Growing E-Commerce Business Sur La Table Phases in Packaging Upgrades

Sur La Table is a premium culinary store with a single distribution center that handles more than 150,000 units a day during the peak holiday season. They wanted a economical solution to increase storage capacity and throughput of orders, accommodate a growing number of online, direct-to-consumer orders, ability to easily offer value-add activities (i.e. gift wrapping)

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Quick video transcript:

Sur La Table is a cookware tabletop retail company. Sur La Table actually is French for on the table. So anything that you would find on the table or in your kitchen is what would be the products we deal with.

Our distribution center opened in March of 2004. Our first project with Bastian Solutions was in 2006, where we installed a direct packing line. We added some conveyor, and gave us a little bit straighter, longer area to work within.

2010 we added another line right next to that one. In the same area, direct area.

In 2011 we took in additional 110,000 square feet of this building, and at that time we had Bastian install a sort loop, to process cross sock and as well as we added some some racking.

In 2012 we worked very closely with their local management team in trying to develop a vision for a growth of this facility on a larger scale. and they used a lot of our existing conveyor. Added a little bit of new conveyor and we were able to expand our sort lift for the retail side.

in 2013 we took the remaining 88,000 square feet of the building. At that time Bastian Solutions added a new direct packing line which can accommodate over 30, 30 to 40 different pack stations, a merge at the end of the line, or actually a transfer at the end of the line so that we can currently loaded into three trailers.

Ecommerce Packing Solution using barcodes, geami wrap, fillpak paper machine, and case tapers

2014 we worked again with Bastian to add storage locations in terms of pallet wracking and we also added two more direct pack lines. One that is dedicated to gift-wrap and the other is dedicated to express packages.

Sur la Table handles their orders basically in two different veins. One is retail which goes out to their stores, and the other is direct to customer. The retail is predominately a case pick and is done both out a pic module and out of fixed pallet locations. Those are done off of pallet jacks off of paper picking some, and also of some RF you would have. Those were then consolidated in various areas, loaded onto a conveyor system or transported via the full pallet to shipping area.

In the shipping area its a manual sortation where those products are are then loaded onto a pallet, palletized shipped out via LTL.

In the direct area, again it’s a manual pick. More on to carts into some form of a carrier whether it be a tray or a tote, sometimes directly in the box. Those then, some of those go through special handling then it’s taken to a process area where its packed out then moved on through their shipping areas and then those are all shipped out via FedEx or UPS.

We’re heavy seasonally oriented.  So in terms of retail if we look at units on the retail side, this would be servicing 25, 28 stores a day. On the retail side non-peak we’re gonna process seventy to seventy-five thousand units. Peak that’ll double to 150 I think our absolute record day was right at 200,000 units on the retail side.



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