3PL Warehouse Continuous Improvement:
Exploring Artificial Intelligence in the KSP Fulfillment Warehouse
Continuous improvement in the world of 3rd Party Logistics (3PL) is common terminology. Whether you are a Fortune 500 company, or eCommerce seller just getting started on your journey, you should expect your current or future 3PL to have a culture of continuous improvement.
Offering modern software solutions like Warehouse Management (WMS), Order Management (OMS), and Transportation Management Systems (TMS), material handling equipment, and possibly operating from a warehouse built this century are just a few things you should ask about when selecting a 3PL.
In addition, inquiring about how and when a 3PL has invested in other types of technology or continuous improvement efforts to better serve current and future customers is important for you to hear.
Just as important as a modern warehouse software package, is understanding what your prospective, or current, 3PL does as it relates to continuous improvement. They should have a list. If not, move on to the next 3PL on your list because it’s very likely that as your business improves and grows your 3PL provider won’t be able to keep pace.
Best-in-class 3PL’s will have great warehouse technology and modern equipment along with some form of continuous improvement in their warehouses. Some efforts will be small and some large. The more important factor is that something is improving, or attempting to be improved, each day, week, month, or year.
As COVID-19 continues to disrupt the global supply chain, 3PL efforts to improve are potentially more important than ever. Social distancing in the workplace, proper personal protective equipment (PPE), touch-free soap dispensers, and motion light receptacles are a few things that can be done to protect 3PL employees. Artificial Intelligence, allowing for more effective social distancing, may be another.
KSP Fulfillment is exploring the use of robotics for some of its kitting, light assembly, and order fulfillment operations. The robots are used for pick & place, palletizing, and quality inspections. If testing proves successful, KSP will consider deploying the robots in various areas of our warehouses to complete repetitive tasks that are currently done by humans.
Robotics in a 3PL warehouse has the potential to increase speed-to-market, productivity, quality, and employee safety.
Does your current 3PL have a culture of continuous improvement or are you looking for one that does?
Author: Rob Walters
Rob is the CEO & Partner of KSP Fulfillment, a Verified Veteran Owned Business, and has over 35-years of logistics experience. He is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Rob has a passion for continuous improvement and providing 3PL services to businesses to customers around the world.