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Lanner has worked with Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) to implement warehouse simulation software that has improved efficiency and increased volume at one of the company’s European distribution centres.

Following implementation of the technology, the beverage manufacturer has increased the volume of bulk products moving through its Northampton, UK, depot by 18 per cent and has saved USD2.6m (GBP1.7m) in supply-chain costs.

The simulation models created by the simulation-modelling software looked at variables such as traffic flows, shift patterns, time of day and different truck-load configurations.

Having examined the simulations, CCE was able to create the optimum mix of lanes, bays and parking spaces for the centre to cope with extra volume.

CCE said in a release that it is looking to double revenue from USD3bn to USD6bn by 2014, and this meant that it needs to increase its throughput and turnaround time in the distribution centre.

An internal project team was set up by CCE to work with Lanner’s consultants, who use the simulation software to create models and video simulations that analyse areas where efficiency could be improved.

Danny Clark, a manager on the Lanner project, described how simulation was essential for the business’s strategy and said CCE will use the software again in the future.

He said: ‘We did try to work out how to maximise throughput efficiency ourselves, but found using information from other sites we own was not relevant to the specifics of this location.

‘Lanner spent around five months with us from start to finish.

‘The software took all the live data from the previous year and was able to look at how the site was running by hour every day.

‘This allowed us to accurately assess where we could make things more efficient.

‘We have started to make plans to extend the site next year and will definitely use the simulation again,’ Clark added.

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