Archive for warehouse automation

The Practical Evaluation of Emerging Warehouse Technologies

Today is an exciting time in the world of warehousing and fulfillment operations. The exponential growth of e-commerce is creating an abundance of opportunity for retailers. At the same time, it’s causing serious changes to the demands placed on fulfillment operations. These fulfillment changes are themselves creating a spike in demand for warehouse automation and other fulfillment technologies. But the automation requirements are different than they were in the past. Order volumes and SKU variability […]

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Warehouse Automation & Control Systems: Market Update

I concluded and published ARC’s research on the Worldwide Global Trade Management (GTM) Systems market about midway through last month. The feeling of accomplishment was short-lived because I woke up the next day and began the update to ARC’s Worldwide Warehouse Automation & Control Systems market research study. ARC Advisory Group’s research into the warehouse automation & control market (let’s call it WAC for short) is an in-depth process that includes the analysis of large amounts […]

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Autonomous Mobile Robotics In Action at RK Logistics

Last year after the MODEX exhibition I stated that autonomous mobile robotics (AMR) had moved from the concept phase to commercial availability and practical consideration. At this year’s Promat show I set out to evaluate the commercial progress of AMR in the warehouse. Ideally the progress would be confirmed by referenceable customers willing to discuss their operational success along with the financial feasibility of the solutions. Just yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking with Cindy Traver, the senior director of operations at […]

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ProMat 2017- A Balance of Practical and Technical Innovations

Last week’s ProMat trade show in Chicago exhibited many more interesting warehouse technologies than I could possibly view in one day. Thankfully, I was able to touch upon most, but not all, of my “must see technologies.” My high-level take away is that the show exhibited everything from the next high-profile, technical innovations to those that deliver less of a “gee wiz” emotional response, but also are likely to deliver a quicker payback to those companies […]

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ProMat 2017 “Must-See” Technologies (at least for me)

The ProMat show will begin in less than two weeks. I thoroughly enjoyed the show two years ago and personally believe it is (still?) a more comprehensive trade show than its Atlanta-based twin, Modex. I have spent a good amount of time over the last week setting up interviews and otherwise planning my time for ProMat 2017. Those of you that have attended the show in the past will understand how easy it is to […]

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Prepare for the Seasonal Surge in the Distribution Center Now!

It may seem strange to write about preparing for the Holiday surge in the Distribution Center so early in the year. But the e-commerce surge can increase order volume by a factor of five or more for some retailers. To prepare for those kinds of volumes, you really need to start now!

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Warehouse Automation & Control System Growth Drivers

ARC Advisory Group conducts an in-depth analysis of the global warehouse automation and control (WAC) market. The research process includes the analysis of large amounts of information and interviews with executives from numerous warehouse automation companies. The process concludes with the publication of ARC’s global Warehouse Automation & Control Market Research Study, which analyzes the market shares across numerous segments of the market, defined by criteria such as geographic region, end-user industry, load-size, and more. […]

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How The Warehouse Automation Market is Evolving to Meet Practitioners’ Needs

The warehouse automation market has certainly evolved over the last two years. Thankfully, I believe most of the changes are advancements that allow suppliers to better meet customers’ needs. I will categorize the market’s evolution into three high-level categories – more holistic solutions, greater system adaptability, and greater system intelligence. Warehouse automation vendors have purchased other companies within the industry to expand their offerings, with recent examples including Dematic’s acquisition of SDI Group, obtaining its garment-on-hanger system, and Vanderlande’s acquisition of Dinamic, extending its portfolio of conveyors. The rapid growth of e-commerce; the heterogeneous nature of today’s items, orders, and loads; and the unpredictable business environment have made system adaptability and fulfillment flexibility increasingly important to fulfillment operations. Shuttle systems have been the ideal solution to meet these needs.

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Mexico – The Land of Sunshine, Tequila, and.…Automated Warehouses?

During my discussions with warehouse automation suppliers and WMS suppliers, Mexico was frequently noted as a strong spot within an otherwise weak Latin America region. Warehouse automation vendors didn’t really point to an overarching factor driving sales to companies in Mexico. But WMS suppliers informed ARC that the WMS selling environment in Mexico remains favorable due to increased nearshoring efforts by US companies. Multinationals care more than ever about agility in their supply chain, as China’s costs increase, Mexico’s proximity is becoming more appealing. I dug further into macroeconomic reports to see if there were additional insights to be obtained. I came across the Department of Commerce 2016 Top Markets Report on the Cold Chain in Mexico. This report states that Mexico’s supermarkets have been growing at a rapid pace.

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Dematic and Intelligrated Acquisitions Highlight Warehouse Automation’s Superior Growth Potential

The global warehouse automation & control (WA&C) market has experienced numerous mergers & acquisitions over the years. However, most of the acquisitions have been smaller vendors that sell similar solutions that offer a complimentary technology, capability, or additional geographic presence to the acquirer. In contrast, the recently announced acquisitions of Dematic and Intelligrated represent major shifts in the global WA&C market. Dematic announced on June 21 that it is going to be acquired by the KION Group, one of […]

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