It is done. The new distribution system is in operation for a couple of weeks now. It passed the acceptance procedure and the supplier’s team has hit the road after a successful run-up. Was that all? What’s next?
Well, if you do it right, you can now start a phase in which you increase the profitability of the project far above your budget. We are talking about raising efficiency by 20 to 50%, compared to design specifications! By the way, these are not made-up numbers, but instead have been achieved in a variety of optimization projects with our customers.
How is that possible? And more importantly: how can you achieve the same? Click here to continue reading!
4 Steps to Winning the Race of Order Fulfillment
Just like race car engines, storage and retrieval engines must be designed properly for optimum performance.
Car enthusiasts know that a vehicle’s performance is dependent on many variables. Engine horsepower, for example, is one important factor but means very little if that power does not get distributed efficiently to the wheels. Similarly, there are many storage and retrieval engines in the marketplace today, all with a wide range of potential throughput horsepower. But regardless of the potential power of your storage engine, the overall performance of a goods-to-person picking system may suffer greatly from poor design. What are the most important points in designing a goods-to-person picking system? Read on
In a recent blog post about guided processes, we already talked about how important workplace design is in distribution logistics. The combination of hand, eye and common sense is still the most valuable resource in a distribution centre. Ergonomics therefore, is not a feel good factor, but instead the linchpin in designing work processes and especially workplaces.
Adherence to ergonomics verifiably improves the three dimensions that every industrial performance needs to concentrate on: cost, quality and time (or speed). Ergonomic workplaces lower costs, lead to higher quality and in most cases reduce the throughput time of stock orders. At SSI Schaefer, the result of this knowledge is merged under the brand name ergonomics@work!®. Read on to find out why ergonomics is so important in modern warehousing.
The year 2013 promises to become an exciting one, not just for the intralogistics sector. The general connection between the global economy and intralogistics has become almost commonplace. But in 2012, interesting new developments have been clearly foreseeable.
For a long time, we just accepted the worldwide material flow as a three-legged stool: 1. Shipping raw materials from all over the world to Asia, 2. Moving simple products and components from Asia to Europe and North America and finally, 3. Partially moving these products back to Asia in the form of high-value and complex items and facilities. What are we expecting to see in the intralogistics industry in 2013?
People who see a vertical lift storage system for the first time, usually think something like: “Ah, interesting. But they must be complicated and expensive, so why shouldn’t we continue storing our goods in conventional shelves?”
But vertical lifts definitely have their place in modern warehouse technology. This is a strong hint that they have some very specific features making them valuable to warehouse operators. Let’s take a closer look at these characteristics.
Of course, there’s no point in comparing vertical lifts with every conceivable alternative, so we’ll focus on the most common and obvious one, which is storing small parts in conventional shelves. What are the characteristics that make storage lifts so special? Read on…
Whether it’s in the warehouse or in the storage feed area – the future belongs to modular, autonomous agents. At least that what industry publications and research centres predict. It seems we’re witnessing the beginning of the end of conventional conveyor technology.
But what is a modular, autonomous agent? In the field of distribution logistics, this term stands for a vehicle with its own intelligent control. This distinguishes it from passively driven load units on conventional conveyor systems and also requires a control system able to handle complex and abstract tasks. So instead of “Go to x-position 657” the system could ask for complete, autonomous handling of a task such as “Remove the good from shelve 4711 and carry it to transfer location 0815”. Why could this end the era of conventional conveyor technology? Read on…
How are we going to shop in the future? To generate some insights into the developments in retail, internet marketplace operator Ebay enlisted a number of experts to create a study called “The Future of Retail”. Even though the results are announced for the end of 2012, some of the theses were published in advance.
The experts brought together by Ebay agree that there will be significant changes concerning retail stores. According to them, conventional stores will almost disappear entirely, giving way to showrooms. These showrooms will allow customers to get their hands on the products and try them out, but not take them home. Instead, customers will be able to order the products they want by using QR-codes or order terminals and have them delivered directly to their homes. Is this the future? And if so, what would it mean for intralogistics? Read on…
Posted in Intralogistics trends, Order picking, Storage
Tagged distribution centre, Internet-Shopping, multi-channel-distribution, Online-Shopping, pallet order picking, retail, retail logistics, returns logistics, Showroom, single-piece order picking, store deliveries
Welcome to part 3 of our series on success factors, challenges and pitfalls in logistics projects. Today we are going to talk about probably the most difficult phase in a project to automate a product warehouse: handing the facility over from the supplier to the operator.
This SSI Schaefer blog post is going to explain why this phase can be troublesome and what could be done to improve the situation.
Simply said, there are usually two colliding points of view in this phase. The operator complains that “the facility is not ready and not faultless”. The supplier then accuses the operator that “the staff is not qualified and the requirements for the facility changed too shortly before the start-up phase”. Where do these problems come from and what can you do to prevent them?
We enjoy working in the intralogistics industry. Sometimes, we explain to others what kind of projects and products we’re working on day-to-day. Unfortunately, it then doesn’t take long, before we get to listen to the same statements over and over again. Actually, they are not so much statements as they are accusations. So that’s the reason we would like to discuss them in a small series.
Probably the number one accusation is that our partially and fully automated facilities would replace human workers, rendering them obsolete. So we would be at least to a certain extent responsible when people lose their jobs. But is this really the case? Is it justified to pillory the intralogistics industry?
2011 was the most successful year for online retailers up to now and the trend is clear. More people are spending a larger share of their budget on the internet. So far, so simple. But unfortunately, an increase in orders usually leads to more returns as well. This in turn leads to higher costs for the retailer and reduces his earnings, sometimes considerably.
From the perspective of companies, returns are a two-edged sword: on the one hand, it is important for customers to have the right to return products they are not happy with. This was a prerequisite in establishing distance selling as an alternative to brick-and-mortar retailers. On the other hand, dealing with returned items is costly and also more complicated then shipping them to the customer in the first place. Read more about why many returns are avoidable in online retail.