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Order fulfillment

Third-party logistics (3PL) providers in the fulfillment sector face many of the same market challenges as their retail customers — and the growing shortage of available labor is at the top of this list. In the past, 3PLs have simply scaled up their workforce to meet service contracts. But to meet e-commerce requirements, they’ll need new strategies that aren’t as dependent on adding labor. As a result, many are accelerating their transitions to automation and digital technologies. 
To meet SLAs without cutting into profit margins, managers need to be able to quickly identify underperforming labor resources and process bottlenecks. So, how do you do that? Our experts have identified 10 simple ways companies like yours can identify operational inefficiencies and address them before they impact the bottom line.
Modern warehouse execution systems (WES) address these escalating complexities by providing intelligent, dynamic allocation based on man, machine and workstation availabilities. 
We are often asked, “Why would I need a put wall in my distribution center?” The answer is simple: regardless of your business requirements, put walls provide an efficient and accurate means to complete the order fulfillment process.
Rapidly increasing customer expectations are creating a challenging fulfillment landscape. E-commerce order volumes are three times higher than the retail industry as a whole. Consumers want greater product variety, creating larger and more volatile inventories, and they expect fast — and free — delivery. Mass urbanization adds additional challenges by limiting the availability of warehouse space and making prime locations more expensive.
Picking processes have a tremendous impact on the core business of distribution centers. It’s estimated that more than 50 percent of warehouse operational costs can be attributed to picking — quite possibly because picking processes are among the most labor-intensive, critical tasks shared by fulfillment operations.
When a sortation system isn’t working anymore or a company reaches an automation impasse, the results are unmistakable: 

Follow the Trend: Reduce Downtime in Your DC

Trending data in order fulfillment allows distribution center (DC) operators to identify patterns that can be used to prevent costly downtime. Visibility into these patterns within an organization can help pinpoint repetitive issues, such as jams on a sorter, and address underlying root causes. Honeywell Intelligrated is currently engaged with customers, gathering real data from their DCs and applying machine-learning algorithms in order to provide insights into asset performance, utilization, and productivity.

Using Autonomous Mobile Robots in the Warehouse

Labor augmentation is a key benefit to robotic technology. When performed manually, the dull, repetitive tasks of picking operations can lead to decreased accuracy. Relying on robotic technology allows for greater throughput and accuracy, while empowering manual laborers to take on jobs that are less-mundane. Learn how Honeywell Intelligrated’s strategic collaboration with Fetch Robotics provides distribution centers with autonomous mobile robotic solutions.

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