The solutions that 6 River Systems designs are specifically flexible to meet the peak-to-mean fluctuations that day-to-day operations experience, but holiday peak in the e-commerce and retail industries puts any solution to the test. 60% of our customer sites experience holiday peak and a few of them fulfilled peak volumes more than 5x their daily average.
Let’s get some vocabulary out of the way. What is a peak-to-mean ratio?
Warehouses anticipate order volumes based on what they experience from one day to the next. This average workflow is referred to as the mean. When orders fluctuate to volumes higher than that average, it is called a peak. To calculate the peak-to-mean ratio, divide the peak volume number by the mean volume number.
Prepping for extreme peak demand volumes
Product designers and engineers at 6RS have been preparing for months to ensure that our robots, our cloud-based software and our site’s operations are ready. “During peak, our customers process many thousands of orders in a single wave.” explains Joe Hughes, Director of Software at 6RS. “We’ve been simulating peak activity at each of our sites to work out any issues before our customers experience them.”
What does a solution in an operation experiencing 5x their average volume look like?
Solutions built to flex to high peak ratios require a balance between flexibility, intelligence, and brute force. One F100 company prepared for extreme fluctuations by overhauling their fulfillment processes from induct to pack out with 6 River Systems. They increased picking efficiency by consolidating high-frequency orders into singles batches, utilized sort walls to singulate them, implemented 6RS packout stations, and integrated an autobagger into the process. To top if off, they rented additional Chucks to double the size of their fleet.
At 6 River Systems, We Win When Our Customers Win
For us, customer success is the measure of all of our efforts. When we see a site that can deliver on a 5x peak demand, we know that we are on the right track.