Case Study: Picking the Right Tote is Critical to Distribution Center’s Success

October 2014, Akron, Ohio — What’s the easiest way to design a conveyor system in a new facility? Knowing what you want from the start!
Akro-Mils’ 35230 Nest & Stack Totes were the tote of choice in a new 562,000-sq.-ft. distribution/fulfillment center in Kentucky. This facility was built for a distributor of items ranging from Bath & Body Works products to DVDs from the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).
The plant‘s manager says that as its integrated material handling system designer was designing the new facility and conveyor system, a decision was made quickly that the 35230 Nest & Stack Tote was the best product for the application — in terms of size, quality and durability. “It’s clear that no one else could supply the product Akro-Mils did,” he says.
Akro-Mils’ Nest & Stack Totes stack with or without lids, turn 180 degrees, and nest when empty. NSTs are ideal for storage, work-in-process or shipping applications.
The totes are one of the most vital parts of the distribution center’s infrastructure, the plant manager explains:
• The totes are used to transfer products via conveyor belt to numerous locations in the plant — including shipping, receiving, order picking, and order packing.
• Totes are bar-coded and placed on the conveyor line.
• Each tote is scanned and linked to a specific order.
• As many as 55 orders can then be picked from a single tote.
• Totes end up at a gravity flow rack where orders are packed.
“Without these specific totes, there is no way we could accomplish the tasks that need to be done,” he says.
The benefits of the Nest & Stack Tote became apparent to plant employees and managers from the start, he says: the totes ride very well on the conveyors; it saves the facility time and money by making employees more efficient; utilizing the totes frees up time and space for the employees to do tasks other than picking and transferring items; and the facility has only had to replace a few totes over the years — a great return on investment!
The product distributor has been so satisfied with the Nest & Stack Totes that additional totes have been purchased as the company’s operations have expanded over the years.
From the design stage to daily use, Akro-Mils’ Nest & Stack Totes turned out to be the perfect solution for the company’s storage, organization and transport needs, the plant manager says. “To be honest, we rarely think about the totes because we never have any problems with them!”
About Akro-Mils
Akro-Mils, a Myers Industries, Inc. company (NYSE: MYE), is a leading manufacturer of plastic and metal storage, organization, transport and material handling products for use in industrial, medical/pharmacy, commercial and consumer markets. For more information or to request a catalog, contact Akro-Mils at 800-253-2467, fax 330-761-6348, or visit the company’s award-winning website at .

Akro-Mils Media Contact:
Ken Torisky
Communications Manager