Strauss Consulting Group, LLC - Management Consultants For Supply Chain & Material Handling Logistics Strauss Consulting Group, LLC - Management Consultants For Supply Chain & Material Handling Logistics To Improve Customer Service While Reducing Costs
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Strauss Consulting Group
Oakland, NJ 07436


Neuman Distributors – Automated

L & H Vitamins/ – Mail order, "E"

Allied Office Supply – Conventional


The Client:

Neuman Distributors was the fourth largest USA pharmaceutical distributor. OTC products and pharmaceuticals were sold to pharmacies and hospitals in the major New York metropolitan area. In order to meet service requirements, product was shipped from seven facilities. Products were stored in conventional racking systems and conveyed to the dock for shipment.

The Challenge:

To consolidate operations in an automated, paperless, state of the art distribution center that would provide the speed and accuracy to meet customer needs while reducing costs dramatically.


To achieve required speed used automated, semi-automated and conventional order picking equipment from both US and European vendors including A Frames and Pick to Light

Used “de-trashing” removing product from its original packaging into totes to transport product from receiving and replenishment areas into piece pick and automated zones

A new WMS and sophisticated conveyor software controls managed work from release through 240 work zones (totes only went to zones requiring product) to a sortation system and directly to the correct dock door and lane

Picked totes were automatically lidded, strapped, and labeled in between pick zones and the dock

The automated sortation system and direct loading to delivery trucks (180 routes) eliminated shipping staging

Computer Simulated the operation to optimize throughput, labor utilization, and work scheduling


Reduced warehouse personnel from 500 to 280 employees and eliminated $2 million overtime costs annually

Eliminated 17 truck routes

Reduced inventory requirements by 20% or $12,000,000

Improved customer service through speed and accuracy reducing errors dramatically


The Client:

L & H Vitamins operated a mail order/catalog business selling vitamin supplements and health and beauty aids to customers in the US. The company had continuous increased growth from 1987 through 1998 when they were acquired by

The Challenge:

To increase daily order shipping capacities from 1,000 to 6,000 orders per day to accommodate the increased business, and to modify the existing layout to store 5,000 new items and pick them efficiently in the existing layout footprint while providing for additional unknown growth.


A standard of 600 orders per was set for order processing so additional capacity was added to picking, checking, shrink wrapping, and packing to achieve the goal

Employed a combination of batch and zone picking to pick 9 orders at a time and implemented a properly conceived incentive system to achieve up 300 order lines picked per hour

Added power conveyor at key points to increase speed to get 600 orders per hour

Moved all non-essential materials (corrugated, tape, etc.) to the basement using a conveyor and elevator, which allowed us to increase the storage footprint


Within a 6-week conversion period order volume was successfully increased from 1,000 to 6,000 per day

Growth could be managed by adding hours. As daily volume increased, hours could increase at a rate of 600 orders per hour to meet demand

All project goals were met without moving to a larger facility, which was a major concern


The Client:

Allied Office Supply shipped numerous product lines to a variety of customers in the New York metropolitan area. As the company grew, it became necessary to ship products from three facilities in and around Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey. In addition to paper and conventional office supplies, the company sold soft drinks and candy, provided a coffee service, and did private label printing.

The Challenge:

To consolidate operations into a new facility that would allow the company to achieve speed and accuracy requirements within budget constraints that could not allow for automation. Additionally a wide assortment of products (size, shape, volume) had to get to the shipping dock in a timely fashion from 6 major storage areas to facilitate truck loading.


Zones were set up for each major product group based on their properties to optimize facility flow

Piece picking was designed so shipping cartons would only travel to zones that contained product for the given order using simple controls from conventional conveyor systems

Product was slotted to locations to optimize travel paths and locations were sized to minimize replenishment

A mezzanine was designed to move the private label business away from mainstream operations

An automated sortation system (within project budgets) was used to transport product to the shipping dock as required


Major improvements were achieved in order processing speed due to improved systems, product placement, and layouts

The business could now grow in a planned manner under one roof

Trucking costs were reduced and efficiency increased