Recent advancements in indoor drone systems are enabling today’s most innovative retailers, 3PLs, and manufacturers to fully automate the process of inventory tracking. Using self-flying drones to capture accurate inventory data on nights and weekends when employees enjoy time off, these systems help detect and correct inventory errors, omissions, and discrepancies before they disrupt operations or compromise customer service. By providing frequent and consistent feedback, they also help management identify and eliminate process errors that can impact operations and increase CO2 emissions. The result: a zero-error warehouse.
Automating inventory tracking has become a mandate for companies striving to achieve supply chain excellence, but it is no easy task. Errors in large warehouses are difficult to find, and that challenge scales in direct relationship to the size and height of the warehouse. The continuous movement of goods introduces new errors constantly—often before existing errors are resolved. This means that many errors are only discovered at the point of fulfillment, causing interruptions of normal operations, the potential for partially completed orders, and delays or unfulfilled orders that negatively impact customer service.
Though Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) have greatly advanced warehouse efficiency, the costly, labor-intensive chore of inventory tracking and accurately recording inventory data has failed to evolve. Lacking a better option to get the job done, warehouse employees must take time away from more intelligent tasks to manually scan inventory across the warehouse. It is a monotonous and often dangerous job that is universally unpopular among warehouse personnel. As a result, employee satisfaction drops, process compliance suffers, and inventory errors are seen as an ‘acceptable failure’ within an otherwise exceptional operation. By lowering costs and improving accuracy, efficiency, autonomy, customer service, and safety, automated inventory tracking powered by self-flying drones creates a better, smarter warehouse.
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