Christopher & Banks  

Boxes on conveyors
Boxes on conveyors

Christopher & Banks, a retailer of specialty women’s apparel with stores in 46 states, has a mission to deliver compelling, quality merchandise assortments to women ages 40 to 65 (baby boomers). The company places a high value on providing their “boomer consumer” customers with a positive brand and store experience. While many competitors are relying on steep markdowns to move inventory, Christopher & Banks strives to keep customers coming back with frequent additions of new merchandise on the racks.

To maintain the steady flow of product, the Plymouth, Minnesota-based company implements a disciplined inventory management process across its entire supply chain. The company receives 95 percent of its merchandise on a just-in-time basis, working closely with its suppliers to produce in-demand fashion items.

The Christopher & Banks 200,000-square-foot DC had been able to support quick fulfillment to its stores through cross-docking of full case pre-packs, but the transportation expenses associated with this method were cost prohibitive. Additionally, there was a strong desire to reduce transportation costs by re-packing items to increase box weight. The desire to repack a large percentage of merchandise strained the existing capacity and aging equipment. The facility relied on a very old, inflexible conveyor system, which was a source of chronic maintenance and other operational challenges.

Christopher & Banks finally found the solution they were seeking with Honeywell Intelligrated. Read the rest of the case study to learn how a well-defined project plan helped them to reduce expenses and improve safety, productivity, quality and customer service levels.