Autonomous Robots: The Future of Warehousing & Logistics

Autonomous Robots
Autonomous robots have transitioned from a futuristic system that only a few enterprises could afford to a sustainable, well-established solution in a wide assortment of warehouse automation projects in recent years.

With the flourishing transportation and logistics industry and increasing e-commerce penetration worldwide, innovative technologies are revealing promising opportunities throughout the supply chain.


Warehouse Automation: Driving Value in the Supply Chain

Historically, autonomous robots have been used to perform tedious and repetitive tasks, necessitating sophisticated programming for setup and incorporation while lacking the dexterity to easily adjust operations.

As autonomous robots become more intelligent, their setup times decrease, they need less monitoring, and they are able to work alongside their human counterparts. The benefits for the future supply chain are increasing as autonomous robots become more capable of working day and night with more consistent levels of productivity and quality and performing tasks that individuals should not, cannot, or do not want to do. 

Autonomous robots drive advancements and add value to the supply chain, primarily by increasing revenue potential and lowering direct and indirect operating costs. Autonomous robots, in particular, can assist:

  • Boost efficiency and productivity.
  • Lower risk, error frequency, and rework rates.
  • Enhance employee safety in high-risk workplaces.
  • Handle low-value, routine tasks so people can work together on strategic projects that can't be done by machines.
  • Raise revenue by optimizing order fulfillment rates, and delivery speed, and, ultimately, increasing customer satisfaction.


Sneak Peek into the Future of Autonomous Robot

Autonomous robots are expected to witness strong growth in the coming years. These robots will become more common in the future supply chain as technology advances, allowing them to operate with more human-like abilities. Improvements in haptic sensors, for example, will enable these robots to grasp objects varying from multi-surfaced metal assembly parts to fragile eggshells without requiring changes to robotic components or programming. This will encourage companies operating in the industry to increase their research and development activities and introduce innovative and advanced supply chain technologies.

Spotlight

Deloitte

Deloitte drives progress. Our firms around the world help clients become leaders wherever they choose to compete. Deloitte invests in outstanding people of diverse talents and backgrounds and empowers them to achieve more than they could elsewhere. Our work combines advice with action and integrity. We believe that when our clients and society are stronger, so are we.

OTHER ARTICLES
Software and Technology, Supply Chain

Digital innovation in logistics warehouses

Article | August 3, 2022

Business Chief takes a look at three leading logistics companies and how they are digitalising their warehouses. With technology evolving at an exponential rate, and the logistics industry needing flexible solutions for its complex operation, we take a closer look at some of the successful deployments of digitalisation within the warehouses of leading logistic companies around the world.

Read More
Software and Technology, Supply Chain

How to Test Major Changes in Your Supply Chain Process

Article | July 18, 2022

Did you know that the return of your supply chain process depends on how your software technology works as well as the efficiency of the people involved in the entire process? However, changes keep taking place, and you might feel clueless as to where your initiative is going. Supply chain testing is done in order to know and mark the various aspects where the supply chain is the weakest. Since data handling is a crucial aspect, managing it becomes even more necessary.

Read More
Supply Chain

Trends in Shipping by Vertical: Retail, Wholesale & OEM Shipping for 2020

Article | August 17, 2023

Global trends in shipping continue to evolve in the wake of uncertainty and risk. The recent outbreak of the Coronavirus threatens to undermine use of shipping options that would involve air freight between the U.S. and China, explains Wired. New hazmat regulations are taking effect in 2020. Retailers are trying to stay evergreen and compete with Amazon. The list of risks is endless, and the only way to really succeed will lie in understanding the trends in shipping by vertical and a few key sectors that require vigilance in the coming year.

Read More

Transportation 2020: Top 4 Ways For Shippers To Navigate The Road Ahead

Article | February 10, 2020

For shippers, the past two years have been a roller coaster ride. As quickly as capacity became limited and freight rates increased in 2018, the opposite occurred in 2019. Carriers that had invested in equipment and drivers in 2018 saw excess capacity and plummeting rates in 2019, a year with a record number of trucking company bankruptcies. It was a dramatic shift that occurred much faster than typical cyclical changes in the transportation industry.

Read More

Spotlight

Deloitte

Deloitte drives progress. Our firms around the world help clients become leaders wherever they choose to compete. Deloitte invests in outstanding people of diverse talents and backgrounds and empowers them to achieve more than they could elsewhere. Our work combines advice with action and integrity. We believe that when our clients and society are stronger, so are we.

