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Black Friday, Cyber Monday: Last Minute Prep for Peak Season Operations

November 24, 2021
The holiday season is in full swing and shoppers have already started browsing and buying. Despite current supply chain complexities, the National Retail Federation reports, “Consumers are spending just as much this year on gifts and other items to celebrate the spirit of the holidays.” Holiday sales are expected to reach between $843.4 billion and $859 billion in November and December, that’s an 8.5 and 10.5 percentage growth from last year. That does not include automobile, gas station or restaurant data. Consumer demand remains strong when it comes to retail ecommerce. For warehouse and distribution center operations that means putting processes to the test. No matter how much automation is currently installed, handling seasonal peaks requires a smooth process that allows for operations to thrive – accurate orders, reliable fulfillment and scalable operations – during this hectic, bustling time. As we gear up for 2022, experts at Adobe predict we will be facing the first ever trillion dollar year in ecommerce sales – it’s never too soon to prepare for an uptick in sales year-round.

Peak Season: When Customer Focus Matters Most for Supply Chain

November 22, 2021
It’s no surprise that peak season is no longer just Black Friday. The ecommerce and retail markets have changed to show increased demand throughout the year. That increase means added focus on supply chain quality and efficiencies. Material handling automation and software solutions can help offer answers across industries to tasks like picking and packing, manufacturing, on-site storage, product movement, and so much more. As markets change and adjust, even during this traditional holiday peak season companies are striving to win over current and potential customers. Customer trust is key and maintaining that makes a big difference on customer success. This starts with building an internal culture that is customer focused, building lasting partnerships through teamwork, collaboration and trust.

Getting Started with Custom Warehouse Automation Solutions Development

November 18, 2021
Sometimes situations require one-of-a-kind solutions. Performing tasks in a cold storage environment and need to add reliable automated machinery? Conveying non-standard dimension cartons or unwieldly products? Supporting a propriety set of processes or working to achieve a specific business objective that standard equipment can’t attain? Quite frankly, there are numerous ways to solve manufacturing, material handling or distribution center complexities. You can explore different machine configurations, employ different technologies from various brands, as well as special, custom modifications to either the system design or minute machine details. Unique challenges invite opportunities for custom automation solutions – custom design and engineering. So, how does the process work? We meet you at your current state and lead you through our development process based on your custom needs.

Repensando a automação de empacotamento DC para atendimento eletrônico

November 16, 2021
A seleção, o empacotamento e o envio é bastante simples. Mas com pressões cada vez maiores para processar pedidos de forma mais rápida, essas tarefas podem dar à sua empresa uma vantagem competitiva. Quando analiso para o centro de distribuição do cliente, há certos indicadores que procuro para encontrar oportunidades de melhoria. Para uma empresa que processa pedidos de comércio eletrônico, os tanques de coleta estão no topo dessa lista. Embora algumas vezes eles sejam necessários, costumam ser uma bandeira vermelha para ineficiências operacionais subjacentes. No entanto, essas ineficiências são facilmente solucionadas por meio de uma combinação de atualizações do fluxo do processo e nova automação. Esses projetos geralmente têm um ROI incrível, pagando o investimento inicial em um a dois anos. Além disso, são escolhas fáceis para o cliente implementar.

PUMA’s DC Automation Thrives Amid Pandemic Retail Peak Season Shifts

November 10, 2021
Designed for agility and growth, PUMA’s new Indianapolis distribution center was immediately put to the test facing unprecedented ecommerce demand in addition to new, unexpected safety measures. Opened in June 2020, the facility became “a beacon of hope” for PUMA’s North America ecommerce retail distribution. Bastian Solutions worked closely with PUMA, AutoStore and NFI/Cal Cartage to design, integrate and install an on-time, on-budget automation system that not only helped PUMA meet the accelerated demand but will also provide them room, as planned, to continue to grow their business. “I think more than just the tangible product, of it being on time and on budget what it really gave the company, in terms of this aspirational push forward of the future, it really was like a beacon of hope in a lot of ways,” said Bob Philion, President of PUMA North America.

When is it Time to Introduce Automated Vehicles to Your Distribution Center?

November 01, 2021
Bastian Solutions and Toyota Assist with Automation in Warehouses It’s no secret that ecommerce has changed the way people shop as well as how quickly customers expect to receive their orders. This expectation of fast delivery puts pressure on distribution centers to operate faster and more efficiently than ever before. So, how do you make sure your business can compete in today’s ever-changing, high-demand environment? The solution is automated guided vehicles (AGVs). While traditional forklifts such as order pickers, reach trucks and stackers are extremely useful for managing inventory and transporting heavy products, it is beneficial to have automated systems in place to take some of the complex work out of fulfillment. How do you determine when it’s time to integrate an automated vehicle solution in your DC (distribution centers)? Discover how these automated systems can help you navigate your warehouse confidently and take your operation to new heights.

