GLENVIEW, IL — Electrial products/solutions distributor Anixter celebrated the opening of a new custom-built distribution facility in Lichfield, West Midlands, U.K., with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and key exchange on March 22. Despite having 180,000 less square feet than the old facility in Birmingham, U.K., the new Lichfield distribution center has 20 percent more cubic storage capacity as a result of the improved floor plan, more efficient design and the cube capacity gain from having racking that extends to 42 feet.
The Lichfield distribution center was designed to achieve a BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) “Very Good” rating and the best possible Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating for its size. It utilizes a combination of skylights, motion-activated LED lighting, and rooftop solar installation that will generate 10 percent of its regulated energy. It also features built-to-suit spaces for product preparation and staging, including a camera testing and configuration room, value-added services area and contractor services area.
“At approximately 213,000 sq. ft., this new distribution hub will be Anixter’s largest distribution center in Europe, serving our markets in the United Kingdom and mainland Europe,” said Ross Brown, regional operations manager for Anixter in the U.K. “With additional storage capacity and new areas allocated for supply chain services, we will be able to get product into the shipping system and out to our customers much faster.”
According to Brown, Anixter is looking to implement pick-to-voice technology in the facility in 2019, which will further increase the efficiency of its warehouse associates, while enhancing safety and accuracy. With Bluetooth headsets and Android devices directing them to their next pick, employees will have their hands and eyes free, and be able to confirm vocally in their preferred language.
“Having a modern, efficient distribution center in Lichfield is critical to supporting Anixter’s operations in the region, not only in the U.K., but all throughout Europe,” said Orlando McGee, executive vice president of global operations for Anixter.