficient order picking thanks to digital plansTetiana completes up to 50 ‘jobs’, or orders, per shift. Each job takes between 10 and 60 minutes, depending on the number of goods ordered. Tonight, Tetiana is working in the main area of the depot, where the temperature is normal. Every now and then, the roller shutter to the next room opens and rosy-cheeked colleagues dressed in winter jumpers and woolly hats come whirring out on their forklifts. The chilled area is where meat and fish, vegetables and gourmet foods wait to embark on their restaurant journey. At the far end is the deep-frozen area. The name says it all. Anyone familiar with Game of Thrones will automatically be reminded of the gigantic wall of ice. The door to this zone is covered with ice even on the outside, and inside the temperature is a chilly −23°C. The next door leads to a common and heating room where the temperature is about 30°C – after 2 hours spent working in the cold store, employees are prescribed an extra 15-minute break.
Despite the tech tools, people are still essentialThe service level of this depot in 2020 was average 96.3%, a very good achievement. ‘100% is impossible, even if you only consider the delivery bottlenecks from suppliers – but every single item that could not be delivered still has to be checked,’ says Depot Manager Maciej Kącki. Other KPIs that he monitors daily are the punctuality and condition of deliveries. METRO digital software helps with this too. But despite all the sophisticated technology, the system cannot work without people. The pickers, for example, are trained not to pack fruit next to washing powder. And to spot rotten tomatoes. That’s something the handheld device cannot do yet.
Shortly before 6 a.m., Tetiana’s shift is almost over. All her boxes are packed and she stows the omniscient device in the cupboard next to the shift supervisor’s desk. The air here is fragrant with basil, mint and thyme. That’s because this is where the fresh herbs for delivery customers are stored, which may seem strange at first glance. But it’s been found that watering works better if everyone sees the plants and is constantly walking past them, than if they are stored on shelves somewhere. More evidence of the human factor: keeping basil alive. But for Tetiana, it’s now time to go home. Until the following night.
Read more about the 6 strategic topic areas in the Annual Report 2019/20.