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February 27, 2023 2016 Views

Syngenta Young plants (part of SGS) produces and distributes young plants. 

Seeds and cutlings are cultivated to young plants in greenhouses. They are directly grown into dedicated trays. After about 3 weeks the young plants are harvested and forwarded to the Distribution Center in De Lier, the Netherlands. The trays with young plants, which are stacked per type/batch, are picked by a team of operators. The picked trays are sorted on destination in the right stacking sequence with the use of an automated conveyor sorter system. Trays are packed on pallets and shipped to customers throughout Europe.


Syngenta wanted to investigate if the current warehouse is still the best fit for their current and future operational needs. The current overall distribution processes is very labour intensive. For this reason, multiple scenarios where defined, each with a different automation technology. All scenarios focussed on: ​

  • High stability of the quality of the young plants, ​
  • Easy scalability of the process, ​
  • Short lead times ​
  • Low FTE dependency​


Data was analysed and verified. Growth was projected on the dataset. Several scenarios were proposed and calculated using the Groenewout Ware-2-Store model. Scenarios varied between an optimized “AS-IS” as well as ASRS solutions, AGV-based solutions or a combination of both. AGV solution was tested for feasibility in the supplier test centre. 

Groenewout advised that the current distribution centre remained the best fit combined with an innovative scenario based on both ASRS and AGV technology.


  • Cost savings due to FTE reduction.​
  • Less dependent on FTEs.​
  • Reduction in picking errors due to higher level of automation.​
  • Shorter lead-times due to more efficient multi-order picking options.​