Langham Logistics (Langham) is a third-party logistics (3PL), transportation and warehousing company headquartered in the Midwestern U.S. They offer supply chain management, domestic and international freight services, airport logistics services and warehouse and fulfillment services with a focus on the life sciences industry.
Langham was looking to better serve their life sciences customers’ special requirement for highly accurate inventory information, and turned to Gather AI for a drone-powered inventory monitoring solution. Gather AI’s software enables drones to fly autonomously through warehouses with no GPS or Wi-Fi — even at night — to photograph inventory stored in pallet locations. The AI interprets bar codes, text and other information in the photographs and automatically compares these with what’s in the warehouse management system (WMS). The inventory team can view inventory data in real time from a web dashboard, and easily identify and fix inventory exceptions, even creating a to-do list for their teams.
Improved Productivity and Accuracy, Reduced Inventory Costs and Boosted Revenue
“At one of our facilities, we had four people plus me before. Now [with Gather AI], we’re doing the same amount of work and, I think, more efficiently, with myself and one employee than when I had four,” says Langham inventory control supervisor Matthew Weston. These employees were re-allocated to do more value-added tasks.
Employees no longer spend long, tedious hours doing manual inventory with forklifts, and there is now less likelihood of misplacing product — no over-ordering or delayed shipments. This technology also meant they could cut down on costs tied to automated lifts, insurance and maintenance.
Langham went from a 97% inventory accuracy rate to over 99% accuracy. Because of this, they were able to reduce their “pallet fire drills,” where they were forced to deal with issues such as issues like overhang, inventory inaccuracies or general lost product, from 20 to 30 per day to one or two.
Langham has been able to differentiate itself from its competitors, win new business by showing potential new customers its system, and provide new services for their existing customers.
“When your inventory accuracy goes up, it makes people much more comfortable with starting a relationship,” says Weston. “Those numbers jump out to people, and it’s one less thing they need to worry about.”
Langham director of engineering and facilities, Scott Swanson says Langham won new business with the help of the drones. “We got a contract for a major life sciences account, and we asked them what the deciding factors were,” he says. “They said they loved that we have drones.”
Swanson says the 3PL has also been able to provide additional services to their customers. “Sometimes [customers] will call us and ask for an inventory check and an image of what’s happening, and we can do that,” he says. “The biggest benefit now is that we include this offering as a service level agreement (SLA) to customers.” An added benefit specific to life sciences customers is that Langham can more quickly identify inventory that may have been recalled.
Langham found implementation of the drone system easy. In one Langham warehouse with a capacity of 21,000 pallets, Gather AI was able to get set up within a few days. The system has now been installed in three Langham warehouses. “It was quick and simple,” says Langham warehouse manager Chelsy Richardson. “The team from Gather AI was great. The training was excellent and thorough from start to finish. We were left with no questions unanswered.”
Resource link: www.gather.ai.
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