OLCC DJC Article

An excerpt from the DJC Oregon website on a current DAY CPM Project. Link to full article here

MILWAUKIE – The state-controlled liquor commission has upgraded its warehouse distribution system, which officials say should help Oregon’s supply of alcohol keep up with growing demand.

Officials with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission dedicated a $5 million conveyor system at its Distribution Center last week on a 100-degree afternoon. R.H. Brown Co. was party to a design-build contract to make high-tech improvements to the OLCC’s lone warehouse, on an industrial stretch of Southeast McLoughlin Boulevard.

The centerpiece of the project is a conveyor system that state officials say will allow the OLCC to double its shipping capacity to 248 retail liquor stores around the state. The new bar-code-reading system allows warehouse workers to now ship from four loading doors, where one was used previously.

“This is huge for us,” OLCC spokeswoman Christine Scott said.

R.H. Brown principal Jeb Barton said challenges included programming the warehouse management software so the system would work on the first try, and performing the work without interrupting warehouse operations.

“There’s always challenges to a system like this,” he said.

Work began in March, but the firm was active several months prior programming technical equipment. About 25 workers were busy at most times, working with equipment manufacturer and longtime partner Hytrol Conveyor Company. Catco Construction of Beavercreek subcontracted to perform the mechanical installation of the mezzanine and the conveyor structure.

Based in Seattle with a Portland office, 100-year-old R.H. Brown has carved a niche in materials handling equipment. As a Hytrol representative, it installs and “integrates” its Pivot sortation software.

“Materials handling – most people don’t ever think about it, but everything you touch goes through a conveyor of some kind or is shipped,” Barton said.

Under Oregon’s unique system, the state controls the supply of spirits, and supplies independently-owned retail outlets. Money raised goes to the state general fund. In 2016, $517 million was raised through the sale of spirits in Oregon – 5 percent over the prior year.

Officials say the fastest-growing demographic is women, who are said to favor flavored vodkas and whiskeys.

More than 4,000 products were sold at Oregon’s liquor stores in 2015.

Like many public projects in the Portland area, the project was shepherded by owner’s rep Day CPM. Project Manager Doug Garland said a design-build process enables collaboration, ensuring no “finger-pointing.” The system is currently processing 1,400 cases an hour, but Garland thinks it “can do 2,400.”

“Design-build was great for this because it was a fast-paced, fully-functional warehouse, and this allowed us flexibility we wouldn’t have gotten another way,” he said.