Effective pallet tracking is essential for maintaining streamlined operations in logistics and warehousing. The journey of a pallet, from inbound receiving through storage and finally to outbound dispatch, involves numerous touchpoints and processes, each presenting its own set of challenges. Thankfully, technological advancements have brought about automated solutions that significantly mitigate these challenges.

Let’s explore these stages and see how innovations like summAIRy Gate and inventAIRy XL are transforming pallet tracking.

Inbound/Receiving: The First Hurdle

Challenges:

  • Manual Data Entry: Traditionally, receiving pallets involves manual scanning and data entry into the WMS or ERP, which is time-consuming and prone to human error.
  • Volume Handling: High volumes of inbound pallets can create bottlenecks, delaying subsequent tasks and processes.
  • Verification: Ensuring that received goods match the purchase orders, with respect to quantity and quality requires meticulous attention.

Automated Solution: summAIRy Gate

  • Automated Receiving: summAIRy Gate automates the receiving process using advanced scanning technology. It captures each pallets’ data instantly as they pass through the gate, reducing the need for manual intervention.
  • Error Reduction: By automating data capture, the risk of human data input errors are all but eliminated from the process, ensuring that inventory records are accurate from the outset.
  • Efficiency: The system can handle large volumes of pallets that are moving quickly, alleviating bottlenecks and speeding up the overall receiving process.

Storage in Racks: Navigating the Middle Phase

Challenges:

  • Inventory Accuracy: Keeping track of where each pallet is stored and ensuring that records match physical locations can be a daunting, not to mention, time-consuming task.
  • Accessibility: Ensuring that pallets are stored in a manner that optimises space and allows for easy retrieval.
  • Cycle Counting: Regular inventory audits are necessary but, when conducted manually, are labour-intensive and disruptive to the rest of the operation.

Automated Solution: inventAIRy XL

  • Automated Inventory Audits: inventAIRy XL combines a drone with an Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) to conduct inventory audits in a fully automated way. These devices can scan and record pallet locations, providing real-time updates to the inventory management system.
  • Accuracy and Frequency: Automated audits are not only more accurate but can also be conducted more frequently without disrupting operations, ensuring that inventory records are always up-to-date.
  • Space Optimisation: By providing precise location data, inventAIRy XL helps in optimising storage space and improving retrieval times.

Outbound/Dispatch: The Final Frontier

Challenges:

  • Loading Accuracy: Ensuring that the right pallets are loaded onto the correct trucks is critical to meeting delivery schedules and maintaining customer satisfaction.
  • Documentation: Verifying that pallets are correctly dimensioned and documented before dispatch can be time-consuming.
  • Photo Evidence: Providing photographic evidence of pallet condition prior to loading is increasingly demanded by clients for accountability and quality assurance.

Automated Solution: summAIRy Gate (again)

  • Automated Dimensioning: summAIRy Gate also assists in the outbound process by automatically capturing the dimensions of each pallet as they pass through, helping to ensure correct loading.
  • Photo Evidence: The system takes high-resolution photos of each pallet, providing a visual record that can be used for verification and dispute resolution.
  • Barcode Scanning: summAIRy Gate scans barcode labels to ensure that the correct pallet is leaving the warehouse, preventing costly mistakes and ensuring accurate deliveries.
  • Streamlined Loading: With automated dimensioning, photo capture, and barcode scanning, the loading process becomes faster and more accurate, reducing the risk of errors and ensuring that deliveries are completed correctly and on time.

Conclusion

The journey of a pallet through a warehouse is fraught with challenges at every stage. From the risk of human error in manual processes to the need for constant inventory accuracy and the demands of precise loading and documentation, the complexity can be overwhelming. However, with automated solutions like summAIRy Gate and inventAIRy XL, these challenges can be effectively managed. By embracing these technologies, warehouses can not only enhance their operational efficiency but also improve accuracy, accountability, and customer satisfaction. The future of pallet tracking is undoubtedly automated, and those who adapt will lead the way in the logistics industry.