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5 Ways Of Streamlining Logistics Operations With Autonomous Robots And Drones

Rafael Granato
by Rafael Granato on Oct 22, 2018 2:02:17 PM

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The opportunities to integrate autonomous robots exist at every stage of the supply chain, where improved efficiencies, lower costs, safer work environments, and higher productivity levels are just a few of the returns that organizations are seeing from their robotics investments.

For companies that aren’t already using autonomous robots, launching a strategy can be intimidating. It sounds expensive, for starters, and the idea of putting robots on an assembly line, in a warehouse, out on a dock, or in the yard can be downright daunting. Last month, our CEO, Matt Yearling, wrote a blog post titled "How to buy your first autonomous robotoffering  the readers a high-level approach to robotics procurement. 

Many companies have already worked through these challenges and are now reaping the rewards of their efforts and investments. In "7 reasons you should be using autonomous robots in your warehouse", we listed the main reasons why your company needs to start integrating autonomous robots into its supply chain.

In this post, we would like to provide you with five examples of how autonomous robots and drones can work to streamline the supply chain and make it more efficient according to Delloitte’s new report, "Using autonomous robots to drive supply chain innovation"

  1. Perform product development tasks: When autonomous robots are set up to perform continuous, repetitive tasks, product development and prototyping activities can benefit from around-the-clock testing for fatigue, damage tolerance, and quality. This frees up product development professionals to work on more important tasks.
  1. Enable better inventory management and easier cycle counting: When handled by aerial robots, these tasks produce more accurate supply-demand reconciliation and replenishment needs, ultimately reducing on-hand inventory, Deloitte reports.
  1. Enhance warehouse operations: Autonomous Drones can be used in various warehouse operations, from inbound logistics in time-critical situations; carrying materials from storage to factory; transporting directly from receiving to shipping; or efficiently scanning inventory and significantly reducing labor costs, Deloitte reports.
  1. Improve accuracy on mundane tasks: According to Deloitte, robotic process automation in standard sourcing processes can reduce effort and time requirements and improve the accuracy of mundane tasks. “Autonomous robots are able to perform inspections on inbound goods and provide real-time data to suppliers,” the company notes.
  1. Reduce cross-docking times and speed up shipment deliveries: Autonomous vehicles with self-guiding abilities can reduce cross-docking times and improve accuracy and rates of picking, packing, sorting, and labeling of items, Deloitte notes. This, in turn, increases perfect order rates and potentially drives higher customer satisfaction levels.

“The time for companies to assess their supply chains for piloting autonomous robots is now,” Deloitte concludes in its report. “Depending on needs and existing capabilities within the supply chain, implementing autonomous robots—from robotic process automation to self-guiding vehicles with artificial intelligence—can provide significant improvements in productivity and efficiency, while reducing labor costs and improving customer satisfaction.”

Read Deloitte’s full report here.

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Rafael Granato
Written by Rafael Granato
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