Click&Pick unlocks the potential of e-fulfilment
14 May 2014
E-commerce and omni-channel sales are dramatically changing the relationship between retailers and customers. Sales channels are constantly developing, and with them, the intralogistics challenges of meeting the expectations of consumers.
Finding a flexible and scalable solution for warehouse and material flow processes - from receiving to picking, and shipping to returns, is a challenge for start-ups, established e-commerce companies and omni-channel specialists alike. Now, Swisslog’s modular Click&Pick concept is tackling those requirements head on.
Changes in user behavior are creating new realities almost daily. Dynamic start-ups and the rise of new and existing business concepts are uniting to create complex sales structures.
Technological advancements relating to e-commerce go hand-in-hand with the "conventional” structures such as bricks-and-mortar stores, catalogue sales and phone orders. The challenge is mapping all these changing sales channels to create an efficient omni-channel process.
"Retailers expect an omni-channel sales process to perform effortlessly, creating highly flexible and extremely fast structures that allow smooth handling of orders today and in the future.”
Financial success will only last the short term unless key factors such as speed of response, accurate order processing, on-time delivery, returns management and inventory monitoring are executed seamlessly 24/7.
"Retailers expect an omni-channel sales process to perform effortlessly, creating highly flexible and extremely fast structures that allow smooth handling of orders today and in the future,” explains Swisslog’s UK Managing Director James Sharples when commenting on the challenges. The complexity of the requirements show that tightening and adjusting individual screws in the intralogistics system is not enough, explains James: "The trend is heading toward intralogistics solutions suited for multiple, even differently frequented sales channels.”
Swisslog’s Click&Pick portfolio provides a range of omni-channel capable, multifaceted systems that can be customized to the specific needs of retailers. Technologies such as AutoStore, SmartCarrier or CarryPick can be integrated with material flow software and goods-to-person pick stations, and combined with extensive industry experience to create tailor-made solutions. These guarantee high pick rates, accurate order fulfilment, efficient returns and putaway as well as precise inventory management, resulting in highly effective order fulfillment systems.
Allowing companies to achieve order fulfillment rates that are up to five times faster than those achieved with manual rack systems, Click&Pick can achieve superb results in a quiet, ergonomic and secure working environment. With a processing cycle that is able to be completed within a few minutes, from order receipt to picking, it’s clear that the Click&Pick solutions perform impressively well. They also scalable, allowing, for example, the management of larger inventories or increased throughput.
"The versatility of our solutions makes it possible to support expanding business models,” says James, "as well as integrate into either new or existing facilities with ease. It’s therefore viable to many different businesses.”
A wide variety of products can already be accommodated via Click&Pick components, AutoStore and SmartCarrier. SmartCarrier is a storage and transport system typically used within high throughput operations, whilst AutoStore is a compact storage and picking system for high stock volumes. Both offer excellent efficiency and scalability, and combined with Swisslog’s experience in delivering bespoke systems, guarantees ultra-efficient order fulfillment.
CarryPick latest component of Click&Pick portfolio
The new automated goods-to-person system, CarryPick, is the latest addition to the portfolio. Significantly cutting walking distances, as well as search and orientation times, it is primarily intended for online picking operations with product lines above 3,000 SKUs. These typically have exacting requirements when it comes to product diversity, fast delivery, efficient returns handling, and cost control.
Transportable racks, AGVs, WMS and mobile multi-functional workstations are all included. Each system can be incorporated into existing infrastructures with rugged AGVs, lowering, lifting and transporting mobile racks holding goods to picking stations. Order processing, control of goods replenishment and the picking process itself, are fully automated.
CarryPick is fully customisable and can be equipped with shelves, compartments, drawers, trays or hanging bars depending on requirements. The workstations can be used for picking, putting away replenishment and restocking with projectors, scanners and touchscreens, ensuring smooth and efficient work processes.
"With the latest additions to Click&Pick, we’ve brought together a fantastic portfolio,” concludes James, "allowing companies to achieve the highest levels of future viability and investment security.”