The new Grégoire-Besson distribution centre guarantees fast, accurate order preparation

The combination of three storage systems lets merchandise be organised according to their characteristics and demand, streamlining order picking tremendously.

Video transcription

In the Grégoire Besson logistics center, a French multinational specialized in manufacturing farm equipment, everything is organized by a criterion of maximum throughput and increased productivity.

This project had to fix a problem area, centralizing spare parts dispatches from the six different manufacturing plants of the Grégoire Besson group. And, we also wanted to step-up outputs, which is the bottom-line for selling our equipment. So, we checked out different suppliers to try to get past both logistics, and IT issues. And, soon it was clear that Mecalux, with its solid grip on project management, was the way to go.


The outcome is a highly organized, 1.1 acre warehouse with very streamlined order picking.

A potential business partner would need to deliver a comprehensive technical solution that could take on everything from storing small parts, like a single bolt, up to 16 foot high boxes. So, we chose a triple storage solution: pallet racks for heavy and large-sized parts set on pallets; the miniload system for storing high rotation spare parts, which represents 70% of our products; and, lastly, cantilever racks to store bulky products.

The storage zone features versatile pallet racks that adapt to a wide variety of SKUs of distinct rotations, sizes and volumes. These racks store both palletized goods and containers.

Upper levels hold reserve products. Meanwhile, locations on the bottom have pallets to pick off. Some of these racks include slide-out platforms to deposit containers on, facilitating picking for operators.

These 25 foot high racks have a capacity to locate more than 4,400 pallets.

The AS/RS for boxes is composed of two aisles with double-deep racking on both sides that measure 154 feet long, 29 feet high and have 17 levels that house more than 10,000 boxes.

A stacker crane for boxes runs in each aisle, inserting and extracting goods from the locations automatically, according to the instructions of the Galileo control system. These machines work at speeds of 590 feet a minute and include an extraction system with telescopic forks that reach into second pallet positions.

The frontal warehouse area includes a roller conveyor circuit that shifts goods to two picking stations, where waves of four orders are prepared at once.

These days, our order prep is done in one fluid motion. That said, we still wanted to anticipate business growth at the Grégoire Besson group and deal with seasonal peaks in manufacturing. We can now accept orders an hour or more later than we use to with the miniload system, meaning our throughput in higher since order picking takes less time.

The area with cantilever racking rounds out the solutions set up by Mecalux to offload over-sized products. These stand 16 feet high and consist of columns and cantilever arms to rest the loads on.

A consolidation zone on the side of the warehouse is where orders are sent to be verified, then packaged and labeled.

The automatic management of the goods is done through the Easy WMS warehouse management system.

Using the Easy WMS software, we have improved the quality of our in-warehouse logistics flows, both in receptions and dispatches. Our operators work autonomously, thanks to the task-by-task guidance of the system, from picking items to loading the delivery trucks. When we sat down with Mecalux to do a functional analysis, we planned out a certain number of functionalities suited to Grégoire Besson, like automatic printing of packing lists or management of supplier batch codes. This collaboration didn’t end there. We are still developing functionalities together to facilitate the day-to-day work of our personnel.

In front of the pallet racks is a reception and dispatch zone, where orders are closed before being loaded onto the trucks.

The multinational Grégoire Besson needed a long-term business partner to face its recent growth. Mecalux has answered the call by implementing effective, adaptable solutions, which means the company has topped out productivity thanks to efficient picking, a high storage capacity and a custom-fit warehouse management system.