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Solving India's Complex Supply Chain Integration Challenges

January 11, 2022
This decade has seen the most dramatic shifts in technologies, especially in the adoption of digital transformation. Every department in the organization has developed its unique way of digitization to connect with its buyers. With this, the nature of supply chain challenges faces a new level; the distribution centres across India have a boost in SKUs, which requires handling throughputs with minimal error. On the other hand, customers are much aware of the processes and seek real-time tracking, which organizations often fail to understand. Let’s take a look at the challenges and potential solutions.

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.

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.

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.

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.

PUMA’s Automation Evolution: Retail eFulfillment with Advanced Warehouse Systems

September 29, 2021
“Quite frankly, we were gonna burst.” Sports company PUMA was not only quickly outgrowing their primary U.S. ecommerce distribution center in California, they were also facing increasing pressures in the rapidly evolving and growing North America ecommerce retail market. And, this was prior to the rapid ecommerce growth triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Looking to reach their east coast customers faster and more efficiently, a new automated warehouse was planned and opened in 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

You Need it When?! The Challenges of Same-Day Delivery

September 22, 2021
Same-day fulfillment and delivery is a growing trend and one that is being explored by big name retailers for an additional competitive edge. With continuing growth in ecommerce sales and mobile device usage, companies will need to master the art of fulfillment in minutes to meet same-day delivery requests. So, how do retailers adjust operations for a better ROI and how do they balance current labor market challenges? Whether you have an omnichannel or direct to consumer, local fulfillment operation, below are some key points when considering a same-day delivery strategy.

Finding the Right Automation for Grocery Ecommerce: 3 Proven Technologies

September 15, 2021
By now, we all know the headache that is the world of grocery ecommerce. Between a global pandemic, supply chain issues, product shortages and changing consumer demands, many grocers are scrambling to make the best decision for their customers and their bottom line. The industry transitioning from “how a grocer is going to automate the instore fulfillment process?” to “how are they going to optimize the whole process, including last mile delivery?” Brick Meets Click data showed that online grocery sales for pickup or delivery were $6.6 billion in April of this year. That’s down from the $7.1 billion in grocery e-commerce sales in March of this year, but up from $5.3 billion in April 2020. Reducing the labor spend for filling orders in the store is the first step; what follows is a strategy that can help reduce the overall cost of getting orders into the hands of customers, regardless of the hand-off location. Being a high-volume and low-margin industry, grocers need microfulfillment automation and technologies that are proven, scalable, dense, fast AND have a quick, high return on investment, like these:

The Challenges of Grocery Ecommerce

August 11, 2021
There’s no question that online grocery ordering is here to stay. Access to fresh produce, milk, eggs, toilet paper and many more grocery items isn’t changing. However, the process by which those products get delivered to the consumer from distribution centers – that is being re-envisioned to meet changing consumer demands. And, with that come new challenges, technologies and strategies. Let’s first look back at history.

Richelieu Streamlines Order Fulfillment for Improved Customer Experience

August 05, 2021
Serving more than 80,000 customers in both Canada and the United States, Richelieu aimed to increase customer satisfaction with faster, reliable order fulfillment. As an international importer, distributor and manufacturer of specialty hardware, Richelieu manages over 110,000 SKUs. In addition to a faster and more streamlined order fulfillment approach, Richelieu was able to consolidate external storage by leveraging their Montreal facility. They looked to Bastian Solutions to advise and implement the right combination of automation technology to add to Richelieu’s facility longevity and implement a system that helps them reliably maintain strong customer service.

Rethinking DC Packing Automation for E-fulfillment

June 16, 2021
Pick, pack and ship is fairly straightforward but with increasing pressures to process orders faster and faster, these tasks can give your company a competitive edge. When I’m looking at a customer’s distribution center, there are certain indicators I look for to try to find improvement opportunities. For a company that processes ecommerce orders, pick totes are at the top of that list. While they’re sometimes necessary, they’re often a red flag for underlying operational inefficiencies. However, these inefficiencies are easily remedied through a combination of process flow updates and new automation. These projects often have a fantastic ROI, paying back the initial investment in one to two years. To top it off, they’re easy choices for our customers to implement.

AutoStore: Designing Future-Proof Automation Technology

May 19, 2021
Scalability and flexibility are no doubt the focus of today and the future in distribution and production. Utilizing bins, bots and ports, the AutoStore goods to person technology brings a grid-based approach that allows customers to shrink their storage space exponentially while increasing their capacity for smarter, faster operations. Working together since 2013, last year Bastian Solutions expanded its portfolio of global partners with AutoStore to further support customers wherever they may be, providing them increased capacity, flexibility and accuracy.
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