Picking warehouse items is a time-critical and detail-oriented process used by transportation, logistics, and distribution companies to increase throughput. With thousands of picks to be conducted per day, the accuracy and speed required to pick the goods must be set at a high bar. Large warehouses and distributors implement inventory pick-to-voice systems for improved accuracy, speed, and productivity in a fast-moving and complex environment.
Here are some other technologies being deployed to increase throughput:
GPS for Trucks: The right GPS system can optimize truck routes and save companies time and money. New models have advanced touch-screen and truck routing apps developed to incorporate road restrictions (i.e. bridge heights and load limits), one-way road designations, dangerous turn restrictions, and allowances.
Conveyors: Conveyors for automating distribution centers or industrial processes are being used on a wider scale. Conveyor systems are built to meet manufacturing and warehouse demands, as well as assembly demands. There are various automated conveyors: flexible chain, live roller, re-circulating pallet, flat belt, timing belt, and even vacuum top varieties. These conveyors are utilized to safely and effectively move product throughout the distribution process. Conveyors have proven a useful technology to accurately transport product throughout the fulfillment process, and can be customized to suit the respective application.
Smart Cards: Often, when truck drivers have to get from point A to point B, there is a transit fare involved. To remit payment each time a transit fee is incurred would be an accounts payable nightmare. In comes smart card technology, which delivers fast, secure transactions while protecting personal information.
Video Cameras: Driver and road safety is critical. Trucking companies, such as Knight Transportation, are utilizing an event-recorder system in all of its trucks. With truck drivers often in severe road situations that may require them to avoid other motorists, or the rigorous hours and time that truck drivers often endure, the video-based safety program for commercial trucking companies is designed to keep an eye on the road, even when drivers may not be.
Arriving at the Right Destination
Transportation, logistics and distribution centers may appear to simply be vast warehouses with little to no innovative processes involved. That is certainly not the case today. Throughput analysis, automotive processes, and innovative technology to coordinate product fulfillment are almost standard with any large transportation, logistics and distribution operation. Facility managers who work closely with operational managers to justify implementing today’s warehouse technologies will enjoy more exciting careers and have a greater impact on business performance. When warehouse and distribution centers utilize innovative technologies, they can improve their time and efficiency, as well as utilize R&D tax credit incentives.
Charles R. Goulding (firstname.lastname@example.org), attorney and CPA, is president of R&D Tax Savers, a national firm that helps companies identify and qualify for R&D tax credits. Preeti Sulibhavi (email@example.com), CPA, is a tax analyst with R&D Tax Savers.
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