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The Five Most Common Mistakes When Planning a Distribution Center by TriFactor's Craig Bertorello and featured in Supply & Demand Chain Executive (online).  


Seven Factors to Consider When Choosing an Order Picking System by TriFactor's Richard Gillespie and featured in Industrial Distribution (online).


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TriFactor Home / Material Handling Systems Case Studies / Cousin Corporation: Wholesale Arts and Crafts Supplies

Material Handling Case Study - Cousin Corp - Wholesale Arts and Crafts Supplies

Company Description

Cousin Corporation of America, Largo, FL, a wholesaler of arts and crafts supplies to national retailers, has over 100 employees and several million dollars in annual sales.


Wal-Mart, one of its major customers with 3,500 stores in the United States, asked Cousin Corporation to adopt a Direct Store Delivery Consolidation (DSDC) system for shipping its 800 daily orders to Wal-Mart’s 43 distribution centers, to create more efficient channels for replenishing its stores with less than case-pack quantities.


Pick to Light Technology,Carton Flow Rack and Conveyor

Cousin Corporation was faced with the task of picking orders for 3,500 Wal-Mart stores individually instead of in bulk, something that was not possible with its current system.

This required a major change in Cousin’s picking process, and the deadline was only six months away. TriFactor’s System Sales Engineer Greg Tuohy immediately began working on a comprehensive needs analysis of the operation to identify and understand the issues, while fully aware of the time constraints, operating budget, and warehouse space.


The decision was made to go to a pick-to-light system, which uses a paperless process of lighted modules that light the respective picks and display the quantity to pick, thus increasing not only accuracy but also productivity. Utilizing TriFactor’s Design/Build process, the important first step was understanding how Wal-Mart and Cousin Corporation did things together, which meant dealing with different hardware and software companies while introducing the new system. TriFactor installed a fully automated system that included a 24V DC motorized roller conveyor, case erector, racking and pick module, and controls and software, all while navigating tight spaces and narrow aisles, and without interrupting the normal flow of business.


Motor Driven Live Roller Conveyor

The TriFactor team completed the project on time and on budget. Cousin Corporation now processes Wal-Mart orders through a pick-to-light system that receives Wal-Mart's EDI each day. Each order is originated, labeled and scanned as it entered into a 24V Motorized Roller Conveyor line where product is arranged in full-case and split-case packing. Zones are configured to maximize productivity. Each carton is then transported from picker to picker in a pick and pass arrangement. Completed orders are scanned and released via communication with the host Warehouse Management System. Released orders are sealed automatically and scanned to determine which Wal-Mart store they are destined for. The new design also allows for a more streamlined auditing process, which translates into additional savings and increased customer satisfaction for Cousin Corporation.


Based on conservative projections, the new system has an ROI of about one year.

Download a copy of the Cousin Corporation Case Study


Consider also reading the Natural Life Collections Case Study

“I realized when we began that there would be certain challenges to face and obstacles to overcome.  I asked around our industry to see who could handle this job best for us, and I was told, “The TriFactor people were the experts.” I am happy to say, they were right.  You brought the project in on time and on budget, especially when it came to designing the system to fit in the limited space provided.”


Marty DiMura
Cousin Corporation of America

System Summary

Cousin Corporation of America

TriFactor Provided:
Needs Analysis
Process and Design Study
Final Design Engineering
Product Selection & Procurement
Installation and Training

200,000 Square Feet

Facility Type:

Products Handled:
Beads and Home Décor Items

Markets Served:
Wal-Mart, Michaels and JoAnne
Fabrics Stores

Products Utilized:
Conveyor – Powered Roller
Case Erector
Racking and Pick Module
Controls and Software
Pick to