There are new faces at DOT Fulfillment. Well, faces isn’t exactly the right word. More like, interfaces. In 2021, we hired a fleet of Locus robots to improve picking operations at one of our Santa Ana warehouses. Since their roll out, they have helped reduce strain on staff, improved picking times, and increased our fulfillment and distribution capacity.
Even before the pandemic, industry wide staffing shortages, combined with rising service level expectations, signaled the need to supplement human staff with robots. There were simply not enough humans to meet the demand for faster ship times and more complicated logistics.
Locus Robotics’ solution to this industry wide problem was simple: a large fleet of small robots that would add much needed hands and feet to warehouse operations. The robots are able to travel throughout the warehouse by scanning various location barcodes. Once they arrive at their destination, a staff member is able to see exactly what product, and what quantity, is being requested. They scan the requested items and place them in the robot’s bin. Once a pick request is filled, the robot delivers it to the packing station where another staff member retrieves and packs.
The robots have been in full force for almost a year, and we are thrilled to have these sleek machines zipping around. They have been imperative in our ability to continuously meet client expectations despite significant pandemic roadblocks.
The robots reduce the staff footsteps to pick products, which in turn speeds up the units per hour (UPH) process. In some cases, we have seen an increase of 2 to 4 times in UPH. They’ve also made it easier to train new staff, as they no longer need to learn the scan guns or locations that the robots handle.
Most importantly, our robotic fleet has allowed us to increase capacity without increasing the number of staff, which in turn has allowed clients to ship more orders per day in a challenging labor market.
Want to see them in action! Give us a call at 800-468-6100 or send us an email [email protected] to set up a tour!