Woolworths selects Dematic to automate its new National Distribution Centre

Dematic has announced it has been selected by Primary Connect, the supply chain arm of Australia’s largest supermarket, Woolworths Group, to commision a state-of-the art automated fulfilment system for its new National Distribution Centre in Sydney.

Located in Moorebank Logistics Park, Sydney, the Dematic solution for the new National Distribution Centre (NDC) will build store-friendly pallets for Woolworths’ retail stores.

The Flexible Mixed Case Order Fulfilment system, powered by the Dematic iQ Warehouse Management System (WMS), will handle 9,000+ products from 900 suppliers, delivering daily to over 1,000 stores nationally.

The 40,700 square metre Moorebank NDC is planned to feature wall-to-wall automation, providing the flexibility to cater for seasonal and other peaks in demand, such as those experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is designed to deliver store orders, catering for Woolworth’s expected growth with built-in scalability and modularity.

“Our local capability with over 600 employees and a manufacturing facility in Belrose, Sydney, ensures we continue to provide quality service and systems to our customers,” said Michael Jerogin, CEO of Dematic APAC.

“We are very proud to be a trusted partner of Woolworths and thrilled to be building on this partnership by playing a key role in Woolworths’ automation strategy.”

Dematic, a global leader and innovator in warehouse automation, has a long history with over 50 years presence in Australia serving the supply chain industry.

The transport advantages alone are expected to provide benefits to Woolworths, helping to remove at least 26,000 truck movements between Woolworths facilities from New South Wales roads annually.

“The investment at Moorebank is designed to transform the way we serve our stores, strengthen our network and deliver on our ambition to create Australia’s best food and grocery supply chain,” said Paul Graham, Primary Connect Managing Director and Woolworths Group Chief Supply Chain Officer.

“Cutting-edge automation will build tailored pallets for specific aisles in individual stores — helping us improve on-shelf product availability with faster restocking, reducing congestion in stores and enabling a safer work environment for our teams with less manual handling.

“We expect the new facilities to also help us progress our localised ranging efforts, with the ability to hold thousands of additional products centrally than we can in our existing facilities.”

Pas Tomasiello, Senior Director – Integrated Systems, Dematic and his team have worked closely with Woolworths Supply Chain Development Team to optimise and leverage the full scalability of the Dematic systems.

“The new facility is designed to help Woolworths carry a higher range of slow-moving packaged products much more efficiently in a centralised location, rather than being spread across multiple sites,” explained Pas. “Consolidation, coupled with advanced automation, will allow Woolworths to achieve new volume milestones and make significant gains in the speed and accuracy of deliveries to stores across the nation.”

The Dematic iQ WMS will interface into Woolworths’ systems and provide Industry 4.0 DC capabilities with system interconnectivity, data-driven intelligence and decision support tools, delivering enhanced DC operations with faster insights and decision capabilities.

The Moorebank NDC is scheduled to be operational late 2023.

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