Henkel moves UK retail operations into automated DHL Supply Chain facility

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Chemical and consumer goods company Henkel has moved its UK beauty care retail supply chain to DHL’s Manton Wood (COMAH) facility in North Nottinghamshire in the UK, as part of its sustainability and digitalization strategy.

Henkel works with DHL Supply Chain across EMEA, APAC and the Americas and is currently working on 59 digitization and 79 sustainability projects globally. At the site, DHL will store on average 7,500 pallets and manage the dispatch of approximately 140 million units/cases and 6,000 orders a year, across 300 SKUs. The Manton Wood site incorporates an automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS), as well as advanced cranes designed to be 20% more energy efficient than the norm. The automation will handle approximately 75% of overall site volume, making it more labor efficient at a time when qualified labor is challenging to recruit.

Robotic process automation is used extensively for stock processes, again removing the need for colleagues to produce repetitive reports or pull data manually from the system. This directly creates lists for automated picking, which takes stock to the co-packing area. Meanwhile, wrapping robots improve productivity and use less material. Additional automation plans will further improve the facility’s operation, including robot arms for pallet and product movement and AGVs to improve pallet picking safety. These deployments are scheduled for later in 2022 and 2023.

With a BREEAM rating of ‘Very Good’, the new Manton Wood site features rainwater harvesting, solar panels for heating water, and timed and motion detection LED lights. Its air conditioning system runs on water rather than gas, while its digital record keeping boosts efficiency and paper saving. The strategic location of the site and DHL’s shared transportation network is also designed to create a significant reduction in road miles and therefore carbon emissions. In addition to the building’s environmental features, the site is also operating an all-electric shunt vehicle, capable of recharging during shift changeovers for continuous operation.

Jim Hartshorne, managing director of retail, consumer and Ireland, DHL Supply Chain, said, “Henkel is a perfect fit for Manton Wood; it’s a progressive company with big ambitions in terms of sustainability and digitalization, which is precisely what this site has been designed for. This facility really is best in class in terms of environmental features and automation, so we’re pleased to see such a valued customer benefiting from it.”

Tanja Gilb, director of supply chain Western Europe at Henkel Beauty Care, said, “We have a long-standing relationship with DHL and we’re delighted that they have the infrastructure and services we need to take our business forward in line with our purposeful growth strategy. The Manton Wood site supports our plans to cut carbon emissions from our supply chain and has the automation technology to ensure we can cost-effectively scale.”

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