Jaycar Electronics doubles output and storage volume

New highly customised Swisslog warehouse automation solution in Sydney, Australia

Jaycar and Swisslog cut the ribbon at the new facility to mark the successful implementation of Jaycar Group’s new automated warehouse

Major Australian and New Zealand (ANZ) electronics retailer and e-tailer, Jaycar Group, has marked a significant milestone with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, as its Swisslog warehouse automation solution finalises optimisation and moves to full production.

The new 25.5m high distribution centre (DC) in Eastern Creek, Sydney, is 21,595 sq m – even larger than the Sydney Cricket Ground (which is about 16,000 sq m), and greatly increases Jaycar’s storage and output within the same footprint as the previous warehouse.

“This was a significant decision, showing the family’s confidence in the future growth opportunities across ANZ for the business by the founder, Gary Johnston, and Chair, Kerry Johnston,” said Justin Mackedie, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Electus Distribution, which is the entity responsible for warehousing, distribution, stock, and servicing for Jaycar.

We’re doubling our volume within the same warehouse space, which is even more important with industrial land prices continuing to rise in Sydney and major cities,” he said.

Jaycar Electronics Group is a leading Australian and New Zealand retailer of electronics, leisure, and related products, with a network of more than 326 company reseller stockist store across ANZ.

Jaycar Group and Swisslog leadership teams at the official ribbon-cutting ceremony at Jaycar Group’s new warehouse in Eastern Creek, NSW.

The new Swisslog automated warehouse includes a 20,000 pallet capacity multi-deep automated pallet store, with a fully automated 24,000 tote and carton goods-to-person picking system, with the capacity to facilitate future expansion.

“The warehouse is performing exceptionally well, and Jaycar is achieving 99.7% DIFOT (Delivered In Full On Time) on orders,” said Mackedie.

“Swisslog was chosen for this project because it was able to provide a complete end-to-end solution that was tailored to Jaycar’s needs. One of those needs was the ability to expand in line with our planned second phase of expansion in the years ahead,” he said.

“Swisslog was integrally involved in the DC design, which meant it was designed with a view to further increases in throughput and storage as Jaycar continues to expand its operations.”

“Utilising Swisslog’s Vectura crane multi-deep pallet storage system, we can store pallets seven deep instead of the typical one or two, which means we can achieve about a 30% increase in storage per square metre of warehouse space.”

Swisslog Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand, Dan Ulmamei, said Swisslog’s methodology of working collaboratively with its customers was crucial to the success of this project where the Swisslog and Jaycar teams worked together on remote commissioning and testing during times with Covid restrictions in place.

Jaycar Group ribbon-cutting ceremony attendees re-fuelled with coffee before embarking on a site tour

“Even with Covid challenges, there were no delays to the project, and I appreciate all the hard work that made this possible. We have an on-site System Operations team at Jaycar, so that we can continually optimise operations, and respond swiftly to any service or maintenance needs,” he said.

Intelligent software

Swisslog is also responsible for service and maintenance of all the mechanical equipment, as well as the SynQ software that provides a Warehouse Management System (WMS) to control the automation.

SynQ is a software powered by Swisslog that stands for synchronised intelligence. It synchronises people, process, and machines for efficient operations. In addition to being a WMS, it can perform the task of a WCS (Warehouse Control System), or MFS (Material Flow System), and can seamlessly interact with ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and e-shop systems.

“SynQ’s ability to provide real-time monitoring and visualisation gives us useful data that can help shape smart strategic decisions, and optimise warehouse productivity, efficiency, and throughput, while eliminating bottlenecks,” said Mackedie.

Justin Mackedie, right, and Dan Ulmamei, centre, enjoy the chance to catch up and network with the broader teams from Jaycar Group and Swisslog. Pictured left is also Franz Wiebe, Swisslog Head of Customer Service, Australia and New Zealand.

“SynQ optimises the storage of goods, placing fast moving goods near the point of dispatch, and slower moving goods towards the back of the storage. It can also make sure a seven-deep storage row often contains all the same product for further efficiencies,” he said.

“What really sets SynQ apart from other software is its ability to ‘click and solve’ directly from the 3D visualisation. An operator can access any pallet within the automated warehouse, and can make changes to that pallet directly – such as sending it to the reject station to be checked if something doesn’t look right.”

Safe and ergonomic worstations was a crucial element for Jaycar Electronics Group

A safe and ergonomic solution

Jaycar’s new automated warehouse solution is designed with optimum safety and ergonomics in mind, which is something Justin Mackedie applauds for this project.

“It was important to me that the solution came with ergonomic workstations, because comfortable workers are more productive – and it’s also the right thing to do, to take care of worker health and safety,” he said.

“With an automated warehouse there are less manual interactions between machines and people, which also reduces risks of injuries and other safety hazards,” he adds.

Growth plans

Jaycar has ambitious plans to significantly grow its physical and digital networks within the next five years, and plans further growth over the next 20 years, building on the strong foundations founder Gary Johnston has built.

“This high-tech, highly automated storage, handling, and picking solution will set Jaycar Group up for consistent growth and better delivery to its customers. Swisslog has the global experience, local knowledge, and complete solution to turn Jaycar’s warehousing needs into a reality,” concluded Mackedie.

High quality picture for reporting

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