AUTOMATED PICKING AND SORTING SOLUTIONS FOR ECOMMERCE FULFILLMENT
In 2020, ecommerce grew a whopping 40% YOY, with nearly 19.3% of all retail sales coming from online purchases. And while some of the shift occurred out of necessity, no one expects the world to go back to pre-COVID eCommerce numbers.
For many retailers, supply chains are being stretched to the breaking point and there’s no longer a way to confidently predict what next week may bring. Unexpected demand can cause late deliveries or empty store shelves that negatively impact customer retention. As a result, priorities have changed from improving retail storefronts to boosting warehouse performance.
THE INCREASING STRUGGLE FOR WAREHOUSE LABOR
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, warehouse hiring hit another highpoint in December, with employment in the sector up nearly 9% YoY to reach more than 1.29 million workers.
The shift in consumer habits and product demand is requiring many retailers to hire more than they typically would for peak season. The biggest challenge today revolves around finding, training, and retaining labor, while also ensuring a safe working environment.
MASTERING THE ONLINE ERA WITH WAREHOUSE AUTOMATION
Automating picking and sorting activities allows retailers to optimize fulfillment processes by boosting productivity and reducing opportunity for manual errors thus facilitating faster delivery to the customer resulting in improved customer satisfaction. OPEX® AS/RS systems – Perfect Pick® and Infinity™ – and automated sorting systems – Sure Sort® – are flexible to meet your needs today and scalable to match your needs as your business grows. Designed to fit in a variety of locations, such as large distribution centers, small urban warehouses, or the back of a retail store, OPEX systems provide the speed and accuracy you need to streamline your ecommerce business, from inventory storage and picking to sorting and shipping.
PICK, PACK AND SHIP IN LESS THAN 15 MINUTES WITH OPEX® AS/RS SYSTEMS
One to two people can pick all orders from one standalone Perfect Pick system, without the need to walk or search for items. The iBOT® wireless robotic vehicles continuously deliver totes containing the items necessary to fulfill the orders at high-speed directly to the picking station(s) integrated into the aisle’s ends. Designed for greater storage density, the Infinity AS/RS removes the need for warehouse employees to search for items and enables operators to pick orders at decoupled presentation ports. Infinity iBOT robots deliver totes directly to decoupled presentation ports outside the system, allowing for maximum efficiency. In OPEX AS/RS and goods-to-person systems, the totes are delivered as fast as the items are picked. An entire order can be picked without the need to batch and separate items into individual orders or use conveyors to deliver items to multiple pick stations. Several orders are presented for fulfillment simultaneously to workstations and decoupled presentation ports to maximize the efficiency of the tote presentations.
Since inventory is only removed when fulfilling an order, OPEX goods-to-person systems help keep inventory secure. Access items for random spot checks and cycle counting using Perfect Pick at your command, instead of manually searching for items.
CONSOLIDATING SINGLE ITEMS TO ORDERS WITH SURE SORT® Automated Put Wall
For many businesses that batch pick sorting single items into individual orders or down to kits can be the bottleneck in warehouse. The OPEX Sure Sort sortation system automates this process.
With as few as two operators, items are sorted into customized bin locations at rates up to 2400 items per hour. One Sure Sort system can replace up to six traditional put walls and requires less labor and space. The item is placed on the induction belt and from there the process is automated. The scan tunnel reads up to eight different barcodes located virtually anywhere on the item. The reads are sent to the WMS and the WMS tells the Sure Sort into which bin to put the item. This process is repeated until an order or kit is completed in one of the bins. At that point, the notification lights located near the bin illuminate to alert the bin attendant that the bin is ready to be emptied. Once the bin is emptied, it can be put back in service to have another order sorted to it.
OPEX warehouse automation systems are solutions that solve problems in the present and can grow to keep those same problems from returning as your business increases. Due to their iBOT robot centric design, the chances of downtime are significantly reduced as there are no major moving parts that are a single point of failure.