The bag sorter is a warehouse technology that automates returns management and makes it much more efficient. This sorting solution speeds up processes, reduces walking distances, increases capacity and cushions peak times. Another strength of the system is its ability to flexibly adapt capacities to demand at any time, both during short-term order peaks, for example through the sale of promotional merchandise, and during seasonal fluctuations.
In order not to have to sort processed returns into the manual warehouse first and at the same time to ensure quick reavailability in the inventory, the articles are temporarily stored in a returns storage - the buffer. Experience shows that in the fashion business, around 90 per cent of returned items are followed by a new order in the following days. When processing the new order, the goods in the buffer are accessed first - this reduces the workload.
In order to always have enough items on hand, goods picked from the warehouse can also be fed into the buffer in addition to the returns. For orders with several articles, the system sorts the individual bags with the corresponding goods fully automatically in the correct order and transports them to the packing station.
The special scalability of the bag sorter results from its dynamic buffer. In this buffer, frequently requested items and returned items are kept in bags and do not have to be picked manually. Each bag, equipped with an RFID chip, is "married" to exactly one physical item. This can be lying or hanging goods, shoes or accessories.
approx. 198,000 bags in the system
up to 15,000 articles/hour
Time from order to invoice: 6 hours
This offers a significant improvement in overall returns management - which also has an impact on customer satisfaction. With this new storage technology, returned items are ready for resale after just 45 minutes, which ensures that fewer products have to be declared "sold out" in the online shop.
The efficiency of this storage technology is also shown by the use of the dynamic buffer. Approx. 50% of the ordered items are taken from this intermediate buffer.
This means that the goods do not even have to be stored in the picking warehouse and picked again, which saves some time-consuming intermediate steps in processing.