The phrase “goods to person” has become fairly mainstream, particularly with increased focus on supply chain logistics and efficiencies in warehouse operations. At this point, it’s well known that for distribution facilities looking to service customers more quickly, optimize warehouse space and improve accuracy of order fulfillment, goods-to-person technologies are a realistic option to accomplish these goals.
With significant growth in technology options by various suppliers, there is now a wide selection of attainable options, from large, modular structures to smaller, easy to grow selections. The modernized approach to storage and retrieval operations leads to increased customer satisfaction, longer employee retention and a much improved bottom line.
Choosing the right solution, however, can become overwhelming and daunting, even for individuals experienced in this field. Below are 4 questions to ask and answer before selecting a goods-to-person solution.
1. What do you hope to accomplish through the use of goods-to-person technology?
Knowing what your top objectives are will steer you toward the proper solution. For instance, a potential user looking to reduce their storage footprint by 40% would most likely use a different solution compared to a user looking to automate highly sequenced picking.
2. Does the solution fit your business model?
If your business model has potential to fluctuate every few years, it would be beneficial to look at goods-to-person technologies that can easily fluctuate to stay in line with your evolving needs. Solutions such as AutoStore or Scallog have the ability to expand and contract by simply adding or subtracting robots and bins or mobile shelves. AMR-based GTP solutions can also be quickly disassembled and reassembled at another location.
3. What do your order and product profiles look like?
It is always a great idea to have an experienced professional analyze the data and crunch the numbers to help guide you through the decision making process. Are you looking to enhance fulfillment of fast-moving products, longer-term storage of small items, or both? Will you be using the solution to assemble product kits? Every goods-to-person technology and customer’s product profile is unique. Depending on how the solution is implemented, these differences can be an advantage or hindrance.
4. What is your product and where will the product go after leaving the goods-to-person system?
A solution that is designed to support the picking and packing of individual products into a shipping container likely won’t equally support an operation requiring storage for buffering and sequencing of product. In that case, solutions such as the Adapto case shuttle may be better suited. Determining the route and path your products will take after the storage and picking task can help better identify the appropriate solution. The Bastian Solutions engineering team can plan the optimal technology to integrate with your GTP system to streamline interfaces with downstream equipment.
Finding the Right GTP Solution
An experienced professional can help appropriately analyze your operation, order profiles and SKU distribution to ensure the goods-to-person solution selected is the best path to achieving your goals. There are many technologies available and taking the time to do a comparison upfront will save you a lot of headaches down the road, positioning your company for long term success.
Bastian Solutions has partnered with companies across the globe to help them become leaders in their market through the use of these technologies. As an independent integrator, we have years of experience in the field working with a variety of industries and technologies. Contact us today to learn more about goods-to-person systems and how they can help improve your operations.