Today’s e-commerce fulfillment centers face an unprecedented number of challenges. With online orders skyrocketing, an industry-wide shortage of warehouse employees and increased delivery speed expectations normalized by Amazon Prime, the struggle to improve warehouse efficiency and keep pace with the industry’s evolution is very real.
To address these issues head-on, a number of e-commerce fulfillment centers have begun researching Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) systems that work alongside people to help increase throughput, efficiency, and productivity.
Are you looking to maximize the efficiency of every transaction your pickers perform? Here are three very common online fulfillment center operations that AMRs can completely transform in less than 48-hours of deployment on a warehouse floor.
Single Line Item Order Processing
Every online fulfillment operation deals with a certain percentage of orders that consist of just a single line item. These orders are filtered and batch picked by pickers who go on to select SKUs that represent these orders, and then walk them to a dedicated packing station for processing.
Advances in warehouse robotics now remove picker travel time to dedicated packing stations and in turn increase throughput rates. AMRs can autonomously transport these very same loads for processing, allowing pickers to remain focused on the kind of higher value tasks that both increase warehouse productivity rates, and overall, improve warehouse efficiency.
Key Logistical Benefits: AMR systems increase picker productivity and lower costs per hour (CPH) to deploy. Fetch Robotics AMRs deliver ROI in as fast as 3-6 months.
Zone Picking to Consolidation Wall
In many modern online fulfillment operation centers, pickers are assigned to designated zones that represent aisles of racks where orders are batched and separated by SKU demand. Introducing AMRs in this scenario allow pickers to avoid picking by order and instead focus on picking by SKU demand within their individual zones.
Once again, AMRs eliminate the need for pickers to leave their zones by autonomously transporting SKUs to consolidation walls for them, allowing for focus of attention on higher value tasks like their next SKU batch.
Key Logistical Benefits: When volume is high, AMRs allow for consolidation walls to be built across any number of locations and can be just as easily removed at the conclusion of peak seasons. With Fetch Robotics’ FetchCore cloud software, no matter how dynamic the environment, it takes very little effort to program AMRs to reach these new locations.
When volume and/or geographic size permits, batch picking to carts is a viable fulfillment center option. Orders are batched and each picker is responsible for a specific group of orders. Totes or shipping boxes represent an order on a cart and pickers travel through picking areas to fulfill placed orders.
AMRs rewrite this process by carrying multiple totes and orders to packing areas for processing and shipping, allowing workers to stay in their zones and focus on picking new orders.
Key Logistical Benefits: Designed to improve warehouse efficiency, more sophisticated AMRs can be set up easily with queuing behavior and do not require integration into Warehouse Management Systems (WMS).
Learn More About How Fetch Robotics’ Solutions Improve Throughput, Efficiency & Productivity, While Working Alongside People: