Chief Commercial Officer
Our booth represents many advanced automation solutions and technologies that help companies to capitalize on the dynamic growth the industry has seen over the last year, particularly in e-commerce and omnichannel retail. More consumers were taking advantage of online shopping, either getting orders delivered to their homes or buying online and picking up in store (BOPIS). This has definitely created opportunities and growth within the industry, but it has also created new challenges for warehouses to meet consumer demands for seamless shopping and ordering experiences and shorter delivery times. The pandemic accelerated demands for supply chain automation solutions: to achieve shorter fulfillment times, improve efficiency and productivity, optimize operational uptime, alleviate supply chain bottlenecks, and reduce cost per package shipped.
Our booth will showcase solutions that help to improve automation capabilities and drive productivity enhancement, both at the facility and operator levels. We’ll be introducing e-commerce focused solutions like automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS), goods-to-person (GTP) workflows and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) that help to enhance process workflows. We’ll also be demonstrating our Momentum Labor solution, which includes an improved cloud-based software program that enhances labor productivity and provides attrition modeling so that supervisors have the opportunity to proactively coach or incentivize employees at risk for quitting.
Dynamic demand is the biggest one, with increased expectations around shorter delivery windows being a core driver. For example, in the grocery sector, those windows have shrunk to just a few hours; in the retail category, it’s within a day. These shorter time frames, when combined with higher SKU variability, presents additional inventory management and order fulfillment challenges. Honeywell Intelligrated’s integrated AS/RS with Momentum warehouse execution software (WES) effectively manage order processing and orchestration to meet those shipping windows and efficiently manage inventory.
For the second trend, we’re seeing a significant shortage of labor plus an aging workforce. Turnover rates in the industry exceed 30%. And fewer workers have the expertise to perform more skilled roles, such as maintenance and inspection. To offset this, companies need a way to digitize and automate workflows and use labor management tools to improve and shorten onboarding, training and the building up of expertise within the existing labor pool.
The third trend involves increasing uptime and minimizing unplanned downtime. Companies need data to help them understand how their facilities are performing and when proactive maintenance and service should occur to avoid downtime of their equipment and facilities. Today, roughly 80% of businesses are misestimating their downtime by 200 to 300%, and 90% of maintenance shutdowns are unplanned. By integrating asset performance management technology and extracting data from controllers or edge devices, companies can become proactive about their maintenance needs, foresee bottlenecks in the system, and then shift lines accordingly to maximize throughput.
We have a long history in the warehouse automation industry. We’re well-known for our material handling equipment (MHE), but we’ve also built a very strong expertise in delivering end-to-end solutions for our customers. We pride ourselves on taking the time upfront in the process to really understand our customers’ problems. Then, we design solutions with advanced emulation and simulation software and other design technologies, showing customers in real time how to deliver solutions that will produce optimal outcomes that are flexible and modular to adapt and evolve with their business growth needs.
We work closely with customers throughout the entire process — from commissioning to installation to go-live — to ensure a quality result. We help them to solve their immediate and future problems by envisioning different strategies to optimize their networks, building modular strategies, and ensuring that their warehouse automation solutions can scale along with their changing businesses.