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TriFactor Home / Material Handling Systems Case Studies / Central Pet: Wholesale Pet Supplies

Material Handling Case Study - Central Pet Supply Distribution Center

Company Description

Central Pet is a national pet supply distributor with six regional warehouse facilities strategically located in the U.S. The company services 41 of 50 states with more than 40,000 products from 400 pet supply and pet food manufacturers. The company’s business is exclusively the wholesale distribution of pet foods and pet supplies to pet retailers, and is the only pet supply company in the country with a national distribution network. Central Pet is a subsidiary of Central Garden and Pet, headquartered in Walnut Creek, California.


The company’s Tampa, Fla. distribution center was using an outdated and manual picking system. The distribution center lacked a conveyor system and orders were being picked by hand with order sheets from pallets. Orders were then manually taken up to the shipping area in carts. Without a slotting system, product was scattered throughout the warehouse with no sense of flow. To further complicate matters, and add to the inefficiency, none of the pick areas were in sequential order.


Pet Supply Distribution

Working closely with Central Pet, TriFactor performed a complete analysis of their existing facility and operations, gaining an understanding of their vision for future operations. The result of this analysis was a TriFactor-engineered solution that facilitated increased throughput and efficient operations in their distribution center. Additionally, TriFactor also addressed the need for a warehouse control system (WCS) to interface with Central Pet’s product order, inventory and tracking information.


The decision was made to implement a 3 Level Pick Module with a pick and pack roller and gravity conveyor system running through the levels. Utilizing an order pick divert system, the proper-sized shipping cartons with bar coded labels were conveyed to each of their respective areas. Using pop-up wheel diverters, the pack cartons were automatically diverted to the specified picking areas (either carton flow or pallet flow) as controlled by the WCS. The packages were then conveyed to the new sorter and redirected to the proper shipping lanes. TriFactor’s design reduced picking costs, and improved pick accuracy and throughput.


Case Conveyor in a Order Picking Module

The TriFactor team completed the project on time and on budget. The new system allowed Central Pet to reduce the number of pullers in supply from 45 to 10. However, the major advantage was improved productivity, with throughput increasing from 25-30 lines per hour to 100 or more lines per hour. Employees who had been working 14-16 hour days were now working four 10-hour shifts.


Less than one year.

Download a copy of the Central Pet Material Handling Case Study- Pet Supply Distribution

Consider also reading the Pet SuperMarket Material Handling Case Study

“Your engineering team did an excellent job in assessing our needs, all while taking the time to understand what we wanted to accomplish.  It was a true partnership in every sense of the word.”

Jeff May
Operations Manager
Central Pet

System Summary

Central Pet Supply

TriFactor Provided:
Procured Equipment and Software
Project Management

150,000 Square Feet

Facility Type:

Products Handled:
Pet Supplies

Markets Served:
Pet Supply Stores

Completion Date:

June 2006

Products Utilized:
Scanning Equipment
PC/PLC Controls
Warehouse Control System (WCS)
Pick Modules