Case Studies Autonomous Mobile Robots| Case Study: Fulfillment
During the COVID pandemic, ecommerce order volume skyrocketed for a Saddle Creek client selling medical apparel and supplies. The company experienced three times its normal order volume. They also had frequent, dramatic spikes due to promotional activity.
To meet increased demand, Saddle Creek enlisted a fleet of Locus autonomous mobile robots at its fulfillment operations in Fort Worth, Texas. The AMR solution was fully deployed within just three months.
When Saddle Creek’s WMS feeds orders to the OMS, robots carrying empty bins are dispatched to picking locations, and picking instructions appear on their iPad display. Associates pick and scan the required items and place them in the proper bin. Once bins are full, the units are directed to the pack-out area.
The robots significantly reduce the time associates spend walking in the warehouse, so they can spend more time picking orders.
The robots have helped to reduce labor needs, control operating costs, and fill orders faster. Productivity has more than doubled.
“The robots give us the ability to scale. If the client has a big sales day, we’re able to get that volume out the next day,” explains Saddle Creek Fulfillment Director Cody Jones. “They can fluctuate anywhere from 30 to 40 percent above their projections and we still have the ability to meet our SLA.”
In the first year alone, Saddle Creek was able to accommodate almost three times the previous order volume without adding additional associates. This added efficiency is extremely valuable in today’s tight labor market.
The client is very pleased with the AMR implementation, and Saddle Creek has already expanded the footprint for the operation and nearly doubled the number of robots in use.
Related to: Fulfillment Technology, Labor Management, Managing Growth, Selling Online
“Using mobile robots allowed us to accommodate dramatic fluctuations without adding staff. It was a huge home run.”
Director of Technology & Innovation, Saddle Creek Logistics Services