Crown Equipment Makes SDCE’s Top 100 Supply Chain Projects List for Second Consecutive Year

NEW BREMEN, Ohio (August 20, 2019) – Crown Equipment Corporation, one of the world’s largest material handling companies, earned a second consecutive spot on Supply & Demand Chain Executive’s Top 100 Supply Chain Projects list for its work with Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits (SGWS), a beverage distribution company headquartered in Miami, Florida.

Acknowledging individual and corporate leaders in the global supply chain, Supply & Demand Chain Executive recognized Crown for enhancing SGWS’s productivity and operator efficiency during a distribution center expansion. The complete list of this year’s Top 100 projects is featured in the publication’s June 2019 issue.

Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits is a family owned and operated supplier and distributor of alcoholic beverages. In 2016, the company expanded its Lakeland, Florida distribution center from 800,000 square feet to 1.2 million square feet to meet growing customer demand. SGWS wanted to make the most of its additional floor space, so the company constructed a narrow aisle facility that accommodates nine levels of racking. The additional height required lift trucks that could accommodate the lift height and capacity while meeting the company’s throughput requirements. SGWS also implemented a pallet conveyor into their system, which typically requires operators using smaller forklifts outside of the rack storage to retrieve pallets that had been removed from the racking and place them on the conveyor.

The lift truck SGWS selected to handle material in its narrow aisle, high-bay storage area is Crown’s TSP Series very narrow aisle turret truck. SGWS also selected additional automation features for the TSP Series that would enhance its operators’ productivity. The optional Auto Positioning System (APS), which automatically guides the trucks along the most efficient route to each pick location, has enabled SGWS operators to perform at what SGWS believes to be an expert level, reducing training time by 50 percent and significantly increasing productivity.

“The productivity enhancements we gained were that our pallet movement throughput increased just over 20 percent, which was an eye opener,” said Mark Booth, vice president of supply chain technology, SGWS.

Michael Eljaiek, SGWS’s warehouse manager, added, “The definite advantage of the auto positioning system is that it levels the playing field, so a new employee who’s just beginning, versus one who has been doing it for six months, should be able to meet the same productivity standards within a short amount of time. It has reduced the training time from six to eight weeks, down to four weeks.”

SGWS also selected the optional Auto Fence feature for their TSP Series trucks. Auto Fence controls the truck’s speed and access to specific areas of the warehouse, which has enabled TSP Series turret truck operators to retrieve pallets from high-bay storage and confidently place them directly on the company’s pallet conveyor with high precision. This eliminates the need to handle the pallet twice using two different lift trucks before it is placed on the conveyor, increasing productivity without the risk of potential equipment damage.

As stated by John Yuva, editor for Supply and Demand Chain Executive, 2019’s award-winning enterprises showcase the industry’s most successful and transforming projects, which deliver value to operations across a range of supply chain functions and offer a forward-looking perspective on new opportunities. As a forward-looking company, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits has implemented automation features provided by Crown in new and different ways and is experiencing positive outcomes in training, employee productivity and safety throughout its operation.

About Crown Equipment Corporation

Crown is one of the world’s largest material handling companies with a reputation for award-winning product design, advanced engineering and technology, and superior after-sale service. Crown’s business philosophy utilizes vertically integrated processes to design, manufacture and distribute forward-thinking, innovative solutions that improve customers’ productivity and operating efficiency. Crown produces a broad range of forklifts as well as automation and fleet management technologies.

The company’s global headquarters is located in New Bremen, Ohio, USA, with regional headquarters in Australia, China, Germany and Singapore. Its employees number more than 16,100 worldwide. Crown operates a service and distribution network that exceeds 500 retail locations in over 80 countries. To learn more about Crown’s ideas for helping customers advance the productivity of their operations, visit

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