First phase of AutoStore now operational!

Incorporatewear and the wider Workwear Uniform Group (WWUGL) are set to revolutionise our operational efficiency and significantly reduce our carbon footprint with a £15m investment in a state-of-the-art AutoStore warehousing system.

The first phase of our fully automated warehousing and distribution product handling system is now complete. The cutting-edge technology will transform the speed items are picked and dispatched, the quality of our customer service, and will also significantly reduce our carbon emissions.

We are the first in the industry to develop an intelligent picking system like AutoStore and our internally financed investment for our Oldbury headquarters aims to improve our operations significantly over the next 5 years.

Our Chief Executive at WWUGL, Sam Sohal, said: “We are investing in new technologies and innovations to drive our industry growth, whilst reducing our carbon footprint.

Sam Sohal sitting at a desk
Sam Sohal, Chief Executive Officer of Workwear Uniform Group

“Not only does this unique development help us as market leaders by providing our customers with the best possible delivery of goods, but also allows us to get the maximum use of space and still have room to double our business with a new system that is more efficient and accurate in our overall stock management.

“In addition, the AutoStore system will reduce our CO2 footprint and energy consumption to help meet our goal of being carbon neutral by 2025.”

In 2021, Direct Corporate Clothing (DCC) acquired Incorporatewear (ICW) to form WWUGL and we are now the largest independent workwear, uniform, and personal protective equipment provider in the UK. Previously, DCC and ICW occupied three logistics sites totalling 180,000 sq ft of space.

Our Oldbury site has now been developed into a super hub, and we have appointed Dematic as our partner in designing, building, and supporting these intelligent automated solutions.

Autostore picking and packing system
The automated picking and packing system implemented at our Oldbury site.

The extensive goods-to-person automation project will maximise space and streamline our storage – the 40m x 90m grid can store nearly 130,000 bins – with 60 robots working from nine picking stations improving inventory and shipment accuracy.

For our customers, this means:

  • Shorter lead times – More branded stock can be stored on-site to help navigate peak periods and meet unexpected stock demand.
  • Efficient order processing – With automated systems, items can be picked and packed at pace.
  • No delays – The AutoStore can operate 24/7, so we can fulfil more orders at quicker speeds.
  • Better carbon footprint – Reduced emissions from our processes means your overall carbon footprint is reduced

Our project’s second phase, which includes software functionality and connecting conveyors, is due for completion in the second quarter of 2024.

Alongside our new automated warehouse, we are also rolling out a best-in-class ERP system, allowing us to offer customers real-time dispatch, stock, SLA, and back-order information with tailored customer dashboards showing key management information.

Rebecca Jones, Managing Director of Direct Corporate Clothing, said:

“Effective order fulfilment has become a top priority for our company dealing with a high volume of orders, major labour constraints, and the continual need to do more with less.

“As a growing business, we are turning to innovative technologies to streamline our storage and increase our operational efficiencies and ultimately lower our carbon emissions output by reducing energy requirements and maximising our operation output.”

Looking to develop a new uniform range for the new year? Get in touch with our team using the button below.