The new Bartofil’s wholesaler warehouse in Brazil

The new Bartofil’s wholesaler warehouse in Brazil

In Bartofil’s wholesaler warehouse worker prepare almost 1,000 order daily and manage 35,000 pallets

Bartofil Distribuidora

The wholesaler Bartofil Distribuidora has put one of its business strategies into play: expanding itself throughout the Northeast of Brazil. To face down this challenge, it has constructed a new warehouse in the town of Feira de Santana. Mecalux has equipped this facility with pallet racks and a four-story picking tower. These solutions are designed to streamline the order fulfilment of an average of 1,000 orders per day.

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Family business under expansion

Francisco Bartolomeu Cordero, a shoemaker and farmer, needed to expand business activities to take care of his large family. At that point, he encouraged one of his older sons to move to the city to learn salesmanship. A few years later, in 1951, they founded the family business.

By 1958, the company already owned and operated a network of retail shops spread throughout the Ponte Nova region (in the State of Minas Gerais). Its strategy consisted of buying products in bulk to distribute to all its shopfronts. It would then sell any surplus to third-party buyers; thus, branching out into the wholesale business.

From then on and up to the present, Bartofil Distribuidora has become one of the principle wholesalers in Brazil, doing business in almost every state and with a workforce that exceeds 1,600 employees.

Bartofil Distribuidora rethinks logistics

Bartofil Distribuidora has a 41,000 m2 logistics centre in Ponte Nova. As Lucio Flávio B. Bartolomeu, the company’s operational director, explains “This facility is the staging point to store and distribute our products to close to 500 suppliers from various Brazilian states.”

“However, what we really needed was another warehouse,” he admits. The reason is that the company was looking at expanding its business volume in the country’s North Eastern region. To do so, it recently opened a 23,000 m2 distribution centre in the town of Feira de Santana (Bahía State).

The warehouse comprises pallet racking from Mecalux that fill almost the entire available surface area. The racks stand 12 m high and 91 m long, providing storage capacity for 33,400 pallets. According to the operations manager, this solution was chosen because “we have Mecalux racks in our Ponte Nova warehouse. So, we knew full well of their advantages and quality.”

Plus, “Mecalux has fulfilled our expectations on fire safety,” he points out. For example, special shelves were installed so that aerosol products cannot spread flames, in case of a fire. Likewise, these storage levels include a higher number of automatic sprinklers that would spray directly on this zone, if it became necessary.

Mecalux also installed a four-story picking tower set aside for high and medium rotation products (type A and B). It involves two blocks of live racks and, among which, feature live storage for picking capable of housing up to seven boxes deep in each one of the channels. In this zone, racks store around 21,280 boxes and 1,744 pallets.

Lucio Flávio B. Bartolomeu - Operations manager of Bartofil Distribuidora
“In our Mecalux racks, we can store all our palletised products filled with a huge variety of SKUs. We are satisfied because these are highly versatile structures, which have adapted to the weight and size of all the products housed in our facility.”

Huge work volumes

“In the warehouse, we slot close to 10,000 different SKUs that include items for automobiles, construction, sports, entertainment, stationery and computers,” assures Lucio Flávio B. Bartolomeu. In this sense, the pallet racking proved to be the most suited to storing such a grand variety of products; since they include accessories that adjust the locations’ size to the goods.

The Bartofil Distribuidora warehouse stands out for its massive work volumes. Day after day it receives an average of 250 pallet and ships out another 250 that are distributed, mainly, to clientele in the Bahía State and in North Eastern Brazil. By offering direct access to the products, pallets can be slotted and retrieved from these racks faster.

The proper distribution of the goods is also crucial for facilitating the operators’ work. Products with similar features are grouped in specific zones. So, one simply goes to the zone in question to carry out picking, when these particular items are needed. Daily, they prepare around a 1,000 orders, which made allocating a zone to this operation a crucial decision: i.e., the picking tower.

Live racking is arranged on both sides of the high-rise block. The goods are introduced into one end and slide by gravity to the opposite side, which faces the picking aisle. The operators collect the products right off the first pallet (the ones behind it contain the same SKU and are used as reserves).

Live picking shelves run between the blocks of live racking. They comprise three roller platforms and are set on a slight incline so that boxes slide through gravity. The advantage of these solutions is that stock is always available, meaning pick tasks can be carried out.

Each one of the four floors is sectored, designated to certain products. The operators collect the items that comprise each order directly from the shelves of the live storage for picking units. Operators follow the order grouping method, which consists of preparing several orders during the same trip.

Advantages for Bartofil Distribuidora

  • Quick, efficient operations: the warehouse is designed to facilitate 250 incoming and outgoing pallets and the order fulfilment of 1,000 orders/day.
  • Greater storage capacity: Bartofil Distribuidora can store 35,144 pallets and 21,280 boxes, enough storage capacity to supply its customers in the country’s Northeast.
  • Surface area usage: stretching 91 m long, the pallet racks fill almost the entire warehouse surface.
Warehouse of Bartofil Distribuidora: Pallet racking
Storage capacity: 33,400 pallets
Pallet size: 1,000 x 1,200 mm
Max. pallet weight: 1,000 kg
Racking height: 12 m
Racking length: 91.3 m