Employee Safety: 5 Key PPE to Prevent Common Warehouse Injuries

October 28, 2021
Safety first. That can’t be stressed enough. Over the last five years, fatal workplace injuries are on the rise and non-fatal injuries has slowly decreased. The most recent November 2020 report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revealed that throughout 2019 there were 5,333 fatal work injuries, a 2 percent increase from year prior. Non-fatal injuries, however, remain mostly unchanged but are in a downward trend compared to the last few years. They stand at 2.8 non-fatal injuries per 100 full-time workers. Employee safety and protection has been a primary concern with the COVID-19 pandemic but the leading causes for non-fatal and fatal injuries are still crucial to keep in mind – falls, slips, trips, contact with objects and equipment, exposure to harmful substances, fires and explosions, and transportation accidents.

Strengthening Supply Chain Operations During India's Peak Festive Season

October 26, 2021
India is welcoming the festive season and ready to celebrate with great enthusiasm while adapting to the new normal brought on by the pandemic. Festive months are generally a time to indulge in heavy shopping, which increases our budget spent in light of the ongoing festive vibe and running promotional sales offers. Festive season 2021 is expected to bring numerous opportunities for retailers and ecommerce companies. Festive sale offers have already begun and with buyers becoming more comfortable with online shopping, Forrester Research expects online retailers to generate about $9.2 billion in sales during this period. That’s a 42 percent year over year increase from their evaluation of $6.5 billion in festival months sales during 2020. We are excited to witness this exponential jump in India’s ecommerce market. As per the estimates by RedSeer Consulting, ecommerce platforms such as Flipkart and Amazon India got $2.7 billion in the first four days of festive sales that began on 2 October 2021. The excitement with festive promotional sales offers will create massive online traffic, impact product sales and company turnover, and put enormous pressure on companies’ supply chain processes. Companies might equate the ecommerce platform as the “brain” and the supply chain as its “heart”. Both must perform in tandem to fully meet and satisfy customer expectations. Festive months are a crucial period when companies can make a lasting, positive impact on consumers.

More than a 3D Model: Emulation “Digital Twin” Warehouse Visualization

October 20, 2021
In the world of automated and material handling systems integration time is money and using time efficiently is the key to success. We are continually tasked with achieving more results in less time, whether that be in reduced engineering design time in the office, condensed panel build and installation schedules or accelerated commissioning and testing on site. It sure would be nice if there was a single tool that could address all these asks and more, wouldn’t it? There is. Enter the concept of the “digital twin” - warehouse automation controls emulation.

Adaptaciones y reconfiguración: lo que debe saber antes de modernizar su sistema de automatización

October 14, 2021
Si ha formado parte de una empresa que haya acometido planes de adaptación o transición, conocerá los retos que se afrontan al desarrollar un proyecto con las operaciones en marcha. En Bastian Solutions vemos cada año muchos proyectos con operaciones en marcha, como los de mejora o modernización de las operaciones existentes. Esos proyectos son mucho más complicados que los que se ejecutan en instalaciones flamantes o existentes que aún no se encuentran operativas. Cuando se emprenden proyectos de adaptación en operaciones existentes, los directivos de la empresa deben esforzarse para mantener las operaciones cotidianas en marcha con poca o ninguna interrupción para no debilitar el servicio al cliente. Las reconfiguraciones, cuando un nuevo sistema se instala online en una operación directa, también debe manejarse con cuidado para reducir los tiempos de inactividad y las interrupciones en general.

Tompkins Robotics: Automating Hyperlocal and DC Sortation from End to End

October 13, 2021
In today’s global market – facing an acceleration in ecommerce and managing the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic – flexibility is not only key, but a necessity. The flexibility to scale up or down and use automation where it fits best in order to help to maintain a leading edge in the industry markets. Facilitating greater speed, agility and adaptability in warehouse distribution and order fulfillment, Tompkins Robotics’ solutions are designed to allow customers to be more successful in dynamically changing environments. In 2019, Bastian Solutions added Tompkins Robotics’ autonomous mobile robot (AMRs) solution to our growing portfolio of automation capabilities. We talked to Mike Futch, the CEO and President of Tompkins Robotics, for a deeper insight on the technology and future of DC automation development.

Manufacturing Automation: 3 Key Technologies for Improved Safety and ROI

October 06, 2021
Manufacturing is without doubt one of the largest economic sectors, contributing 11% of total GDP in the U.S. Like several markets, manufacturers felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and are trying to reach pre-pandemic levels. Manufacturing processes are being forced to be reviewed for more efficient and leaner operations, to accommodate employment challenges and improve labor safety, all while keeping operating costs low and return on investment high. Compact and scalable automation options are trending across consumer-facing markets like grocery and retail but when it comes to manufacturing, leading advanced technologies are also proving to be foundational for future growth.
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