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3 Common Processes You Can Automate with AGVs

July 07, 2021
“Automate it.” Every industrial engineer is familiar with this phrase, whether it comes from executives or industry demand. Today’s businesses are always looking to make their processes more efficient and flexible, and automation can be one of the best tools to achieve these goals in light of business growth and market changes. Reaping the most benefit from a modernized system isn’t easy and requires careful planning. Achieving operational goals of increased productivity and decreased waste within your budget, are a significant challenge. No two automated material handling solutions are ever the same. Each company and industry sector may require different solutions based on their specific objectives, parameters and constraints.

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.

4 Steps for Evaluating and Deciding on DC Automation

May 26, 2021
If your distribution center has grown in both SKUs and order volume or your typical order has shifted from retail to more ecommerce sales resulting in larger requests for smaller orders; it’s possible your picking productivity isn’t where it should be. You might also be struggling to find the labor to push orders out the door quickly and meet your service level agreements. These are just some of challenges that companies, both large and small, around the globe are facing as they adapt to market changes and shift fulfillment operations to cater to the latest ecommerce demands.

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.

3 Key Lessons for New Year DC Throughput Efficiencies & Adaptability

January 19, 2021
We’ve all heard some variation of the saying “Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste” but how good are we at recognizing the crisis and the best way to capitalize on it? As we enter this new year, we must acknowledge 2020 was unlike any other year in many ways, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted everything in our lives: personal, political, and professional. The world learned to work from home, educate from home, and to the point of this article – shop from home. What can be learned from this “Great Accelerator” event to ensure distribution centers are ready to adapt in the future and improve throughput efficiencies? Here are three lessons from this past year, and a few recommendations for each to ensure the 2020 distribution center (DC) “crisis” doesn’t go to waste:

Delivering Best Buy's Supply Chain Transformation

March 03, 2020
Learn how we helped Best Buy overhaul its omnichannel operations and supply chain network to stay competitive against Amazon.
Posted in System Automation

How the World's Largest Wine & Spirits Distribution Center Ships 25 Million Cases Each Year

August 20, 2019
After consolidating all the inventory and functions of its Florida facilities into a single location, Southern Glazer’s Lakeland, Florida facility is now the largest liquor spirits and wine distribution hub on the planet.

The Rise of the Urban DC

April 23, 2019
More and more people, especially young adults, are moving into cities. To reach this increasingly important market segment, retailers need to find a profitable and efficient way to do urban fulfillment.

Trends Driving the Case for Distribution Center Automation

January 31, 2019
An overview of the economic and technological trends that are increasing demand (and ROI) for distribution center automation. Read: Trends Driving the Case for Distribution Center Automation

Size Does Matter...When It Comes to SKUs

February 28, 2013
I just had a discussion with a colleague in our consulting group about a client who wanted him to design a picking area. The problem was the client didn’t have any product size information. To this client, the size of a case was “case size,” and an individual item was smaller than “case size.” Regrettably, many distribution operations have little information about the size of the product they are distributing, but know size information has many advantages... Continue Reading >>
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