First Choice Group

Project Description

First Choice Group is an established spare parts supplier of commercial catering spares, servicing the catering, laundry, coffee and bakery industries. Due to exceptional growth, First Choice Group moved into a purpose-built facility in Staffordshire.

The client awarded Richard H. Powell & Partners the contract for the design, fit out and furniture supply of its brand-new headquarters, as well as the planning and deployment of an automated storage and retrieval solution, including pallet racking, into the new Parts Automation Centre.

Project Details

Area - Cannock, Staffordshire
Employees - 160
Specifications - Hänel Lean-Lifts, Pallet Racking, Interior Design, Fit out, Furniture
Requirements - Create a state-of-the-art environment that helps improve business efficiency, maximises warehouse space and resembles the values of the First Choice Group brand
Benefits - An impressive and modern headquarters that supports business and employee growth.

icon-next icon-next

Creating Working Environments

First Choice Group was not only working to re-establish its business structure but was also looking to restructure in the physical sense. Staff had outgrown the previous building and needed office space that was going to benefit them for the long term. Powell was tasked with the formation of a modern customer service and sales environment, including multiple interior layouts such as bespoke training rooms, and a large, comfortable dining space for all teams to enjoy.


"The Powell team have been a pleasure to work with; they’ve created an environment for us that isn’t just an everyday working space - to me it feels like a new company and I couldn’t be more pleased with our new headquarters. The fit out covered 30,000 sq. ft. and for such a large space, we are delighted with what was achieved within budget. Both visitors and staff really appreciate our modern environment and I personally can’t recommend them enough"

John Whitehouse - Managing Director

Transforming Operations

Hänel’s automated storage systems are a key component in the speedy order fulfilment operation in The Parts Automation Centre at First Choice Group, featuring a cluster of twenty Hänel Lean-Lifts, each with a height of twelve metres linked up with the company’s ERP system.

Employees use scanners that record all pick and put operations, with orders automatically being assigned job numbers clearly indicating where specific items are stored inside the lift systems. When a barcode is read by a scanner, this box is directly allocated a job order. Once a box is processed, the lift automatically brings the required container to the access point for retrieval.

The company relies on the Hänel Pick-to-Light system to speed up order picking, where items are clearly located by the lift shining an LED light on the identified container for the operator to select from.

First Choice Group


"First Choice Group has been using Hänel lifts for many years. Automated storage is essential in our Parts Automation Centre and the systems will continue to support us in the future with our growth plans"

John Whitehouse - Managing Director

Effective Warehousing

Impressively, First Choice Group’s stock availability stands at over 90%. By designing an environment that combines traditional bulk storage with automated systems, the Parts Automation Centre can store the largest range of OEM parts, tools and spares easily. Our Warehouse Designers delivered future-proof pallet racking systems for the new environment that would securely hold larger items in place.

Enquire Now

Find out how we can engineer maximum storage & efficiency within your workspace