Wolseley UK: new automated storage and order fulfilment NDC

Logistex has recently completed a new National Distribution Centre for plumbing and building merchant Wolseley PLC, helping to consolidate products formerly stored around the country into a single, cost-effective location.

As well as designing and installing a highly automated storage and picking system, Logistex project managed the main building works, taking full responsibility for successfully handing the project over on schedule. The project consolidated storage acquired from Wolseley’s acquisitions, allowing it to manage stock more efficiently and improve customer service.


  • Consolidated products into single NDC
  • Highly automated storage and picking system with seven miniloads and six high speed cranes
  • 90,000 product locations and up to 400,000 SKUs
  • Up to 30,000 order picks daily
  • Logistex project managed building works carried out by main contractor

The Client’s brief

As a UK market leader in building products, Wolseley distributes mainly to trade and professional customers through brands such as Plumb Center, Build Center, Climate Center and Parts Center. Its products range from heavyside materials such as bricks, block and timber to heating, plumbing and ventilation components and spares totalling some 400,000 SKUs offered through 1,850 branches. The objective was to establish a central consolidated NDC to help reduce inventory and costs – and by holding a higher proportion of slow moving items centrally, to free space in Regional Distribution Centres for fast-moving stock.

The Logistex Solution

The automated warehouse management system is the highly mechanised heart of the operation, designed to pick 30,000 order lines per day. Seven Logistex miniload cranes serving 80,000 locations work in tandem with six high-speed cranes serving 10,000 locations, to bring fast moving goods to the picking stations. On a mezzanine level 21 conveyor fed-picking spurs service the slower moving item zone. The majority of orders are then transported back via the bridge to the bulk store building for dispatch.


  • Improved customer service in a highly competitive sector
  • Reduced inventory and lower costs
  • More space regionally for fast-moving products
  • More efficient picking and productivity with goods to operator