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Fostering Innovation in Supply Chain & Logistics

One of the biggest benefits and challenges of being a supply chain and material handling independent integrator is that we work with a variety of industries and clients, from the latest technology in aerospace to streamlining manufacturing and leveraging new trends in ecommerce. Today, companies around the world are shifting their operations to meet the needs of market challenges – acceleration of ecommerce, microfulfillment adaptation. But, with that too comes a need for maintained quality and reliability. That’s a tough, yet necessary balance to strike. How do you achieve it? It’s pretty well understood that innovation isn’t something that you can just make happen. New ideas take time and nurturing.
Posted in General Blogs

Making the Most of Automation for Food and Beverage Manufacturing

May 05, 2021
No two automation projects are the same. What makes a project unique? The size of the project, complexity of the operation, deployed technologies, or new installation at greenfield facility versus a modernization or expansion of an existing, brownfield site. Adding automation technology for food and beverage manufacturers, however, adds a different challenge and a different set of variables that are important to consider as you plan, implement, and leverage the new tools. At Bastian Solutions, one of our core values is to “keep growing,” and we do this by implementing Kaizen principles. One detail that is constant in all of these projects is learning how to do it better and keeping that in mind for new projects. Adding advanced technologies to a distribution or manufacturing operation can certainly create efficiencies. With food and beverage, I’ve found that there are four key focus areas that can help manufacturers truly make the most of automating their processes.

Scallog: Creating a Resilient Solution for the Future of Warehouse Logistics

April 28, 2021
Dynamic and easily scalable, goods to person technologies have risen to the forefront of order fulfillment conversation amid rapid ecommerce growth. Answering the challenge of automation for various industry applications and operation sizes, Scallog’s order fulfillment system adds a mobile robotic solution to the mix. Announced late last year, Bastian Solutions, an independent integrator, has added Scallog’s technology to our growing portfolio of automation capabilities. We talked to Olivier Rochet, founder and president of Scallog, for a deeper insight on the technology and future of DC automation development. This French robotic automation system manufacturer, already installed in six countries, offers a goods to person technology based on robots that move shelves around the warehouse.

Even Turnkey Automation Solutions Require Effective Training

April 21, 2021
You’re planning on implementing a new turnkey system for your business. Just like the name implies, implementation should be as easy as turning a key, right? Not quite. When it comes time to deploy a new system, there are always challenges in making it work. New systems have to operate within well-established organizational contexts and employees have to adapt to use new tools and procedures. Any new skill needs to be learned. It's no different when you’ve invested in a system to improve your business. Even with a "turnkey" system, training is an essential component of a successful change management process.

Employee Development: Path to a Lean Supply Chain

April 14, 2021
As a fundamental element, supply chain and logistics requires delivering a quality product to the consumer. The details behind quality product and on time delivery are complex and filled with complexities such as distribution center locations, advanced automation technologies, product specifications, throughput goals, and software support. And, while selecting the right automation equipment is important for a company’s competitive advantage, sustainable growth is most centered around the people. Lean supply chain management and the operational success is a product of the strength of your human resources. How do you create and foster sustainable human resource growth? While COVID-19 has forced companies to shift priorities and adjust manufacturing processes to deal with changing consumer demand and new safety precautions, the fundamentals continue to hold true for employee development: clarify goals and direction, identify the challenges, promote learning, and put that learning into practice.

Top 3 Myths about Industrial Robotic Integration

April 07, 2021
In today’s environment, technology and automation are growing and advancing at a drastic speed. Recent investments by venture capital and private equity firms are further evidence of that rapid growth. Whether industries are looking to increase the amount of throughput in their facility, reduce or eliminate any ergonomic risks, or increase overall efficiency of the operation, the right combination of technology and automation in an industrial robot can provide the solution. So why are some individuals still hesitant about implementing industrial robots? Common misconceptions in our industry could be playing a part in that. The top three most common myths touch on ROI, applications, and complexity.

Adapting Manufacturing Strategies for Direct to Consumer Fulfillment

March 31, 2021
The internet, since its adoption in the 1990s, is an amazing place that consistently opens new doors and creates new opportunities. Business models continue to adapt to our new connected reality. Increasingly, consumers are working their way up the supply chain. Retailers first felt this push as customers are happy to cut brick and mortar stores out of their daily routine and make purchases directly from the warehouse through digital storefronts. This has led to the development and dominance of omnichannel distribution models, delivering a variety of goods and brands under one company. They are required to compete with online-only retailers like Amazon. This was a dramatic shift for the distribution center.

Modernizing DC Operations: Automation Requires Management

March 24, 2021
More companies are starting to prioritize automation while those that had already put a lot of focus on automation are not looking to slow down. In fact, there is greater emphasis on it. Companies are realizing the competitive advantages that automation provides and are starting to challenge why adding a goods to person or ASRS system may or may not work in their business. The increased focus on automation, does not remove or decrease the need for strong operational management, if anything, it still requires communication and organization from leadership to succeed. Automation helps efficiency but a facility must rely on good processes and timely communication of information to manage a dynamic environment.

Investments are Causing Massive Disruption in the Automation and Robotics Field

March 17, 2021
Technology and automation have had a place in distribution and supply chains for decades. Typically, high-end automation was reserved for the largest multi-national organizations with ample capital and a vision to improve efficiencies in their supply chain. While the technology adoption curve is much more mature in Europe than North America, N. American business investment in supply chain automation and distribution is increasing rapidly due to changing customer buying behavior, labor shortages, ecommerce adoption, and access to various technologies both mature and emerging. The amount of new technologies emerging to support distribution and supply chain automation is also rapidly increasing; and for good reason.

Smarter Robotic Each Picking, Now Powered by AI

March 10, 2021
Robots have been around for a while now and some may now consider them a commodity. They take inputs – product dimensions, pick and place locations – and produce outputs – finished pallets, unloaded or loaded machines. The inputs and outputs are controlled and consistent. What happens when the inputs and outputs can’t be controlled? Are you out of luck? Not anymore! Bastian Solutions has implemented robotic systems that allow robots to see, reason, and act to unknown inputs and produce desired outputs.

International Women’s Day: Choose to Challenge

March 08, 2021
International Women's Day is celebrated on March 8th every year around the world. It has been observed since the early 1900s and first recognized by the United Nations in 1975. This year’s theme is “Choose to Challenge.” What started as a protest for equal rights and voting rights is now a day to “celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.” In the supply chain and logistics industry, there is increased support to drive recruitment for women in engineering and tech related roles, influence of women in the industry, and the development of women’s careers.
Posted in General Blogs

3 Lessons on Navigating Complex Multi-Site Automation Projects

March 03, 2021
The word “complexity” usually garners feelings of fear or hesitation. At Bastian Solutions however, when customers inquire about complex multi-site projects, we view these as exciting and engaging opportunities. Amidst the pandemic, there has been a sudden rise in ecommerce. It is estimated that U.S. ecommerce sales in the third quarter of 2020 was $209 billion, which was an increase of 37% from sales over the same time period in 2019. With this rise in consumer demand, there has been an increased demand for quick, complex supply chain solutions.
Posted in General Blogs
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