Warehouse Automation

Leveraging the Latest in Warehouse Automation

Not long ago, warehouse automation (WA) meant capital-intensive equipment deployed only in large distribution centers to maximize case and pallet picks. Today, omnichannel fulfillment and the drive for faster and more efficient operations from facilities with smaller footprints has spawned new technology offerings. Gone are the days when automation meant expensive fixed conveyors, carousels, AS/RS, palletizers, and the like. While that technology has its purpose, today’s new offerings are tailored to fast-paced operations, which require unit picking, modular technology, lower capital requirements, expedited ROI, and data transparency for customers.

As part of this revolution, Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) are now integrated more tightly with warehouse automation. Basic Warehouse Control Systems (WCS) have evolved into Warehouse Execution Systems (WES), which blend the capabilities of the WMS and WCS. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are also being integrated into this technology backbone to improve performance even further. Today’s warehouse automation solutions require a systemic approach, not just the traditional “systems integrator” needed to implement conveyor systems.

4SIGHT can help develop this systemic approach. We offer:

  • Industry leaders well-versed in picking technology
  • Experience with traditional MHE options such as conveyors, AS/RS, palletizing, pick/put to light, automated guided vehicles (AGVs), etc.
  • Storage media selection and slotting
  • Warehouse automation system and equipment specification
  • Data management to enable an Agile supply chain transformation
  • Modern WMS platform deployment and integration with warehouse automation

Our automation solution experience:

  • Pick-assist robotics (Locus, Fetch Robotics, 6River, etc.)
  • Modular storage and goods-to-person solutions
  • Automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) – multi-shuttle, unit-load, mini-load, etc.
  • Sortation systems (tilt-tray, sliding shoe, belt sorters, tight-turn, flexible, pouch, etc.)
  • Pick-to-light and put-to-light systems
  • Automated guided vehicles (AGVs)
  • Carousel systems
  • Direct-to-consumer applications (goods-to-person, put-wall, mini-load, rapid-pick, etc.)
  • Conveyor systems (case, tote, pallet, accumulation, etc.)
  • In-line barcode readers, in-line print and apply, in-line barcode printing applications
  • Garment/hanger sortation systems
  • Palletizing robots, layer-picking robots, depalletizers
  • Divert systems
  • Pick carts
  • Piece picking (goods-to-person, rapid-pick, etc.)
  • Storage media selection
  • Forklift equipment (counterbalance/internal combustion, narrow aisle, reach, order pickers, walkie stackers, pallet stackers, towers, container handlers, three-wheel, clamper, etc.)
  • Packaging systems
  • Ergonomic stations
  • Safety solutions (dock plates, column protectors, lighting, bumpers, guard rails, lifts, wire enclosures, carts, containers, etc.)
  • Mezzanine solutions
  • Storage media solutions (selective pallet rack, double deep, narrow aisle, push-back rack, drive-in rack, drive-through rack, pallet flow, gravity flow, in-line rail, floor stack, cantilever, case flow, wire deck, structural steel, rolled form, etc.)

Other Warehouse Services

Engineered Labor Standards
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Engineered labor standards (ELS) allow you to effectively evaluate performance for your associates and supervisors against multivariable standards. These represent the level achievable by the average trained worker, working at a reasonable pace over the course of a day. By factoring in the variability that affects each task, having ELS in place removes the excuses that can result when expectations aren’t met. These standards also help identify what causes your warehouse team to underperform.

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Incentive-Based Pay
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Retaining and motivating a highly skilled, trained workforce is critical in today’s highly competitive supply chain environment. Implementing an incentive program for your company’s workforce can be an effective tool to increase productivity, reduce downtime, and improve morale. An incentive program motivates workers to talk, think, and act based on attributes that directly affect and drive improved operational productivity.

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Warehouse Layout & Design
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4SIGHT offers engineering services to assist you with designing a new distribution center from the ground up, expanding an existing facility, or undertaking a complete site redesign. We offer a full complement of supply chain strategy services that span distribution center operations, material handling equipment layout, engineering, best practices, facility layout assessment, and financial analysis and justification.

The ability to determine the right strategy for an optimal warehouse layout requires a sophisticated understanding of the engineering and best practices needed to deploy world-class distribution operations. 4SIGHT develops customized and detailed designs to ensure your operational requirements are met and that design options meet supporting capital investment requirements.

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Warehouse Operations Assessment
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You know your distribution center operations need to be leaner and more accurate, and that your service levels have to keep pace with ever-growing customer expectations. But your DC has so many moving pieces --- where do you start? 4SIGHT can show you where to begin, point the way to success, and make sure you get there.

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Workforce Optimization
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Your people are the most important assets in your supply chain operation—and often your biggest variable. Effectively optimizing your workforce depends on having the right blend of training, performance standards, technology, change management, and motivation. Choosing and implementing a world-class Labor Management System (LMS), is the most effective way to achieve fast ROI while improving your operation’s performance.

Start your optimization efforts by focusing on your management team: Train your supervisors to create a win-win situation by teaching the skills they need to coach the associates they manage and emphasize positive behavior before taking corrective action. The real benefit of a labor solution is having management and associates work together to drive sustainable productivity and performance gains. Developing an accountability plan with incentive-based pay is a highly effective way to sustain the improvements your new best practices generate.

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Get in Touch

Let’s connect to discuss how to move your operations forward one step at a time.

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