A Break in the Case

Aubuchon Hardware is a supply store with 120 locations throughout the Northeast. It is the oldest family owned and operated hardware store chain in the United States. On a daily basis, Aubuchon must compete with giants to survive- they are the David to the Goliaths of ACE, True Value, and other large chain hardware stores. While ACE may win that battle in terms of size, Aubuchon seeks to level the playing field by vastly improving efficiency throughout their distribution centers.

At Aubuchon, inventory control was a pressing issue. While they were able to ship their primer and white paints by the case, Aubuchon needed to break the cases of color to provide stores with more flexibility and to avoid overstocking their locations with slow movers. This helped their stores by limiting space usage, but presented a storage challenge for their distribution centers. Aubuchon needed to store these paint cans in a way that did not infringe upon their pick aisles and workspaces while providing the organization needed to prevent mispicks. This is where UNEX comes in.


Aubuchon Hardware reached out to Northland Industrial Truck Co. to seek out a solution to their storage situation. NITCO brought in UNEX Pickologists, who visited Aubuchon's distribution center, evaluated product flow and inventory, and set about designing the perfect flow rack system for quart cans of paint.

Our Pickologists provided Aubuchon with our Flow Cell flow racks. Each rack contained seven levels, each complete with 13 six-inch lanes of our Span-Track roller lanes, featuring one-inch roller centers, guardrails, and slow-down plates. This system prevented cans from falling or denting and ensured optimal flow with first in, first out storage. This storage system allowed Aubuchon Hardware to slot 180 SKUs in a 20-foot section, and is capable of holding thousands of pounds of product, eliminating issues with space and the prospect of slow moving SKUs choking up their production. The consolidation our Flow Cells provided to Aubuchon also gave them an added bonus- a 50% reduction in pick times.


UNEX is proud to help companies like Aubuchon Hardware succeed in a business environment that is predominantly controlled by massive corporations. After all, UNEX's history as a family-owned company for fifty years helps us understand the struggles and challenges businesses like Aubuchon face on a daily basis. If you're feeling like David without a sling, contact our Pickologists- and get ready to take on your Goliath.

Posted by: UNEX