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Walmart – Vision for Supply Chain Drones Beyond Delivery

Rafael Granato
by Rafael Granato on Oct 28, 2015 01:59:19 AM

UseCases

Supply Chain Drones the Most Feasible Next Step

Ever since Bezos took Charlie Rose to his “secret” lab to show him the Amazon Prime Air, the world has become obsessed with delivery drones that drop products off at customers’ front doors. However, the most immediate application for these aerial robots—and that used by supply chain industry leader PINC—is actually more upstream in the form of supply chain drones.

Recently, two industry heavy-weights published articles about the use of supply chain drones that are spot on in terms of the immediate future of drones in the supply chain and logistics industries.

Walmart Delivery Drones and Walmart Drone Warehouse Use

The Walmart article from Reuters mentions the fact that the largest U.S. franchise (and the largest global retailer by revenue)—Walmart—already uses supply chain drones to manage the inventory held in trailers outside of warehouses and to make its system of distribution more efficient. These are the uses that PINC currently promotes in its efficient inventory management solutions.

However, Walmart is hoping to expand its use of drones to include home deliveries of products as well as the transport of products between Walmart facilities. Just like Amazon.com Inc, Google, and other major companies, Walmart is testing drones indoors with the hope that the FAA will soon establish rules and give permission for the devices to be used for commercial use. Currently, the use of drones for commerce is illegal unless the company has applied for—and received—an exemption.

The Gartner Report on Drones in Logistics

While less sexy than having a drone deliver your mail, the use of supply chain drones for asset and inventory checking is a significant development in the supply chain industry, in and of itself. In the Gartner document, a number of drone use cases are discussed, including:

  • Asset inventory tracking for trailer yards
  • Inventory checks for finished vehicles in the automotive industry
  • ocating high-value assets across a geographically dispersed area
  • Warehouse inventory management

he growth of this disruptive technology is being driven by the demand for velocity, efficiency, and the need to accurately assess inventory levels. While there are a number of possible approaches to the problem, the use of the drone technology is currently the most cost-effective solution available—seen in Walmart’s choice of drone-based warehouse systems.

Optimize Your Warehouse Inventory Management with PINC

As the supply chain optimization company chosen by the world’s largest brands, PINC is known for its innovative solutions for yard management, finished vehicles, and inventory robotics. Our cloud-based system offers real-time tracking and detailed analytics and insights so that your company can cut costs and save time.

We are here to help. Contact us today to learn more about how our supply chain drones and warehouse inventory management solutions can work for you.

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Rafael Granato

Written by Rafael Granato

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