“On The Move” to Capitalize Data

Blog
March, 2020

What’s one of the best predictors of how a business will thrive in the hypercompetitive e-commerce and omnichannel marketplace?

The answer: how predictable they make their distribution center (DC) processes by capitalizing on digital technologies and learning from the volumes of operational and customer data they already possess. Or, more to the point: how well the organization improves its decision-making in real time to make deliveries faster and more accurate.

Today’s competition is in a never-ending race to provide shorter delivery windows. For some retailers, this creates the urgency behind their digital transformations from manual processing to increasingly automated fulfillment operations and advanced supply chain technologies. But much work yet remains, as evidenced by the results of a recent study in which 95 percent of the operations and supply chain professionals who responded acknowledged they have not implemented innovations such as:

  • Robotics, advanced automation and augmented reality that optimize processes and efficiency
  • Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and the industrial internet of things (IIoT) to collect and analyze data from processes — and enable entire fulfillment ecosystems to work smarter and more profitably

These technologies are tools for building the foundation upon which DC operators can develop the predictability they need to fulfill perpetually changing e-commerce demands. Our industry, however, has been reluctant to expand our relationship with data. To continue to succeed and remain viable, this must change.

In the new edition of our On The Move publication, you will learn how e-commerce fulfillment leaders are gathering data from their DC machine control systems and sensors — from conveyance and sortation to advanced automation and robotic processes — to predict outcomes and bolster productivity and utilization. You’ll also learn how to leverage all this data for dynamic, automated decision-making based on order priorities, labor availability and warehouse automation system status. 

You’ll discover how your business can grow smarter, starting at the very beginning of processes on the dock. That’s where advanced vision, intelligence and grasping technologies enable next-generation robotic unloaders to double the speed of human labor. 

The impact of intelligent systems can be seen in how deeply they now reach into distribution operations. Automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS), for example, help DC operators achieve high-density storage and keep pace with the ever-increasing SKU varieties, order volumes and sheer speed of e-commerce. As our industry begins to embrace the power of data science, e-commerce survival will require an increased reliance on advanced machine-learning algorithms and sophisticated software to support real-time, intelligent decision- making with ever-expanding and diverse fulfillment requirements. Only with these emerging DC technologies can companies hope to address escalating complexities while increasing accuracy, productivity and operational profitability. 

In the quest to make operations more predictable, businesses are transitioning to predictive maintenance and automating the creation of service tasks within connected DC environments. Read more about that along with how lifecycle management program administrators can no longer afford to ignore their operational data and expect to achieve critical business outcomes.

I’m excited to share our latest On The Move publication because it focuses not on theories but on real-world applications, such as how to reduce training time for DC workers and raise productivity. You’ll learn how the latest generation of Honeywell Voice technology enables a leading pet product manufacturer to meet increasing requirements for faster picking and inventory replenishment. Their secret, of course, is that more operational and customer data is being analyzed in real time to empower their DC with decision intelligence — enabling predictability from the moment a customer places an order to the time it’s loaded on the shipping truck for on-time, accurate delivery.

It’s become abundantly clear that DCs need a holistically connected infrastructure — one that provides actionable insights and automated decision-making via robust analytics and execution software. At Honeywell Intelligrated, we help DC operators capitalize on data they already collect to power this digital transformation. Download our On the Move Publication, The Journey To Predictability, to find out how. 

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