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Order picking robot and manually in perfect combination

At Intersport’s warehouse in Nässjö, Sweden, the order picking robot runs hand in hand with the trucks and trolleys from Helge Nyberg AB. The picking for the online shop starts in the robot and continues to trolleys that are being transported by truck. Herefrom the manual picking begins to pick up products that do not fit into the automatic picking system.

When the trolleys are disconnected from the truck, the products can be packed and sent to the customer.
Stellan Jonsheim, service and development manager

Last year, Intersport’s warehouse was relocated to its own premises in Nässjö, Sweden, departing from a 3PL solution. Stellan Jonsheim is service and development manager and he explains the decision as follows:
– ”We wanted to feel that we have development and management in our own hands. This is a long-term investment, which we believe will be the best for us in the long run.”
Intersport is developing the picking system project to integrate the robotic picking together with the manual picking. 



" – The truck and trolley train is our shining star right now."
Stellan Jonsheim, service and development manager, Intersport


Finds the flow in the combination
The e-commerce picking begins in Auto-store and from there the products are placed on shelf trolleys divided into 32 compartments with adjustable dividers and pick-train connection.
The trolleys are docked into Ergobjörn 710 (BT Optio TSE 100W-710) and drives through the aisles to continue the picking. The truck has stable folding ladders to safely reach the higher shelves.
The combination of truck and trolley solutions, together with the order picking robot is successful and the result is quicker picking.
– ”With the right products in the right places at the warehouse, the picking gets faster”, Stellan Jonsheim says.
– ”All products do not fit into the robot, therefore a combination is the best way to find a flow that is as effective as possible.”
The trucks are equipped with a computer where the driver has a clear overview of the orders.

Long time cooperation
The cooperation between Helge Nyberg AB and Intersport extends over 20 years. At the latest relocation, it felt natural to look at solutions with truck and trolley trains.
– ”The truck and trolley train is our shining star right now”, Stellan says. 
The shelf trolleys may need to be supplemented with some special trolleys for bulky goods, such as skis and ice hockey clubs.

Double the sales every year
E-commerce is growing at a furious pace, with doubled sales figures every year over the last five years.
Returns, on the other hand, are more rare. Unlike other e-merchants, who has customers that order a product in several sizes, it’s rarely happening at Intersport.
– ”We do not see that kind of behavior of our customers”, says Stellan.
– ”We believe that it may be because customers feel confident of being able to return the items in one of our stores.”

The world’s largest sports chain
Intersport is the world’s largest sports chain with over 5,500 stores in 44 countries. In Sweden, there are 2,000 employees in 150 stores.
At the warehouse in Nässjö, approximately 7,500 order rows per work pass are picked. Both to stores and e-commerce. Only e-commerce is about 2,000 picking orders per day.