Primrose has added a new fleet of Flexis
Online garden supplies retailer Primrose has upgraded the materials handling fleet at its Sharpness, Gloucestershire high-bay fulfilment centre with a new fleet of Flexi articulated forklift trucks from Narrow Aisle Ltd.
Flexi articulated truck technology has been deployed at the Sharpness facility for several years, and when the operation was due to be revamped to keep pace with Primrose's expansion, the company had no hesitation in turning again to Flexis.
The new models specified are the latest 'Digital' Flexi trucks and have a lift height of 12 m.
Importantly for Primrose, operating Flexi articulated truck technology means that the company is able to create key order picking locations at every picking level - something that would prove impossible had the company opted for a guided man-up VNA installation.
At its Sharpness facility, Primrose relies on its Flexi fleet to handle over 8,000 product lines that include garden furniture, water features and fencing.
Some 3,000 customer orders are processed at the site each day, and Primrose guarantees next-day delivery on all orders placed before 3.0 pm.
The intensity of the throughput pace at the Sharpness site has increased markedly during the pandemic as gardening became a popular way of passing time during lockdown. This, combined with the fact of the huge variation in the size, shape and weight of the products handled, makes any Primrose forklift operator's role particularly challenging.
That is why warehouse safety is regarded particularly seriously by Primrose: the company's operators all receive regular refresher training on both stacking and safe order picking within the aisle, and to further reduce risk, each of the Flexi trucks within Primrose's fleet has been fitted with Narrow Aisle's unique 'Smart Stop' in-aisle sensing system. The 'Smart Stop' in-aisle sensor immediately disables the truck if it comes into contact with an object, such as a pallet load, racking or rack guards within the aisle.
In the time since the new Flexi trucks with 'Smart Stop' have been in service at Primrose's Sharpness facility, incidents of rack damage have been completely eliminated and costs incurred in carrying out repairs reduced to zero.