We came accross a very interesting blog post written by John Mabe last week. In his post, he presents some compelling use cases in today’s supply chain. In one of the use cases, he mentions PINC and talks about how we are innovating asset and inventory tracking using UAS or drones.
“Though not a delivery scenario, tracking assets is a key component of any supply chain. PINC Air, the self-dubbed supply chain drone company, has developed drones to keep track of hard to reach assets – such as identifying trailers in a yard, identifying automobiles in a crowded vehicle stockyard, and for cycle counting inventory in warehouses. Cycle counting is the most challenging use case but makes sense because warehouses are controlled environments with a built-in navigation system as warehouse racking is uniformly spaced vertically and horizontally. As has been reported in Reuter’s, Walmart is six to nine months away from using drones to cycle count inventory:
The remotely controlled drone captured 30 frames per second of products on aisles and alerted the user when product ran out or was incorrectly stocked. Natarajan said drones can reduce the labor intensive process of checking stocks around the warehouse to one day. It currently takes a month to finish manually.
Existing comprehensive cycle counting programs are expensive and still will not result in perfect inventory accuracy; If Walmart’s test of the program proves successful, it could save the company millions.”
John Mabe is a blogger and writes about the technology impact in Logistics with a specific focus on how emerging technologies are transforming eCommerce logistics. He is based in Sydney, Australia and has worked previously for DHL, Republic National, and Tyco.