Natura Bissé: A tailor-made automated warehouse
The automated installation was built in an 8-metre-deep pit adjusted to Natura Bissé's building
Natura Bissé is a renowned cosmetics company with over 2,500 points of sale worldwide.
With cosmetic products for all skin types, Natura Bissé’s strong commitment to innovation and technology has made it a leader in its industry.
Growth and international expansion have led Natura Bissé to overhaul and centralise its logistics operations.
As part of its strategic plan, the company has opened a modern facility to house its production lines, laboratory, offices and storage area.
Natura Bissé chose Mecalux to automate its logistics operations and connect its warehouse with its production lines.
Apart from being a brand that markets our products, we’re also manufacturers. All this creates very different internal needs depending on the particular focus of our logistics operations.
We can have 300 to 400 pallet movements an hour and then supply an end customer with an individual product unit. It’s essential to have a well-balanced supply chain. We made the decision to go with Mecalux because we consider it to be an end-to-end supplier. There was a synergy between us — they were able to listen to and understand our needs. And this was in addition to the job it did, to its customer care service, and to the approachability of the Mecalux personnel working with us.
Due to the characteristics and the space limitations of the new Natura Bissé centre, Mecalux personalised the automated storage and retrieval system for pallets down to the last millimetre, digging a 70-metre-deep pit to gain capacity in height.
As a result, Natura Bissé has an AS/RS that stands 12 metres tall by 70 metres long and has a capacity for 2,300 pallets.
Consisting of two aisles, the AS/RS integrates automated conveyor systems:
- a pallet lift that connects the warehouse to the production lines on the upper floor;
- two reversible goods-in/goods-out stations;
- and a conveyor to transfer pallets from one aisle to the other.
One aisle houses the components and raw materials sent by external suppliers, while the other stores finished products from the production lines.
Easy WMS, the warehouse management software from Mecalux, is charged with monitoring product traceability in real time. Connected to Natura Bissé’s ERP system, Easy WMS tracks the products from the time they arrive at the warehouse until they are shipped to customers.
In addition to the AS/RS, Natura Bissé rounded out its facility with conventional storage systems.
Pallet racking speeds up goods handling and order picking, thanks to the direct access it offers.
M7 heavy duty shelving serves for the storage and preparation of orders containing small items.
Finally, push-back racking, located in the docking area, is used to store orders ready for dispatch.
This Natura Bissé facility is made up of two parts: one is production, where we manufacture the products we then sell all over the world, and the other is where we prepare and ship orders. The Mecalux solutions have helped us in both areas. The components arrive by lorry. They go through the receiving process and are stored in the AS/RS so that later, when necessary, production can order all the parts needed for a production order.
Once the product has been manufactured, it goes back to the AS/RS. Subsequently, when required for a customer order, it is retrieved and then dispatched.
With Easy WMS, we’ve optimised our processes significantly. It’s given us a lot of flexibility when it comes to fulfilling requests because our production and logistics zones are on two different floors. We’ve configured the aisles in the AS/RS so that one aisle stores the packaging components for production while the other houses finished products.
This has streamlined requests for goods and their distribution.
The AS/RS has also enabled us to optimise our warehouse space, which is very characteristic of Natura Bissé, with racks of different heights. It’s also allowed us to maximise the number of pallets per slot.
Easy WMS manages SKUs for both requests for pallets and outbound orders. This enables us to speed up the entire manufacturing process and even order picking requests.
Mecalux brought a very professional approach when it came to running this project. We saw this in the project definition phase — where we spent many hours discussing Natura Bissé’s needs in detail — and in the customisation of the facility to tailor it to our requirements. That goes for post-deployment as well: sometimes, when you implement a project, you realise you need to tweak certain things. And in this after sales phase, we’ve made some modifications, and the service has always been highly professional.
Natura Bissé has become a cosmetics industry benchmark through its commitment to the latest technology..
It now benefits from centralised logistics operations, two-way communication between the warehouse and production, rigorous traceability and a highly optimised space.
Mecalux has met the needs of this customer, delivering a personalised solution capable of responding to the logistics challenges of tomorrow.