Replenishment is an often overlooked workflow for the warehousing sections of distribution and fulfillment centers and manufacturing facilities, but it is one that can benefit most from automation. Without the right materials in the right place for case and each pickers, orders in DCs and FCs take longer to fulfill and manufacturing lines may need to be shut down.
Regardless of which method of replenishment you use – demand-based, routine, or top-off – ensuring your revenue-generating activities (like picking) continue without interruption is key to remaining profitable in this new, highly e-commerce driven, supply chain model. Other than WMS, WES, or ERP systems, what other simple automation strategies can you use to improve your replenishment processes?
It’s simple. By using cloud robotics and native integrations with your WMS, WES or ERP, you can decrease the amount of labor needed to move materials between reserve storage and primary/forward picking facilities in your site. The WMS or ERP will tell the associate that an item needs to be replenished at the same time it directs one of our AMRs to meet the picker in the reserve storage aisle. The picker places the item needing replenishment directly on the robot or on a robot-friendly cart. The robot is then directed to meet another replenishment associate in the forward pick aisle to place the goods in their directed locations.
This allows your replenishment staff to increase their available picking time by over 50% by interleaving picking and replenishment. Additionally, by implementing autonomous RFID inventory tracking, you can get a clearer view of actual inventory to continually facilitate accurate replenishment requests.
Maintaining stock in forward picking is critical to meeting the demands of fulfillment and distribution. With Fetch Robotics’ AMR solution, material from receiving or reserve storage can be automatically transported to the correct locations to maximize productivity for put away and replenishment workflows.
FetchCore is our cloud-based application for deploying, operating, and optimizing our entire portfolio of Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) for material handling automation and data collection.
Monitor your entire Fetch Robotics AMR fleet across multiple warehouse and manufacturing environments, customize and schedule robot tasks, and gain actionable insights all within an app that runs on any web device with a compatible browser. With FetchCore, robots can begin operating in just hours – not days, weeks, or months.