Related News

Supply Chain

Ferguson and Trimble Team Up to Digitalize Construction Supply Chain

Trimble Inc | November 08, 2023

Ferguson joins Trimble Supplier Xchange, streamlining the construction supply chain. Trimble's Supplier Xchange handles 10,000+ digital connections, 18B in monthly quotes. This integration automates pricing info to purchase orders, reducing errors and streamlining workflows. Trimble, a leading technology, software, and services solutions provider for the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry, and Ferguson have recently announced a significant development in the construction supply chain. Ferguson locations nationwide have officially joined the Trimble Supplier Xchange digital pricing and procurement network. This development marks a pivotal step and further digitalizes and streamlines construction supply chain operations, benefiting both mechanical and commercial customers. Furthermore, it enhances efficiency between construction teams and their most crucial business partners. Trimble's Supplier Xchange network currently facilitates over 10,000 digital connections between specialty subcontractors and their preferred suppliers. It handles an impressive average of 130,000 quote requests every month, with an average total value of USD 18 billion per month. The integration between Ferguson and Supplier Xchange enables contractors to access up-to-date, contracted pricing information and seamlessly convert it into a purchase order (PO). This PO flows directly into the contractor's Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, ensuring that the order is placed and financially accounted for in the ERP system without delay. This streamlined process significantly reduces the time required and minimizes errors typically associated with manual data entry, thanks to the automatic synchronization of the purchase order. By becoming a part of the Supplier Xchange network, Ferguson, a prominent commercial mechanical distributor in the United States, is proactively addressing the common pain points faced by contractors in their day-to-day workflows. Tom Sullivan, Commercial Construction Services and Technology Director at Ferguson highlighted that prioritizing digital connections with their customers was of utmost importance. He explained that as their customers are increasingly looking for ways to cut costs and enhance efficiency, accuracy, and timeliness, Supplier Xchange would empower them to offer real-time customer-specific information. This would effectively reduce the manual processes and time needed in the workflows related to estimating, Virtual Design and Construction (VDC), purchasing, project management, and accounting. The official announcement took place at Trimble Dimensions 2023, where both Ferguson and Trimble are showcasing the Supplier Xchange network. Trimble Construction Management Solutions' Vice President and General Manager Lawrence Smith emphasized that it had never been more crucial to integrate technology solutions to enhance the speed, accuracy, and seamlessness of information sharing across the construction supply chain. He stated that the data collaboration between Ferguson and Trimble was delivering increased efficiency, precision, and swiftness in their customers' workflows, encompassing estimating, procurement, purchasing, accounting, and project management.

Read More

Transportation

ACERTUS Unveils New Transportation Management System for Auto Shippers

ACERTUS | November 07, 2023

ACERTUS, a leading automotive logistics-as-a-service platform, has unveiled its new Transportation Management System (TMS). This cutting-edge system grants vehicle shippers unparalleled visibility into their operations, featuring real-time GPS tracking, advanced digital inspection data, automated reporting, and customized data visualization. By harnessing the power of machine learning and seamless connectivity with ACERTUS' digitally-enabled transport network, this platform successfully addresses a long-standing challenge within the vehicle shipping process—namely, the lack of transparency regarding asset location as it traverses the supply chain. Trent Broberg, the Chief Executive Officer at ACERTUS, remarked that modern-day technology has made it extremely easy to track products ordered online during the delivery process. However, there still existed substantial blind spots when it came to shipping cars. In this context, he explained that their new Transportation Management System is driving the industry forward by providing shippers with real-time vehicle visibility, modernizing the process, and eliminating guesswork. The TMS connects shippers with the largest multimodal transport network of carriers and drive-away drivers in North America. It simplifies and streamlines auto shipping, offering instant quotes, single and multi-VIN ordering, standard and expedited shipping rates, and API connectivity for seamless integration with existing operating systems. This release represents ACERTUS' ongoing commitment to delivering advanced, proprietary products that enhance automotive supply chain management. About ACERTUS ACERTUS is a leading omnichannel automotive logistics as a service platform that provides integrated end-to-end solutions for vehicle lifecycle management. By placing a strong emphasis on technology and innovation, ACERTUS offers a comprehensive suite of services, including vehicle storage, transport, maintenance, registration, title, care & maintenance, repossession, freight transport and compliance services, among others. The company consolidates these services under one roof, thereby significantly enhancing efficiency and reliability for its customers throughout the entire vehicle journey.

