Exist USA Apparel Distributors is a leading maker and distributor of customize embellished apparel for men, ladies, juniors and children in the United States and Canada.

Founded in 1995 in Ft. Lauderdale, EXIST has set the standard for contemporary fashion, as one of the most influential labels for sun-soaked dressing. People around the world are empowered in EXIST’s vibrant colors, delicate silhouettes, and fashion details. Exist Inc. manufactures and supplies customized tank tops, shirts, sweatshirts, and outerwear; shorts, cargo shorts, swim trunks, skirts, pants, and board shorts; and sundresses and long dresses.

The Situation

Exist’s previous distribution center was not adequate to meet exponential growth of their customer needs. The company had steadily grown and lacked the space to store and handle its ever-growing line of products. The old system was basically put it onto a conveyor and send it to an area. Putaways either went downstairs or upstairs — and that was it. In the shipping area, there was only one lane that went up to the shipping department.

This meant more manual handling for the company, which meant it took more time to ship an order. In the different ship areas, shipping personnel had to hand-sort everything. This situation also impacted Exists ability to quickly receive product into its warehouse.

Knowing the situation would challenge the company even more as it grew, Exist elected to move to a larger warehouse in Miami Gardens with an improved material handling system.

The company basically wanted to have more space — and needed the new facility to be scalable, so that as the company grew, it could adapt its current receiving and shipping operations to grow naturally as product lines were added and customer demands increased.

The new distribution center had to allow Exist to easily receive material from its suppliers more quickly and more effectively; it also needed to be able to ship products out more efficiently than before.

The Solution

Exist came to Atlantic Rack decided to move into a new facility, in a transition so smooth that all its parts bins—units of steel shelving, including all loaded inventory—were moved into place over a short period of time. They wanted their received items entering the facility placed either in bulk storage (pallet racks), or sent to receiving stations where technicians put small items into totes and add a coded tag to each tote. Totes are then conveyed to appropriate putaway zones and diverted on sortation conveyors to be placed into inventory. With more than 10,000 sku’s in the facility, this reduces the time it takes for received items to make it into inventory.

The conveyor system is an integral part of the facility’s improvement. In the receiving area, it has allowed Exist to design much more efficient putaway zones for their operations.

“We have more space on our conveyor line today to process small package receipts. We also have four drop-off points in the bin area for different zones for putaway. We didn’t have that before,” an Operator mentions.

The shipping operations were improved as well. “In the shipping area, we only had one lane that went up to all the shipping departments, Shipping personnel had to hand-sort everything. Now, we send it to four different lanes in the shipping areas, so it’s sorted for our people by the time they get orders to ship”.

“The material in the old system went all to one line and it would have to be hand-sorted for the certifications area. Now, we sort it in the pick area and send it directly to the customers. That’s a time-saver.”

The Results

Exist is now able to serve its customers better and add new product lines when they’re needed.  Exist has grown, increasing its market share and gaining customers as it provides more products with increased service.

“At the old facility we did around 900 shipments a day. Now, we’re doing 1,500 a day.”

Since the move to the new Warehouse, Exist has sped up their process of getting product packed, labeled and shipped.

The space distribution and the layout is better in the new facility. The old facility was two separate buildings, and had a mezzanine. They were crowded and maxed out. Exist now counts with a lot more space to add product lines when needed to. They currently have space for even more expected growth.

Exist Warehouse Capacity