UPS Supply Chain introduces smart warehouse technology

By Sean Galea-Pace
UPS Supply Chain Solutions has announced warehouse network technology designed to make distribution centres smarter and more efficient. The new Warehou...

UPS Supply Chain Solutions has announced warehouse network technology designed to make distribution centres smarter and more efficient.

The new Warehouse Execution System (WES) will allow faster order intake and fulfillment to enable customers to receive their orders on time.

UPS and supply chain solutions provider, Softeon, developed the WES which enables UPS to define specific customer requirements to ensure highest priority orders are worked initially without manual intervention, resulting in over 50% productivity gains for some customers.

“WES enables UPS to better leverage our global warehouse network and integrated technology to help our customers reduce capital, improve service and speed to end customers,” said Philippe Gilbert, president of Supply Chain Solutions. “We also can create more custom and turnkey outsourced fulfillment services to meet our customers’ unique supply chain needs.”

In a bid to meet the growing and ever-changing demands, supply chain operators are introducing more comprehensive and complex warehouse technologies that can handle higher volumes with greater fluctuations. The WES’s real-time monitoring of capacity, fulfillment requirements, backlogs and labour status enables UPS to identify and resolve potential disruptions before they arise. 

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With organisations experiencing labour scarcity and e-commerce-driven pressure for faster fulfillment, UPS is making outsourced fulfillment a competitive advantage for customers.

The WES introduction is part of UPS’s continued efforts to modernise warehouse operations by utilising autonomous capabilities. The organisation is deploying Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR) in a range of its facilities and piloting AMR from Locus Robotics, which receives instruction from the WES to pick up and transport goods for order consolidation and pack out by UPS employees.

The system dispatches order fulfillment activity and balances inventory flow which enables UPS engineers and operators to efficiently synchronise the use of labour and equipment.

There are several other investments in warehouse technology such as autonomous guided vehicles, automated sorting systems as well as other automation technologies. UPS also aims to introduce a new visibility and reporting platform to allow customers to continuously monitor and track end-to-end supply chain activity and performance, from transportation to warehouse inventory to order volume all in one platform.

For more information on procurement, supply chain and logistics topics - please take a look at the latest edition of Supply Chain Digital magazine.

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