Thrive Market: Keeping up with growth

Thrive Market’s new Indiana DC was designed to meet the needs of a fast-growing e-commerce startup today and tomorrow.

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Thrive Market

Batesville, Indiana

Size: 361,000 square feet
Products: Focused on health and wellness, including food, beauty, pet and items for the home
SKUs: 4,000+
Throughput: 4,000 orders and 48,000 units per day
Employees: 150
Shifts per day/ Days per week: 2 shifts, Sunday through Thu

Scalability is the key attribute of Thrive Market’s new facility with software, automatic data collection, and conveyor and sortation designed to grow with the company’s sales.

Receiving:

The facility receives full truckload, LTL and parcel shipments in receiving (1). Inbound inventory is inspected and scanned into the warehouse management system (WMS). Most inventory will be palletized and staged for putaway in a Fast 50 storage area (2) for fast-moving items; reserve storage (3): or a shelving area for slow-moving, low-velocity picks (4).

Storage:

The WMS directs a lift truck operator to a location in one of the storage areas (2, 3, 4), and a pallet or carton is scanned to complete the putaway process.

Picking:

The facility is managed through a combination of WMS and warehouse execution software (WES). The WMS is a true management system: It is responsible for inventory control; tracks individual productivity; and is tied directly to the online ordering system and batches which man¬ages the flow of work through the facility. Items can be picked from several areas.

Fast 50:

In this area (2), the 50 fastest-moving SKUs—items that are included in almost every order—are stored. The system prints out an order, boxes are created manually and labeled and items are scanned into the box using a wrist-mounted computer and ring scanner.

Pick modules:

Cartons are conveyed from the Fast 50 area to one of four pick modules (5). Cartons are sorted to the first pick location for that order. Once the pick is complete, the carton is placed back on to the conveyor and is passed to the next pick location until all of the picks from the pick module for that order are complete.

Slow-moving items:

From the pick modules, cartons are diverted to a bin shelving area (4) for slow-moving items to complete the order.

Packing:

Once all of the items for an order have been picked, the carton is sent to packing (6), which is an intensive process to create a branded experience for the customer. The inside of the box is printed as is special water tape. All packaging material is sustainably sourced, including tissue liner and the dividers and material used to hand wrap breakable material. Packers include a hand-written thank you note. The invoice is added, along with a topper to provide a clean and neat sealed look. Once the box is taped, it is conveyed to the shipping area (7).

System Integration and Warehouse Execution System:
Warehouse Management System:
Conveyor and Sortation:
Pallet Rack:
Shelving:
Mobile Computing and Wrist mounted Scanner:
Lift Trucks:
Packaging Materials: and Storopak


About the Author

Bob Trebilcock
Bob Trebilcock, editorial director, has covered materials handling, technology, logistics and supply chain topics for nearly 30 years. In addition to Supply Chain Management Review, he is also Executive Editor of Modern Materials Handling. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.

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Strategies to Build Efficiencies into Your Supply Chain and Logistics Operations
This white paper outlines key areas where third party logistics (3PLs), carriers, retailers and manufacturing companies can replace manual repetitive work within their operations with new and innovative robotic process automation technology solutions.
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