Boland: logistics centralization for omnichannel strategy

Boland: logistics centralization for omnichannel strategy

The solution from Interlake Mecalux enables operators to be 10% faster when preparing orders


Boland, a Dutch costume and party accessory company, has centralized its logistics operations in a new warehouse in Bleiswijk (Netherlands). Interlake Mecalux has equipped it with pallet racking with capacity for 26,328 pallets, enabling Boland to meet a key logistics objective: to ship online orders within 12 hours.

Celebrating more than 50 years

Founded in 1970, Boland is a Dutch company that distributes costumes and party supplies throughout Europe. Its catalog includes 5,000 plus SKUs of products to celebrate any occasion.

Boland already had two facilities from which it distributed products to customers. However, it needed more space to be able to accommodate new merchandise. “We lacked storage capacity,” says Logistics Manager Niels Balvert.

Another challenge facing Boland was how to efficiently manage goods in two different warehouses. One of the facilities stored 14,000 pallets and the other, 4,000. The firm entertained opening a third warehouse, but it was concerned about a critical issue for its business: “complicating logistics operations even more.”

Therefore, Boland decided to open a new facility in Bleiswijk where it could bring all its logistics operations together under one roof while strengthening its omnichannel strategy. The 3.7-acre warehouse houses all of Boland’s goods. Balvert says: “By going from having two facilities down to just one, we’ve gained in efficiency. And we’re convinced this will help us to grow in the future.”

Agility and direct access

Boland sought a storage solution tailored to its wide range of products of varying sizes, characteristics, and turnovers. To that end, Balvert explains that the company contacted Interlake Mecalux due to “the competitive price of its storage solutions and the sound advice its team gave us.”

Interlake Mecalux proposed installing pallet racking, an ideal solution for housing a large number of pallets containing many different SKUs. One of its main advantages is its adaptability to any type of load, weight, and volume.

Almost the entire surface area of the warehouse consists of 32.8-foot-tall pallet racks. The facility is outfitted with 25 aisles measuring up to 253' long and pallet racks housing 26,328 pallets.

The warehouse operations themselves are very simple: to receive the pallets sent by suppliers in Asia and Europe, store them, and prepare orders to be distributed as soon as possible to customers all around Europe. Nevertheless, this requires optimal organization to prevent mistakes and delays.

The racks offer direct access to the products, which greatly streamlines goods management and order picking. This is fundamental for preparing and shipping online orders in 12 hours or less. “Picking is one of the main operations in our warehouse, so the storage system needs to facilitate it,” says Balvert.

In the aisles, high-bay order pickers are used for picking. The operators stand in a cabin that is lifted along with the load. From there, they pick the items that make up each order directly from the racks.

“We’re really happy with how order picking turned out because the racks make the work of the operators much easier. Our staff works with voice picking systems, and our operators are now 10% faster,” says Balvert.

Whistling while it works

Boland has completely overhauled its supply chain to adapt to the challenges of omnichannel retail. By concentrating all its logistics operations in a single space, it can manage all its products efficiently while reducing operating costs.

Proof of this is that, despite the difficulties brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, the company has not stopped serving its customers. Boland’s top priority is to gain momentum and continue offering party products to both physical shops and online users. And the pallet racks allow the company to ensure the total availability of its goods.

We’re thrilled with our new warehouse; it’s really well designed. The pallet racks make the most of the available space and enable us to accommodate our broad and varied assortment of items of differing sizes and weights.

Niels BalvertLogistics Manager, Boland

Advantages for Boland

  • Centralized logistics: Boland has brought all its goods, previously spread out among two facilities, into one space. This guarantees that all processes are much better organized, eliminating delays and errors.
  • Direct access: the racks provide direct access to 26,328 pallets, enough capacity for supplying Boland’s customers throughout Europe.
  • Efficient picking: the operators work with high-bay order pickers to prepare all the orders. The racks make their work easier.
Pallet racks
Storage capacity: 26,328 pallets
Pallet size: 32" x 47"
Max. pallet weight: 606 lb
Rack height: 33'
Aisle length: 253'

Products used in this project