- In warehouses of every size, the movement of inventory opens the door to potential errors, loss of productivity, customer service issues, and rising costs. The greatest impact of inventory errors is the loss of productivity as workers struggle to locate misplaced inventory—a risk that increases in relation to the size of the warehouse and the number of pallets in motion.
- A truly autonomous and intelligent inventory tracking system automates flexible, high-frequency scanning of moved locations, resulting in more frequent inventory counts with greater overall accuracy at less cost and effort than ever before. Autonomous inventory drones reduce inventory-driven costs, risks, CO2 emissions, and waste, while driving up customer service and warehouse productivity.
- Autonomous inventory drones have been proven to reduce labor hours dedicated to inventory counting by 90%. Beyond automating the inventory counting tasks, the resulting reduction in inventory errors and the additional work these errors generate leads to a significant improvement of warehouse workers’ productivity—as much as the workload equivalent of 4 full-time employees. Verity clients have experienced a 40% reduction in lost goods, higher customer service levels, and payback periods of less than one year.
- Less quantifiable areas of value include improved worker safety & satisfaction (which leads to greater attraction and retention in a constricted labor market), less waste & CO2 emissions, improved data quality, and better process consistency. And with the ability to identify errors earlier, the cause of each error is more readily accessible—information that supports training workers to minimize errors before they occur.
- More and more organizations are exploring the benefits of automated inventory tracking. The realization of the value and benefits of this technology depends on a number of criteria, which the chosen solution must meet in terms of autonomy, size, flexibility, and reliability.
- Fully autonomous inventory drones operate with no human interaction, completely freeing up warehouse employees to focus on other tasks. Drones that require a human operator and non-drone inventory systems that require operation of equipment do not provide the same level of business value due to reduced labor costs and improved productivity. As a fully autonomous system, there is no need for warehouse staff to ‘operate’ the Verity drones, enabling users to add counts whenever needed without any associated labor costs.
- Lightweight drones accelerate the implementation process, support all types of inventory counts (wall-to-wall, cycle counts, spot checks), can be easily placed anywhere in the warehouse to reserve valuable floor space, and offer a nearly unlimited ability to adapt to changing warehouse environments (size, height, aisle width, areas, etc.). And because they operate above the warehouse floor, they are less likely to disturb operations or encounter obstacles that complicate or impede their assigned mission.
- An intelligent inventory drone system is able to automatically schedule each drone mission based on the operational needs of the warehouse, eliminating the need for a human worker to monitor the drones in flight—or to instruct the drones other than to tell them which locations to count and what information to retrieve. This intelligence also offers a high degree of flexibility, giving users the freedom to control the drones’ actions in great detail, or to simply let the system manage the scheduling and then provide the requested data at the start of the next shift.
- Verity is the only provider of drone-based inventory tracking systems that have been commercially proven by industry leaders in the US and Europe. Verity now has 48 fully operational installations in 13 countries, including industry leaders DSV, Ingka Group, Maersk, and Samsung SDS. Verity’s clients have successfully completed more than 28 million fully autonomous inventory checks, identified more than 900,000 inventory errors, and avoided hundreds of thousands of potential new errors since adopting the Verity system.
- In the past, warehouse operators have de-emphasized the need to count inventory more frequently due to the loss of productivity that occurs with manual scanning. Not only does this process take workers away from high-value tasks, but it often requires operations to shut down for days at a time.
- Inventory drones enable much more frequent inventory scanning by fully automating the process. Counting inventory more often gives users the power to identify discrepancies early and fix them immediately—before they snowball into bigger problems. By addressing errors as they happen, pallet hunting is eliminated, overstocks and write-offs are reduced, and customer service levels are improved.
- Intelligent inventory management systems require visibility into existing inventory data—either via integration with the WMS/ERP, or via uploaded snapshots from these systems—to compare inventory data captured by the drones with existing inventory data and deliver results and insights via the user dashboard.
- The optimal approach is determined by the specific use case, but a simple file exchange is sufficient for many users to achieve the full benefit. All major WMS/ERP systems can provide the flat file export needed; this can typically be automated in a matter of hours.
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- All data stored on Verity drones, as well as all communication between drones and the Cloud, uses industry-standard encryption. The software is updated regularly, and an independent third party performs penetration tests.
- The Verity system is compliant with the respective General Data Protection and Regulation (GDPR) requirements.
- Unlike commercial drones used for inventory tracking, Verity is a fully connected system designed to maintain continuous scanning during the completion of each mission. The drones auto-charge with no human intervention between flights which makes ‘flight time’ irrelevant.
- Each mission is scheduled in a way that ensures the drones have enough battery life to complete it. Additional safety checks are completed to verify sufficient battery power for every count.
- Verity’s automatic mapping tool uses the inventory drones to create a digital twin of the warehouse. The result is a highly accurate 3D representation of the entire warehouse—including every available inventory slot. There is no maximum floor area.
- Verity is deployed at some of the largest warehouses in the world, ranging to 100,000 sqm / 1M sq.ft., including a facility with a roof height of 22 meters/~72 feet.
Click here to learn more about automatic mapping.
- The Verity system is designed to mitigate any risk to human workers by specifically scheduling flights in a way that avoids potential close contact with workers. In the case of a scheduling error that thwarts this process, the drones feature sensors and controls that reliably detect and avoid obstacles to keep human workers safe. When used during operating hours, the drones fly high overhead from their chargers to the assigned area. Once the task is complete, they return to the charger without interacting with workers.
- If a worker, piece of equipment, or other obstacle is detected, the drone will autonomously plan a new route. Designated ‘no-flight zones’ are always respected by the drones.
- No. The Verity drones can search and detect barcodes that adhere to major barcode standards, including 2D barcodes. And because the drones carry their own lighting, they can operate in any lighting condition—including in complete darkness.
- Thanks to their flexibility in flight, the Verity drones can read barcodes at any location on the face of the pallet. When barcodes are small or have poor print quality, the drones can fly closer to the pallet to decode these hard-to-read barcodes (though best practices dictate correcting the issue with larger, clearer barcodes to eliminate the problem entirely).
- On-site installation time varies based on the size and complexity of the facility and the level of local support during preparation and installation. Using Verity’s Automated 3D Mapping tool to create a digital twin of the facility, the system can be up and running in as little as 2 weeks.
- The vast majority of planning and preparation can be performed remotely prior to physical installation, and interruptions to operations are typically minor, if necessary at all.
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- Relative to other warehouse automation tools, fully autonomous inventory drones are considered quick, reliable, and very low cost.
- While the actual cost of the system depends on the size of the facility and usage requirements, the cost and productivity savings that result from using the system frequently cover that cost quickly; Verity clients typically achieve payback in less than one year.
Get in touch with our team for a detailed assessment!