Warehouses and distribution centers face pressure to meet delivery deadlines. But here’s the deal: warehousing hasn’t changed to keep up. It’s not just about fulfilling bulk orders anymore. These days, workers have to pick and pack thousands of products in various and random combinations to fulfill e-commerce orders.
Adding to the challenge is the ongoing shortage of workers. Warehouses and distribution centers struggle to find and keep top-notch employees. The work can be repetitive and physically demanding, making it a real struggle to build a dedicated workforce.
In this blog post, we’ll walk you through three practical ways inVia’s smart technologies keep your warehouse workers productive and ensure your orders go out on time. We’ll also introduce you to one groundbreaking solution that not only keeps your workers performing at their best but also makes them happier on the job.
Table of contents:
- Keeping Workflows and Resources in Constant Motion
> How inVia’s Automation Keeps All the Gears Turning
- Cutting Down on Wasted Walking Time
> How inVia Steps In to Reduce Walking Time
- Making picking and navigating easier and more intuitive
> How inVia’s automation makes picking easier
- Bonus: Keeping your workers happy and performing at their best
> How inVia PickerWall keeps your workers both productive and happy
1. Keeping Workflows and Resources in Constant Motion
Picture an efficient warehouse as a well-oiled machine. When everything clicks, your workers stay productive, orders are fulfilled on time, and customers are happy. But making this a reality is no simple task. Warehouses and distribution centers are intricate ecosystems brimming with employees, machinery, and a multitude of tasks. Now, just imagine if workers are often waiting around with nothing to do – it’s like having your car stuck in traffic instead of cruising ahead. Making sure that workers stay on task and transition smoothly from one assignment to the next is essential for warehouse productivity.
How inVia’s Automation Keeps All the Gears Turning
The goal of automation and robotics is to tackle inefficiencies across various facets of warehouse operations. The ultimate aim? To choreograph all these moving parts, cutting down on idle time and maintaining high productivity. The trick here is to make all these operations work smarter by intelligently planning, allocating, and directing resources. Technologies, like AI, play a vital role in organizing tasks for both people and robots, making the most of the resources at hand.
inVia’s technology stays ahead of every warehouse task, virtually eliminating wasted time:
- inVia Logic, the AI-powered warehouse automation software, plans and prioritizes tasks based on deadlines and required resources
- It balances workload distribution between workers to ensure a constant stream of order fulfillment, and it assigns work based on labor productivity data
- Workers are also made more productive through automated task directions that quickly and accurately send them to the right inventory location
inVia’s intelligence dashboards
2. Cutting Down on Wasted Walking Time
Traditional warehouse workers can cover more than 10 miles in a single day, trekking across vast warehouse spaces while fulfilling orders. The problem is these meandering walks often lead to slower order fulfillment and longer processing times. And that’s not all – they also bring along a host of issues like worker fatigue, joint and back pain, and a lack of social interaction, all of which can put a damper on job satisfaction and worker retention.
How inVia Steps In to Reduce Walking Time
- Intelligent Path Planning: inVia’s AI algorithms calculate the shortest route for your workers, making sure they cover the least amount of ground within the warehouse. And if there’s a traffic jam in the aisles, no worries – the algorithms reroute your workers to keep things moving smoothly.
- Spatial Batching: Our intelligent software organizes and assigns orders based on how close together the products are in the warehouse. This means your workers won’t have to keep returning to the same aisle. It’s all about streamlining their routes for maximum efficiency.
- inVia PickerWall robotic automation: This innovative Totes-to-Person automation takes a fresh approach where robots travel through the warehouse and bring totes filled with products to a dynamic pick/put wall, where workers pick orders. This condenses the picking area by more than 75%, eliminating the need for workers to crisscross the entire warehouse. They get to stay close to the inVia PickerWall, which means they can focus on the important task of picking and fulfilling orders without all that unnecessary – and costly – walking around.
3. Making picking and navigating easier and more intuitive
Order picking accounts for more than 50% of warehouse operating costs. Having the right technology to assist with manual picking can make a world of difference in boosting productivity. And, let’s not forget about getting your workers precisely where they need to be, especially when the average warehouse in the United States spans about 180,000 square feet.
How inVia’s automation makes picking easier:
We have developed a patented Pick-to-Color technology, which combines the power of AI-driven automation software (inVia Logic) with a user-friendly, color-based interface (inVia PickMate) to guide your workers.
inVia PickMate takes the intelligence crafted by inVia Logic and delivers it to your workforce in a straightforward, color-coded format. Color coding helps your team to process information at a glance and eliminates language barriers. Plus, it adds a dash of visual interest, keeping focus, productivity, and accuracy in check.
Your pickers use a color-based interface to follow clear-cut, step-by-step instructions for finding items and swiftly and accurately picking and placing them as they move through the order process. All it takes is matching the color on their smart device to the one on the inventory container. And it only takes 30 minutes of training to become a pro at using inVia PickMate.
4. Bonus: Keeping your workers happy and performing at their best
Many robotic solutions these days expect workers to keep pace with the robots. If a worker needs a break and there’s no replacement, the robot ends up twiddling its mechanical thumbs, waiting for the worker to get back to the task.
But people and robots dance to different beats. People often like to work in bursts, taking quick breaks before diving back into the action. This rhythm helps maintain their focus and amps up productivity. Robots, on the other hand, are all about continuous, repetitive tasks.
How inVia PickerWall keeps your workers both productive and happy
With inVia’s innovative Totes-to-Person automation, inVia Picker robots build a dynamic pick/put wall (inVia PickerWall) with each day’s orders. The robots don’t depend on workers. They work non-stop on one side of the wall, while your team operates in bursts on the other side, pulling products and sorting them into order bins.
By breaking the dependency between your workers and the robots, we not only speed up fulfillment rates but also keep your workforce more engaged. Robots tackle the dull and repetitive stuff, while your workers can work in works in bursts. Plus, with a 10X productivity boost, workers can shift from mundane tasks and focus on more fulfilling and value-added ones like making decisions and solving problems.
From streamlining workflows and reducing idle time to cutting down on unnecessary walks and making picking and navigating a breeze, inVia’s smart solutions pave the way for efficient, happier workers. Plus, our bonus solution, the inVia PickerWall, shakes up the traditional approach by decoupling workers from robots, resulting in a more engaged and productive workforce.