View original at foodsafetytech.com
Today’s food producers and retailers are in a constant race against time. This race starts within the four walls of the distribution center, where products must move from receiving, through storage and dispatch—with high speed and accuracy. While the goal (or finish line) is to get these products to stores as fast as possible and meet consumer expectations, speed of delivery also plays a vital role in ensuring the quality of foods—particularly easily perishable ones like fruits, vegetables, eggs, meats, certain dairy products and baked goods. Namely, efficient product flow means companies can meet shorter lead times and thereby deliver fresher, safer food—with longer shelf lives—to market. It’s a seemingly easy concept, yet many organizations continue to stumble as a result of ongoing operational challenges that slow distribution down, especially in facilities that continue to utilize manual order picking. Major challenges include: Continued reliance on physical labor with fulfillment speed highly dependent on the endurance of individual employees. SKU proliferation due to product diversification, where facilities must now store and manage more products than ever before in a seemingly shrinking amount of space. Seasonal spikes in business that require order picking staff to work harder and often longer hours to keep up with the influx of orders. For organizations struggling to address these challenges and meet the need for speed in distribution, now is an opportune time to look at automation. There are now robotic order picking systems that can store, retrieve and move products effortlessly through a facility, ensuring rapid handling and very short lead times. By choosing to automate, food producers and retailers can realize numerous benefits, including the following. 1. Accelerated Order Fulfillment Naturally a robotic system can assemble orders and prepare them for outbound shipping far faster than humanly possible. Thus, an automated distribution center […]
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