This technology repair company’s receiving center collects damaged, returned, and traded-in electronic devices including cell phones, tablets, and wearable devices from hundreds of store locations across the United States. These devices are refurbished, graded, stored, and subsequently dispatched to manufacturers across the country for resale.
Manually storing and picking inventory from shelves posed a significant obstacle to the operational efficiency of this technology repair giant. The labor-intensive process was ill-equipped for achieving sustained success with their just-in-time inventory management strategy. A lack of precise insight into the quantity and diversity of SKUs that would be arriving at the warehouse from hundreds of store locations across the country added to this challenge. Consequently, the company faced difficulties in predicting and maintaining the optimal number of warehouse employees needed to process goods.
Managing storage space posed an ongoing challenge for the company, given its proactive pursuit of acquisition opportunities and the constant expansion of devices it supports. Striking a delicate balance between stocking a diverse range of SKUs while avoiding both stockouts and overstocking was imperative, but made challenging due to the inefficient utilization of warehouse storage space and lack of efficient automation to streamline the process of storing and retrieving goods.
Furthermore, the inventory included delicate electronic devices like cell phones, tablets, and other items with fragile screens and components. To overcome these challenges and optimize their operations, the implementation of a highly efficient and scalable goods-to-person system became an urgent necessity.
1. Enhanced Productivity
- Productivity increased by 5X with four stations capable of processing up to 396 bins per hour with three employees
- Transitioned large segment of labor to more value-add tasks such as grading inbound devices
2. Improved Efficiency
- Ability to access any SKU in the system within two minutes without damaging fragile goods
- Increased storage density by 5X by reducing inventory rack footprint from 26,500 ft2 (2,460m2) to 13,300ft2 (1,235m2)
- Seamless integration with additional automation within the warehouse