Warehouse multi-tier system and racking project

An extensive operational analysis and highly detailed warehouse appraisal led to the fit-out of Daler-Rowney’s new warehouse facility. The resulting solution, including the creation of a three-floor, multi-tier picking zone has allowed Daler-Rowney to consolidate multiple storage facilities, whilst optimising picking rates, storage capacity and warehouse footprint.



Client Background

Daler-Rowney Ltd, alongside its parent company Fabbrica Italiana Lapis ed Affini S.p.A (F.I.L.A) is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of fine arts materials. They have an extensive product range comprising of paints, brushes and canvas materials, with their UK head office and storage facility based in Bracknell, Berkshire.


Daler-Rowney Ltd



Bracknell, Berkshire


Project Services:

Warehouse Storage Appraisal, Space Planning, Design, Supply & Installation, Fit Out, Project Delivery

Warehouse multi-tier system with VNA pallet racking
Warehouse safety solutions - anti collapse mesh
Staircase within a multi-tier picking structure

Operational analysis and  warehouse simulation


SEC Storage were invited by Daler-Rowney to propose an intelligent solution that would solve their existing storage issues - optimising their operation and allowing for an estimated 10% growth in product volumes year-on-year.


Upon SEC's initial meeting, it was understood that Daler-Rowney had outgrown their existing, Bracknell based storage facility, in turn leading to the creation of a number of logistical issues due to their operation being over capacity. These issues, combined with a reliance on a paper based picking and sortation system meant that a new operational solution was required.


The company was also looking to relocate their existing operation into a newly built, larger mixed-use facility in the nearby area, and as part of this relocation process additional products from Daler-Rowney's other warehouses across the UK and Europe, including a 3PL location and another F.I.L.A warehouse were to be consolidated into this new facility in order to further reduce overheads.


In order to fully understand how SEC Storage could positively impact Daler-Rowney’s operation SEC looked to produce a full-scale model of each zone of the warehouse via a programmed simulation, complete with pickers, mechanical handling equipment and the overall warehouse layout. SEC also analysed the additional datasets that were provided by Daler-Rowney in order to run a full and accurate simulation of the picking environment, and the outputs that we believed were achievable in order to design the best possible solution for the company moving forward.



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See how the project came together...

The creation of a  dedicated picking zone


SEC's stock placement analysis identified that Daler-Rowney uses four specific carton types, segmented into: quarter size, half size, full size and an undefined size for miscellanious products. Once this had been established and the warehouse simulations were run, SEC was able to devise an optimal aperture that would allow for the storage of all of Daler-Rowney's SKUs. The next step - to design the storage solution that would house of all these SKUs.


In order to achieve Daler-Rowney’s key goals: maximising storage efficiency, increasing the volume of stock and the number of picking locations, SEC looked to design and install a dedicated picking zone in the form of a rack supported, multi-tier system. The combined footprint of all three floors of the multi-tier totals over 64,000 sq/ft, allowing for the storage of around 14,000 apertures which will house the majority of Daler-Rowney’s arts and crafts products.


A VNA (very narrow aisle) racking installation was also constructed, comprising of over 300 racking bays in a 20,000 sq/ft area. This separate installation was built to hold large paper and canvas based products, along with non-paper items that have an undefined aperture.


The resulting works have provided Daler-Rowney with five dedicated zones for the storage of the four carton types, including the three floors of the multi-tier system, the VNA zone and an additional bulk stacking zone. This new storage setup now fully utilises the facilities footprint, whilst ensuring maximum capacity for all product types. 


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Warehouse space planning service
Adjustable pallet racking forming a multi-tier structure
VNA (very narrow aisle) racking system

Looking towards the future…


SEC's solution has revolutionised Daler-Rowney’s storage and distribution capabilities, whilst allowing for further operational gains. All of the company’s key objectives have been met, including the need to increase SKU density and pick accuracy. The consolidation of multiple storage facilities has further increased the cost-effectiveness of the operation, whilst providing Daler-Rowney with the ability to further optimise the facility with the use of mechanisation.


Mechanisation was built into the core of SEC's initial solution, with allowances being made for the installation of a dedicated warehouse conveyor system within the multi-tier system in the near future. Once installed, this conveyor system will help to further reduce warehouse operatives travel time, as pickers will only be required to operate within small zones - maximising the time spent at the pick face. The conveyor system will also have a significant impact on the collation process due to its ability to route orders based upon their profile and volume. This will ultimately result in a radical improvement on time spent collating and packaging orders, that when combined with barcode scanning and an enhanced sortation process will also lead to an increase in pick accuracy.


Overall, the fit-out of this impressive facility with a combined total of over 85,000 sq/ft of storage systems serves as a flagship project for SEC Storage, and one that showcases the full capabilities of all our team's skills, including sales, design, project delivery and installation.



Interested to see how we've optimised other warehouse operations? View our case studies...

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