Drones in the Warehouse

Drones in the Warehouse

September 7, 2018

Digital inventory management in warehouses is made possible by “plug-and-play aerial robots”.  Warehouse drones can be trained to scan and track inventory much faster than humans.

The resulting inventory information is uploaded to the cloud for warehouse/inventory management synchronization.  With better inventory tracking at warehouses, inventory moves faster throughout the supply chain, adding values to companies that invest in digital inventory management technology.


Video Spotlight: Digital Inventory – PINC


Businesses are exploring drone use throughout the supply chain. Check out previous OM in the News posts about last-mile delivery and medical deliveries to geographically isolated regions.

This post is based on the Supply Chain 24/7 article, Can Warehouse Robots Help You Manage Inventory Better?, by Matt Yearling, July 14, 2018; and the YouTube video, Digital Inventory – PINC, by PINC, May 16, 2018. Image sources: Getty Images/iStockphoto, ©DreamPictures/Blend Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the operational benefits of digital inventory management?

Guidance: A list of benefits are included in the article, including 24/7 operation, faster scanning, higher accuracy, reduction of operational expenses, improvement on employee safety, better understanding of inventory levels, and faster inventory movement throughout the supply chain. Students may identify other Continue reading

Facebook
Google+
http://ominthenews.com/tag/automation/page/3">
Twitter
China and Industry 4.0

China and Industry 4.0

September 3, 2018

China is leading the world in implementation of Industry 4.0.

Industry 4.0 is a digital factory concept that promises to dramatically increase productivity, decrease inventory holding costs, improve quality, and increase forecasting accuracy.  The IT architecture has to be built around the company’s unique business needs and processes instead of building a strategy around a particular technology to make Industry 4.0 work.

Investments in Industry 4.0 should have a payback period of less than two years.

This post is based on the McKinsey article, Imperatives for China’s factories of the future, by Anil Sikka, August 3, 2018. Image source: Shutterstock / Phonlamai Photo.

Discussion Questions:

1.  Industry 4.0 requires a major investment in IT architecture, e.g. data, analytics, robots. Are there limitations to implementation of Industry 4.0 that were not mentioned in the article for companies in the United States?

Guidance: Review the concept of scalability.  Students should recognize that the costs of implementation may limit Industry 4.0 to larger companies.  Additional issues that should be noted are workforce availability to implement and operate the IT architecture, and the requirement for tighter supply chain integration.

2. What happens to break-even quantity when Industry Continue reading

Facebook
Google+
http://ominthenews.com/tag/automation/page/3">
Twitter