For many fulfillment and distribution centers, efficiency drops as volume increases. More orders require more pickers on the floor, causing congestion that slows the whole operation down. With the addition of forklifts helping to replenish fast-moving SKUs and inexperienced associates struggling to find items throughout the warehouse, a high volume of orders is a recipe for an operations breakdown.
That’s why we were thrilled when Ryan Robertson, Director of Retail Operations at MD Logistics, shared his insights with us in a recent interview. He found that with 6 River Systems’ solutions in place, as the volume of orders in his warehouse increased, so did his associates’ productivity rates. “We’ve seen an improvement in our picking efficiency go up by 27% on a daily basis,” Ryan told us. And on their busiest days, he reports, “it increases by 50%.”
This phenomenon is not unique to MD Logistics. All of our customer sites see increases in productivity as their volume increases. The reason for this is the way that our Fulfillment Management System (FMS) works. When waves of orders enter our cloud, they are sorted and allocated according to the proximity of items within the order and the other orders in the system. As more orders are included in a wave, the better the FMS can optimize pick paths, ensuring that warehouse associates and their collaborative mobile robots are working efficiently and avoiding traffic jams.
The other benefit that Ryan saw within his warehouse was in training. Because 6RS’ robots, Chucks, guide associates through the warehouse, they were not slowed down by traditional roadblocks met by new and seasonal employees. “With your traditional RF picking system,” explains Keith Gribble, Operations Manager at MD Logistics, “it can take weeks to train someone. Chuck, a good two hours and they are fully trained and ready to go.”
Learn more about the success that MD Logistics saw after implementing 6 River Systems.