At Mekonomen Wholesaler in Strängnäs, Sweden, the warehouse is divided into zones. The car parts are picked and sent to the all the Mekonomen-shops around the country in large boxes and one box contains an order to one shop.
In the zone for smaller parts Therese Nilsson is Production Manager. She says that for a while ago only one box to one shop was packed on a round.
– We needed to efficiency the picking and start with batch picking, which means that you do multiple customer orders at a time, Therese Nilsson says.
" –The company's major profit is ergonomically. But it also plays a major role that we pick for six shops on a round now, instead of one."
Therese Nilsson, Production Manager
Planning and cooperation
A thoroughly work began, when they took the help of Helge Nyberg AB to look at how to streamline the picking.
– We did have Ergobjörn trolleys before, so we never hesitated to contionue the cooperation in the selection of new trolleys, she says.
An ergonomist from Avonova was also in the working process. She looked at the lifting height of the trolley, how the handles were placed and above all, how to best take the curves in the aisles the most gentle way for the body.
The company’s major profit
After the analysis with Helge Nyberg AB, trolleys were produced and taken for test runs. After carefully consideration the choice became a step trolley with room for six boxes, instead of one, as before.
This means that they now can pick to six shops at the same time and there’s a huge gain in both efficiency an ergonomics.
– The personnel don’t need to go as many steps a day anymore and they aren’t as tired in their legs when they come home, Therese says.
All of the trolleys are exactly the same, but they’re individually tailored to each and every one of the staff, who have their own trolley.
– That the trolleys are that adjustable, is worth gold, Therese says. The handles are mounted as the picker wants them for best comfort.
Accessories such as a document holder and a pen tray is placed in a confortable height for the driver. They have chosen to put the frame a little bit higher than usual in order to be able to hold on to when climbing the steps.
Tommy Snell has been working at Mekonomen’s warehouse since 2005 and he’s particularly happy with the steps.
– I’m pretty short so I use the ladder a lot. It’s nice that it’s stable so that you can turn around when you’re standing on the top step, he says.
Heavy gets easy
Allthough the load on the trolley is much more heavier now because of the increased number of boxes, Tommy feels like the trolley is lighter.
– The wheels makes the trolley roll extremely easy, says Tommy who had a back problem earlier and therefore appreciates the company’s thought of ergonomics even more.
– The trolley is the tool the personnel uses and we know that we can meet most demands by focusing on ergonomics, Therese Nilsson says.
The result besides healthy and happy staff, Mekonomen gains time on each pick. Since they have so many different zones that differ in the picking, the efficiency is difficult to calculate. But it’s estimated that they have increased efficiency by 30%.