This is how Mercadona employees call their logistics center located in León. This logistics center receives this name due to its commitment to technology so that employees do not have to make physical efforts during their workday. In the next post I am going to show you what I have learned about how this large 80000m2 facility works.
To get an idea of its distribution, this logistics center consists of 4 warehouses: one for dry products, one for cold products, one for frozen products and one for packaging. In addition, they have a bread factory. It employs 400 employees, of the 100 are dedicated to maintenance activities and the other 300 to supervision.
How do they work?
When they receive the trucks with the products, they separate the products into two categories, the products with high turnover and the products with less rotation. Products with a high turnover do not undergo any manipulation, they are directly sent to the stores as they arrive.
However, the products with less turnover go through several processes before being sent to the stores since the stores hardly have a warehouse because what matters is that the products are in view of the consumer, so they have to distribute it in boxes. First, a machine disassembles the pallet that contains only one product.
Second, each box is associated with a chip so that you have full control over its location. Later the product box is associated with other boxes of other products that will form the pallet that goes to the stores (each store has different interests, so each pallet is different), this process is called ‘wedding’.
Finally, another high-tech machine that knows the size of each product, places the boxes appropriately on the pallet based on their volume and fragility. After this step, the pallet is ready to be shipped. This entire process reduces 75% the time on the work that employees did manually.
As employees assure, the most complex thing about these centers is that the materials and information flow properly.
In addition, as additional information, to get an idea of the magnitude of this logistics center, each day they receive 1,000 trucks and are responsible for distributing the products to 110 stores in 4 different autonomous communities such as Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria and Castilla y León.