Automated Excellence: How AutoStore is Transforming Workwear Logistics

Workwear Uniform Group, Premier Sponsor of the 2024 Professional Clothing Industry Association Worldwide (PCIAW®) Summit, Exhibition & Awards, is equipped with the state-of-the-art AutoStore Warehouse Management System which allows them to efficiently serve clients across their different professional clothing and PPE brands. By fostering a spirit of collaboration between these brands, Workwear Uniform Group can leverage their diverse product offerings and streamlined warehouse operations to provide innovative workwear solutions tailored to the needs of a diverse range of customers.

As Premier Sponsors for the 2024 event, Workwear Uniform Group is sharing with PCIAW® how their advanced warehouse capabilities and brand synergies contribute to superior professional clothing offerings for the uniform and workwear industry.

What is the AutoStore warehouse and why is it significant?

Our AutoStore warehouse represents a significant step forward for Workwear Uniform Group, Incorporatewear and all related brands. It is also having a huge positive impact on our ability to offer industry-leading customer service.

The AutoStore Warehouse Management System uses fully automated robotics to automate product put-away and pick functions. This automated picking runs 24/7, 365 days a year and drastically increases the speed at which we can dispatch items.

It also ensures we have real-time access to accurate information about every single item in the warehouse at all times. This real-time data is pulled through our ERP system, allowing us to provide more detailed information to our customers regarding their orders.

How will the AutoStore warehouse help M&S overcome challenges that they face in their uniform programs?

In many ways. First, there’s the advantage of M&S receiving orders more quickly due to the improved speed of picking and dispatch. Compared to typical manually operated warehouses, the AutoStore system also quadruples usable storage space. This will enable us to hold significantly more of M&S’s stock ready for immediate dispatch as necessary, further adding to the speed with which we can provide them with their garments and ensure every new starter is ready to start their role with the correct uniform.

Combined with more accurate product picking and more detailed management information via AutoStore’s integration with our ERP system and online portals, we believe this system and our expertise in uniform rollouts will ensure M&S can eliminate any potential uniform challenges pre-emptively. 

How will the AutoStore help enhance the customer experience for M&S?

Aside from the above speed and accuracy benefits, a key advantage will be the level of management information, detailed reports and product data we can source through AutoStore and its integration with our ERP system. Customer service and proactive account management have always been key differentiators for Incorporatewear and the wider group, but this detailed real-time data enables us to be even more proactive and strategic in helping customers like M&S to mitigate issues and spot new opportunities for improvements.

How is M&S responding to the environmental benefits provided by the AutoStore operation in their uniform program?

M&S are yet to be fully transitioned over to the AutoStore system. However, with the system quadrupling usable storage space and reducing the emissions associated with every pick by 75% on average (compared to manually operated warehouses), this investment shows just how committed we are to supporting M&S’s sustainability strategy and their target of being a net-zero business across Scopes 1, 2 and 3 by 2040.

For instance, as with electric cars, the AutoStore robots are energy efficient, using regenerative technology to capture energy when the robot slows down or lowers a bin then put it back into the battery. This means a single robot only uses about 100 watts per hour of operation. In fact, a whole team of 10 robots consumes roughly the same amount of energy as common household appliances like a refrigerator or hair dryer.

The AutoStore warehouse is just one of a number of ways we’re investing in the sustainability of our operations as a Group, and in the process, helping valued customers like M&S to make their supply chains more sustainable.

Phone:  0121 543 1335

PCIAW Uniform Networks Buyer, Trusted member