Designing and Implementing an Automated Fulfillment Site

Case Study: eCommerce Fashion and Apparel

A High Fashion e-commerce brand was experiencing substantial growth that prompted the need for the business to streamline operations and build redundancy in fulfillment. They were previously operating two separate facilities: one served as an inbound operation with pallet storage, while the other facility served as a manual fulfillment operation. The company’s strategy was to consolidate their two facilities into one distribution and fulfillment center to streamline operations and reduce costs.  Miebach was asked to develop an optimal design for the new site that would improve productivity, efficiency, safety, and quality, decrease operating costs, and manage the project to ensure a timely implementation and a smooth Go-Live. 

Scalable Concept to Support Future Growth

Miebach determined that the best way to resolve all of these issues was a semi-automated solution that has the potential to scale up to a highly automated solution within the existing footprint. The new fulfillment center would consist of a 430,000 SQFT facility designed to handle up to 200K units per day during peak seasons, and up to 100K units of returns per day. Integrated automation linking fulfillment to the forward pick stations and shuttle system, acting as an order sequencing buffer, was key to the design:

  • Picking Mezzanine - 3 levels of pick to belt mezzanine
  • Pouch Sorter - capacity of 7,500 units per hour
  • GOH Trolley - inbound transport from receiving to storage
  • Shuttle with GTP - 6 aisle shuttle systems with 15 GTP stations
  • Conveyor Sorter - lanes based on individual carriers
  • Packing Station - 200+ packing stations integrated with pouch sorter to fulfill e-commerce requirements
  • VNA Reserve Storage - full pallet storage for reserve inventory and consumables


Miebach acted as the client’s technical advocate, solution controller, and project manager from concept design through implementation.  During the detailed design phase, new product categories were announced to be released, while at the same time the sales forecast increased by 40%, underscoring the need for the solution to be scalable to address future needs.  This new facility increased the client’s capacity by +400% and created redundancy for the business continuity. The implementation of automation to improve quality, accuracy, and simplify the consolidation process led to a 25% productivity increase for the client.