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Oriola AB - Ergonomic Picking Trolleys Increase Profits

Oriola AB is one of the leading pharmaceutical distributors in both Scandinavia and eastern Europe. Oriola have been present on the market of welfare and health care for more than a century.

The objective was to go from handling two orders on average to introduce bulk picking and simultaneously handle many orders at once.
“Having a healthy staff is the foundation of all operations. Each person has an individual responsibility, but we believe that corporations must provide the right work conditions for the employees, which will allow them to perform their work in the best possible manner. For us the ergonomically designed trolley is one important part of that.” – Jonas Helfridsson, Logistics Manager at Oriola AB.
The trolley was designed in three versions with different picking options: six, nine or twelve boxes. The trolleys are equipped with a footstool and a ladder. They are also developed with a brake feature that makes them easy to manoeuvre as well as waste bins that are emptied after each round.

Previously Oriola have picked goods and products with the help of manual picking lists and they utilised small trolleys before they realised that something had to change. Today they use scanners and trolleys that facilitate the productivity as well as the employees' well being.

    – “We realised that we had to do something new”, says Jonas Helfridsson, Logistic Manager at Oriola AB. “In recent years, we used picking lists in paper as well as small trolleys in our warehouse, which both took time and implied quality defects that are unacceptable within the pharmaceutical market.” 

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" – We have gained an enormous amount of time. The new trolleys allow one person to pick nearly twice as much as before.
Jonas Helfridsson, Logistic Manager Oriola AB

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Development of a Functional Trolley 
Helge Nyberg AB was contacted and received a specification of requirements. Thereafter they arrived to Oriola and witnessed the efficiency problems with the old trolleys as well as the prototypes Oriola had seen in eastern Europe – they were both too wide and too bulky. 

Subsequently, a trolley that serves as a bureau with extendable picking boxes was developed. The trolley was designed in three versions with different picking options: six, nine or twelve boxes. The trolley was developed to be easy to drive even if the load is heavy. When developing the trolley an ergonomist, a physiotherapist and a safety officer were involved. The result became a trolley that is adjustable in heights and equipped with bin stops, a stable footstool, a ladder and a brake feature that makes it easy to manoeuvre. The equipment was developed to facilitate the work for the employees. Employees are released from queuing
– ”We changed from having personal trolleys to public ones, where only the iPad remained personal. It took some time to adjust to the changes, but now none of the employees are willing to go back to the old system”, says Jonas Helfridsson.

The present concept is based on a Lean program, where one person prepares thetrolleys and another person unloads them. That means that no queues arise. When the pickers leave their trolleys for unloading, they keep their iPads as well as their scanners and move on to other freshly charged trolleys.

 – “We have gained an enormous amount of time. The new trolleys allow one person to pick nearly twice as much as before and the quality defects have basically been eliminated”, says Jonas Helfridsson.