Intelligent warehouse management is at the heart of sustainable value creation within overall supply chain management (SCM). We now have mega distribution centers which are of the size of multiple football fields. They serve their market by delivering speedy and consistent shipment.
How does this intelligent warehouse management enable superior SCM?
3 years ago, next-day deliveries were the talk of the town with same-day deliveries in their infancy. Now, same-day deliveries have become common. It no longer incites even an ‘awe’ from the consumer. It’s just expected. How does this business transformation take shape to further chalk out a core competency?
The ‘awe’ mentioned earlier isn’t incited when a single consumer gets a delivery at the right time. It’s when 100,000 get their delivery within a day, every day. This consistency, this promise, is built over processes and warehouse automation. The seamless concurrent and interoperable operations that come into play within an automated and intelligent warehouse – ensure top-notch consumer experience, minimal warehousing costs, and better employee satisfaction.
Let’s get into the nitty-gritties of intelligent warehouse management (IWM), to get a better perspective of warehouse automation.
Crave InfoTech + Zebra Technologies: Best software with best hardware
When did you last search for your misplaced keys in your house? There might be dozens of small things in your house spread around in drawers and sections. So, how long did it take you to find your keys? It could be anything from a couple of minutes to a good part of an hour. Supposedly there are still sets of keys out there that have never been found.
Now imagine millions of parcels ready to be picked across thousands of yards, through hundreds of stacks – all with unique pallets and separate bins. The picker must get to the parcel within the stipulated time, validate it and bring it for sorting, packaging, and shipping.
Yet, we keep getting our deliveries on time with rare exceptions. The pillars and mortar for such ‘new-age wonders’ are the hardware and software deployed within the warehouse.
That brings us to the point, about halfway through the piece – Crave InfoTech offers the best IWM solution along with the world-leading partner, Zebra Technologies.
Intelligent Robotic Process Automation (IRPA)
Let’s walk through the process. An order rolls into the system along with the relevant service level agreements in terms of delivery window and location. Crave-enabled bots (IRPA), built over SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to process the orders through the system. The relevant workflow is auto-filled and pushed to the handheld devices of the pickers.
Robust and smart handheld devices
Zebra puts the absolute best handhelds in the hands of the pickers. The devices are break-free, no-fail, fast, and convenient to use – rigorously tested across use-cases, environments, and scenarios. Crave enables the smooth and intuitive interface on these handheld devices, built using SAP Fiori.
These devices are the key to the process automation as the picker uses the workflow (IRPA-led) to find the right parcel in the right bin. Crave InfoTech has also partnered with premier mapping companies like HERE Maps. Hence, the picker would the exact route to the exact location, with the pallet and bin identification, right in their devices.
They simply must follow the route and retrieve the parcel.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) in-hand or on-finger scanners
Zebra offers totally no-fail and error-free RFID scanners which are directly connected with the central system. The picker simply scans the parcel and its ID is mapped within the workflow for further processing.
These RFID scanners, or RFID guns, ensure accuracy, repeatability, and consistency within the picking, sorting, staging, and shipping process. With these RFID guns, the parcel never leaves the system right from the point of order creation to the final delivery (handover) to the consumer.
The RFID guns are also critical in inventory management within the warehouse, ensuring complete supply chain visibility, agility, and responsiveness. At any point, the managers know what they hold and what they need to replenish to keep the supply chain healthy and fluid.
Complete warehouse automation with IWM and IoT
To complete the story, the in-scanned parcels are processed and shipped through the logistics arm and out-scanned (Electronic Proof of Delivery – EPOD) at the time of final delivery, again using Crave-powered Zebra devices.
However, let’s keep our eyes within the walls of the warehouse for now. IWM ensures complete connectivity between all assets and devices in play within the warehouse at any time. All processes are auto-synced with the central system. This ensures that the managers have real-time and actionable insights, on hand all the time.
The devices, even smart forklifts, and mobility devices are connected and the central system. Essentially, they are Internet of Things (IoT) enabled – if you care for the terminology. With this IoT enablement, Crave helps your warehouse attain intelligence, ensure process control and agility, and boost profit margins.
You can get up and running, realizing value in quick time, and inching ahead of the competition – if you desire the same. Just Crave it, get in touch, and let the rest be history.