Window Ware ramps up warehouse capacity

4 April 2022

Window Ware has just completed a 3-phase project aimed at scaling up warehouse storage capacity and maximising operations.

Last year’s home improvement boom created increased demand for door and window hardware across the country, so much so that at its peak, Window Ware saw a rise in sales volumes of +30% compared to 2019.

To successfully cope with these additional volumes, as well as mitigate ongoing supply chain issues and maintain the same high service levels that Window Ware is well known for, we invested heavily in our stock and made sure critical hardware was on the shelf and ready to ship to our busy customers.

We knew it was a priority to eliminate risk in our customers’ supply chains, so we had to make sure we were doing everything we could to hold more buffer stock and ensure all orders were despatched right first time, every time.  But a growing inventory meant more storage space was needed and that called for a reorganisation of our warehouse.  

Phase 1 of the project to increase storage and optimise warehouse productivity kicked off in Summer 2021, when we added +50% crate storage for high-demand products like door gearing and +10% bulk locations. At the same time, the layout of our warehouse was fine-tuned to speed up frequent picks, optimise space usage, maximise accuracy and improve flow through the warehouse.

During Phase 2, further storage was added to the end of the warehouse, creating more bulk locations and 240 small pick locations to support the aluminium range growth seen over the past few years following the addition of essential product lines and new arrivals suitable for a range of aluminium profiles.

The big spring clean came early to the warehouse just before Christmas, with the annual year-end stocktake. For 3 days, usual business operations were paused while the whole Window Ware crew mucked in to count product, clear out, and get the warehouse shipshape for the year ahead. This was the third and final phase of the project.

“Our efforts over the last 6 months to optimise space usage and increase capacity have made a huge difference, not just to the amount of stock we can hold, but also to warehouse operations as a whole,” confirms Window Ware Warehouse Team Leader, Roy Sturgeon.

“With our growing product range well organised and suitably stowed in designated locations, we’re quickly able to put goods away and then pick sales orders faster, maintaining high accuracy rates of +99.3%, reducing back orders and ultimately getting in-stock order lines out to customers on time and in full. In fact, in February we achieved our highest 96.25% OTIF since COVID lockdowns began and we’re in a strong position to close the gap with our pre-covid OTIF of 97.5%.”

“It’s great to see we’re already reaping the benefits of the project and seeing a positive impact on our weekly warehouse KPIs,” concludes Roy. “It’s all going to help create the best possible experience for our customers and ensure our hardware provision is second to none!”