Metro Supply Chain is Building a Better Fulfillment Experience for Ecommerce Customers

Managing seasonal peaks and unpredictable consumer demand will look very different for Metro Supply Chain’s ecommerce fulfillment customers by the end of 2022.

As part of an announced $100-plus million automation investment, we have started work on our 285,000-square-foot state-of-the-art distribution centre in Bolton, Ontario, dedicated to apparel and footwear brands requiring a fast, reliable and seamless customer experience.

“We’re hearing from an increased number of businesses searching for innovative ways to optimize their operations and deal with variable demands while grappling with rising real estate and labour costs,” explains Metro Supply Chain Group President Martin Graham. “Our Bolton, Ontario facility will offer flexible storage and goods-to-person solutions that are tailor-made for brands with high-SKU, high-volume product counts.”

Partnering with Bastian Solutions

Bastian Solutions will implement and integrate the new distribution centre automated conveyors, high-capacity packing stations, and high-density, very narrow aisle (VNA) racking alongside AutoStore, a leading, global cube storage, and order fulfillment system powered by robots. AutoStore was selected for its storage capacity and high performance, this system delivers 5X faster picking efficiency than the traditional method and reduces the time it takes new hires to learn how to pick by 80%.

“We are excited to support Metro Supply Chain in building out its automated ecommerce solution,” said Jose Bejarano, Manager of International Sales at Bastian Solutions. “We are positioned to provide our clients the right order fulfillment automation system that delivers an unparalleled competitive advantage. With this data-driven and scalable solution, Metro Supply Chain will be better equipped to help its customers meet increasing demands season in and season out.”

With 4 million bins and almost 5,000 robots purchased globally, Bastian Solutions is a leading system integrator of AutoStore in North America.

“The drastic upticks in ecommerce orders demand a rapid problem solving, flexible and scalable operation –something only continuously optimizing tools like AutoStore can deliver,” explains, Aaron Lambe, Partner Sales Manager with AutoStore. “We are excited to see how Metro Supply Chain’s fulfillment operations will leverage the high throughput capacity of AutoStore to drive efficient and sustainable ecommerce fulfillment for its customers.”

With microtrends like digitization reshaping how we think of fulfillment centres, Metro Supply Chain is incorporating best practices from other regions where innovative use of technologies such as goods-to-person systems is addressing changing dynamics and optimizing operations.

“As the market shifts to a more demand-driven customer model, automation brings a wide range of advantages, from running more efficiently to minimizing human error,” says Blair Smith, Senior Director, Business Development, Apparel and Footwear at Metro Supply Chain. “With this timely investment, we look forward to helping our customers increase productivity and achieve greater inventory control with a very cost-effective solution.”

Not only will our new automated facility significantly increase our product density, but it will also enable our workforce to focus on more value-added activities.

“We’re building a very agile order fulfillment operation that delivers on our commitment to being well-positioned to meet the ever-changing omnichannel requirements of our customers,” explains Andre Maurice, Senior Director Apparel Development at Metro Supply Chain.

About Metro Supply Chain
Metro Supply Chain is a strategic supply chain solutions partner for some of the world’s fastest growing and most recognizable organizations. Managing more than 12 million square feet in over 96 sites across North America and Europe with a team of 6,000, it is the largest privately-owned supply chain solutions company based in Canada. For almost 50 years, Metro Supply Chain’s scale, wide capabilities and entrepreneurial structure has enabled it to meet its customers’ most challenging supply chain needs, including the creation of complex e-commerce fulfillment and last-mile delivery networks.