Read More

Supply Chain

Imperial Dade Advances Growth with Acquisition of Advance Shipping Supplies

Imperial Dade | November 06, 2023

Imperial Dade acquires Advance Shipping Supplies, Inc. as its 75th acquisition. Imperial Dade maintains its 15-year growth strategy, combining organic initiatives and acquisitions. Dave Waite, President of Advance Shipping Supplies, emphasizes the company's legacy and commitment to customer service as it joins Imperial Dade. Imperial Dade, a prominent distributor specializing in food service packaging, printing papers, and janitorial supplies, has recently announced its acquisition of Advance Shipping Supplies, Inc. This transaction marks the 75th acquisition made by Imperial Dade under the leadership of Robert and Jason Tillis, who serve as the Chairman and CEO of the company, respectively. The specific financial details of this private transaction have not been disclosed. Imperial Dade maintains its unwavering commitment to the strategic direction established over 15 years ago. This direction involves sustained growth through a combination of organic initiatives and a carefully managed acquisition process. Advance Shipping Supplies Inc., established in 1985, has a remarkable 38-year track record as a leading distributor of industrial supplies, packaging materials, and janitorial products. Under the guidance of its founder, Dave Waite, Advance continues to be a critical supplier in the Ontario market, delivering essential products to its clientele. The company places a strong emphasis on customer service and is strategically positioned to ensure prompt and accurate deliveries. By leveraging the extensive capabilities of Imperial Dade Canada's top-tier platform, Advance's customers can look forward to receiving the same exceptional customized service, now complemented by an even broader range of products and solutions. Jason Tillis, the CEO of Imperial Dade, expressed his warm welcome to the Advance family. He noted that Advance possessed a dedicated customer base and a strong commitment to delivering an exceptional customer experience, which, in his view, made it a valuable addition to their expanding North American platform. Stephane Lapointe, the President of Imperial Dade Canada, added that partnering with Advance marked another significant stride in their objective of becoming the leading national specialty distributor of industrial, food service, and janitorial products. He also mentioned Imperial Dade's eagerness to build upon its existing success and to continually explore ways to enhance its service to both customers and vendor partners. Dave Waite, the President of Advance Shipping Supplies, Inc., stated that the legacy created by Advance over the past approximately 40 years would serve as a strong foundation for Imperial Dade's future growth. He expressed that, under the guidance of Imperial Dade, they would maintain their commitment to delivering exceptional customer service while also expediting the growth they had witnessed in recent years.

Read More

Supply Chain

Ferguson and Trimble Team Up to Digitalize Construction Supply Chain

Trimble Inc | November 08, 2023

Ferguson joins Trimble Supplier Xchange, streamlining the construction supply chain. Trimble's Supplier Xchange handles 10,000+ digital connections, 18B in monthly quotes. This integration automates pricing info to purchase orders, reducing errors and streamlining workflows. Trimble, a leading technology, software, and services solutions provider for the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry, and Ferguson have recently announced a significant development in the construction supply chain. Ferguson locations nationwide have officially joined the Trimble Supplier Xchange digital pricing and procurement network. This development marks a pivotal step and further digitalizes and streamlines construction supply chain operations, benefiting both mechanical and commercial customers. Furthermore, it enhances efficiency between construction teams and their most crucial business partners. Trimble's Supplier Xchange network currently facilitates over 10,000 digital connections between specialty subcontractors and their preferred suppliers. It handles an impressive average of 130,000 quote requests every month, with an average total value of USD 18 billion per month. The integration between Ferguson and Supplier Xchange enables contractors to access up-to-date, contracted pricing information and seamlessly convert it into a purchase order (PO). This PO flows directly into the contractor's Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, ensuring that the order is placed and financially accounted for in the ERP system without delay. This streamlined process significantly reduces the time required and minimizes errors typically associated with manual data entry, thanks to the automatic synchronization of the purchase order. By becoming a part of the Supplier Xchange network, Ferguson, a prominent commercial mechanical distributor in the United States, is proactively addressing the common pain points faced by contractors in their day-to-day workflows. Tom Sullivan, Commercial Construction Services and Technology Director at Ferguson highlighted that prioritizing digital connections with their customers was of utmost importance. He explained that as their customers are increasingly looking for ways to cut costs and enhance efficiency, accuracy, and timeliness, Supplier Xchange would empower them to offer real-time customer-specific information. This would effectively reduce the manual processes and time needed in the workflows related to estimating, Virtual Design and Construction (VDC), purchasing, project management, and accounting. The official announcement took place at Trimble Dimensions 2023, where both Ferguson and Trimble are showcasing the Supplier Xchange network. Trimble Construction Management Solutions' Vice President and General Manager Lawrence Smith emphasized that it had never been more crucial to integrate technology solutions to enhance the speed, accuracy, and seamlessness of information sharing across the construction supply chain. He stated that the data collaboration between Ferguson and Trimble was delivering increased efficiency, precision, and swiftness in their customers' workflows, encompassing estimating, procurement, purchasing, accounting, and project management.

