Skip to main content

40,000 book titles, 1 smart sortation solution

Random House, the world’s largest English-language trade book publisher, decided to automate their fulfillment process in order to meet the needs of their rapidly expanding third-party publishing distribution service. However, the company was confronted with some unique challenges when retrofitting its 1.3 million square-foot Westminster, Md. distribution center – the largest in the US book publishing industry.

Limited time to install: The upgraded design and installation was to be completed in just five months, in time for a busy fall season.

Space constraints: The new sortation system needed to be built on an existing 62,700-square-foot mezzanine, accommodating the varying ceiling heights, water pipes, I-beams and point loads.

With these factors in mind, Random House needed a sorter that could handle split case picking based on individual orders and meet these specific requirements:

  1. Compact footprint: Maximize every inch of available space
  2. Accuracy: Accommodate the diverse customer base and order profiles
  3. Gentle handling: Protect the integrity of all books, from large, heavy coffee table books to textured children’s books
  4. High throughput: Handle the DC’s seasonal peaks

Intelligrated installed an IntelliSort® TT single-tray tilt-tray sorter featuring space-saving double level chutes and two induction areas, each with six high-capacity singulated automatic induction stations. The tilt-tray sorter design was able to meet the unique needs of a compact footprint, improve order fulfillment turnaround time by 50 percent, and increase overall throughput by 40 to 50 percent.

To learn more about Random House’s sortation solution, take a look inside the company’s DC in the following video case study.