Aiming for growth: V and B robotizes its new warehouse with SCALLOG’s “Goods to Person” solution

19 September 2023

Aiming for growth: V and B robotizes its new warehouse with SCALLOG's "Goods to Person" solution

V and B – Wine and Beer – is enjoying growing success, with 262 bar stores, 80% of them franchised. To keep pace with sales growth, especially e-commerce, the company is inaugurating a new 7,200 m² warehouse in January 2024 in the commune of its head office, Château Gontier sur Mayenne, where SCALLOG robotics will meet its performance, agility and CSR objectives!

With a rate of 20 to 25 openings a year since 2015, the V and B brand is on a roll and attracting more and more franchisees in France and beyond, with over 270 stores combining bar and cellar opened in twenty years, including the first in England in 2022. The creator of an original concept, a mix of wine & beer cellar and suburban bar dedicated to convivial tasting, V and B is an audacious brand that has become a dynamic franchise, ideally suited to the afterwork era as a place to “share good times around good products” with colleagues, friends or family until 8:30pm. In addition to a tried-and-tested concept, the brand offers its franchisees – all passionate entrepreneurs – a wide range of products (350 beers, 350 wines, 200 whiskies and 100 rums), high-performance logistics and a strong reputation, with the organization of the V and B Fest festival and the sponsorship of skipper Maxime Sorel. The same is true of its e-commerce activity, inaugurated in 2020, which is experiencing unprecedented growth, with volumes set to increase by over 80% by 2023. To absorb this growth, V and B inaugurated a new 7,200 m² warehouse in January 2024, on the outskirts of its new head office and in addition to its existing 12,000 m² warehouse, to optimize lead times for supplying its stores and preparing retail orders for its Internet customers. The Goods to Man SCALLOG solution – 130 mobile shelves transported by 5 robots to two picking stations – will be installed on a concrete mezzanine above the unloading docks, to increase storage density, speed up the picking of spirits, goodies and point-of-sale displays, and absorb peaks in activity, while optimizing the productivity and working conditions of V and B! operators.

Aaron SMET, Logistics Manager at V and B, tells us:

“To support our growth until 2030, we are taking a new step in our logistics by making it more agile and productive, with a new warehouse, a new organization and new automated processes, supported by SCALLOG robotics, to deliver our BtoB and BtoC customers ever faster. As proof of our flexibility, we have the possibility of doubling our storage area in our new warehouse as early as 2025.”

An additional warehouse, a robotic solution that’s resolutely flexible and scalable!

Faced with an increase in the volume of its BtoB and BtoC business, and a multitude of activity peaks, from the end-of-year festivities to themed evenings such as Beaujolais Nouveau, the V and B chain will be acquiring an additional 7,200 m² warehouse in November 2023, where space needs to be optimized, spirits stock secured and tasks automated with a view to reducing the drudgery and stress of operators. For winter 2023, V and B is looking for a flexible, agile automation solution that can be integrated into a 1,200 m² mezzanine floor, guarantee “flawless” tracking of individual spirits references, in compliance with customs regulations, and speed up order picking, while improving working conditions for operators. Located in a dynamic département where logistics jobs are under pressure, V and B wanted a technology that was “perceived as modern”, enabling operators to carry out versatile tasks, without physical constraints and stress, in order to recruit and retain them.

SCALLOG’s Goods to Person robotics are rapidly becoming the most relevant technological response to V and B’s performance, agility and CSR objectives. In addition to being easily integrated on a mezzanine floor, the SCALLOG solution can optimize the storage and picking of retail orders for a multitude of products in atypical formats, from spirits to goodies, and boost operator productivity by eliminating unnecessary movements. It can also optimally manage seasonal peaks in activity.

Aaron SMET comments:

“What’s more, SCALLOG is like us – a fast-growing French company on a human scale, combining innovation and daring.”

The Goods to Person robotics solution was selected by V and B in April 2023. The project is structured around three “milestones”: in-depth analysis and setting up of the steering committee in summer 2023, installation of the solution and extensive testing of bottle stability in cartons in October 2023, and switchover in November 2023. In order to best plan the transition to robotics, V and B has set about involving employees who “want to evolve” in the ergonomics of the order-picking workstation.

A Goods to Person solution to combine performance and well-being on a daily basis!

Ultimately, SCALLOC’s 300 m² automated surface area, fully screened and located on a 1,200 m² concrete mezzanine, will store and manage over 1,500 SKUs, from spirits to POP items, of various sizes and B and C rotation. It will feature 130 mobile shelves, transported by 5 robots to two picking and replenishment stations. The Goods to Person SCALLOG solution will guarantee V and B optimum security across its entire warehouse chain, from improved stock management and traceability with triple control to order preparation in sealed bins, as expected by its franchisees. This will enable the company to smooth out peaks in activity without the need for additional human resources, especially during the winter months when business can increase 4-fold. As the first company in Mayenne to be certified “Great Place to Work”, V and B will be able to take its CSR approach even further with the help of the SCALLOG solution, by improving the working conditions and well-being of its operators through the elimination of travel and load-carrying.

Aaron SMET adds:

“With the SCALLOG solution, we want to double our productivity to improve responsiveness and performance, so that we can better serve our BtoB and BtoC customers”.

Romain Demay, Business Development Manager at SCALLOG, concludes:

“This new signature demonstrates the versatility and agility of SCALLOG’s robotic solution in meeting two key factors of warehouse performance: floor space efficiency and human productivity. We are delighted to have V and B as our first reference in the French alcoholic beverages sector – wines, spirits and beers – which enjoys a worldwide reputation in this field.”