Read More

Transportation

ACERTUS Unveils New Transportation Management System for Auto Shippers

ACERTUS | November 07, 2023

ACERTUS, a leading automotive logistics-as-a-service platform, has unveiled its new Transportation Management System (TMS). This cutting-edge system grants vehicle shippers unparalleled visibility into their operations, featuring real-time GPS tracking, advanced digital inspection data, automated reporting, and customized data visualization. By harnessing the power of machine learning and seamless connectivity with ACERTUS' digitally-enabled transport network, this platform successfully addresses a long-standing challenge within the vehicle shipping process—namely, the lack of transparency regarding asset location as it traverses the supply chain. Trent Broberg, the Chief Executive Officer at ACERTUS, remarked that modern-day technology has made it extremely easy to track products ordered online during the delivery process. However, there still existed substantial blind spots when it came to shipping cars. In this context, he explained that their new Transportation Management System is driving the industry forward by providing shippers with real-time vehicle visibility, modernizing the process, and eliminating guesswork. The TMS connects shippers with the largest multimodal transport network of carriers and drive-away drivers in North America. It simplifies and streamlines auto shipping, offering instant quotes, single and multi-VIN ordering, standard and expedited shipping rates, and API connectivity for seamless integration with existing operating systems. This release represents ACERTUS' ongoing commitment to delivering advanced, proprietary products that enhance automotive supply chain management. About ACERTUS ACERTUS is a leading omnichannel automotive logistics as a service platform that provides integrated end-to-end solutions for vehicle lifecycle management. By placing a strong emphasis on technology and innovation, ACERTUS offers a comprehensive suite of services, including vehicle storage, transport, maintenance, registration, title, care & maintenance, repossession, freight transport and compliance services, among others. The company consolidates these services under one roof, thereby significantly enhancing efficiency and reliability for its customers throughout the entire vehicle journey.

Read More

Supply Chain

Imperial Dade Advances Growth with Acquisition of Advance Shipping Supplies

Imperial Dade | November 06, 2023

Imperial Dade acquires Advance Shipping Supplies, Inc. as its 75th acquisition. Imperial Dade maintains its 15-year growth strategy, combining organic initiatives and acquisitions. Dave Waite, President of Advance Shipping Supplies, emphasizes the company's legacy and commitment to customer service as it joins Imperial Dade. Imperial Dade, a prominent distributor specializing in food service packaging, printing papers, and janitorial supplies, has recently announced its acquisition of Advance Shipping Supplies, Inc. This transaction marks the 75th acquisition made by Imperial Dade under the leadership of Robert and Jason Tillis, who serve as the Chairman and CEO of the company, respectively. The specific financial details of this private transaction have not been disclosed. Imperial Dade maintains its unwavering commitment to the strategic direction established over 15 years ago. This direction involves sustained growth through a combination of organic initiatives and a carefully managed acquisition process. Advance Shipping Supplies Inc., established in 1985, has a remarkable 38-year track record as a leading distributor of industrial supplies, packaging materials, and janitorial products. Under the guidance of its founder, Dave Waite, Advance continues to be a critical supplier in the Ontario market, delivering essential products to its clientele. The company places a strong emphasis on customer service and is strategically positioned to ensure prompt and accurate deliveries. By leveraging the extensive capabilities of Imperial Dade Canada's top-tier platform, Advance's customers can look forward to receiving the same exceptional customized service, now complemented by an even broader range of products and solutions. Jason Tillis, the CEO of Imperial Dade, expressed his warm welcome to the Advance family. He noted that Advance possessed a dedicated customer base and a strong commitment to delivering an exceptional customer experience, which, in his view, made it a valuable addition to their expanding North American platform. Stephane Lapointe, the President of Imperial Dade Canada, added that partnering with Advance marked another significant stride in their objective of becoming the leading national specialty distributor of industrial, food service, and janitorial products. He also mentioned Imperial Dade's eagerness to build upon its existing success and to continually explore ways to enhance its service to both customers and vendor partners. Dave Waite, the President of Advance Shipping Supplies, Inc., stated that the legacy created by Advance over the past approximately 40 years would serve as a strong foundation for Imperial Dade's future growth. He expressed that, under the guidance of Imperial Dade, they would maintain their commitment to delivering exceptional customer service while also expediting the growth they had witnessed in recent years.

Read More

Events