Wearable technology in logistics!!

We all know about wearable technology, but let us how it is helpful in logistics! We all know the usefulness of cloud computing in supply chain, Wearable technology is the same thing paring cloud to small device such as Apple watch, Fitbit, Google glasses; which help worker to work efficiently without carry tablet with them. These devices automatically input data without any error.

Advantages:

  • No stress to workers as now there is no need to carry tablet in warehouse for any details. Google glasses, Apple watches are quite convenient and hands-free to access it without burden.
  • It speeds up the process and almost zero chance of error. As it captures data automatically and update in ERP system, there is no need to update data manually. For example, it can take a photo of current situation and can transfer in database in real time, so that it can be helpful to have document ready for suppliers to show them what is lacking. As a result, it reduces time consumption. Moreover, it helps the person to find out product easily in warehouse and information related to product can get fast; no need of papers and rechecking.
  • It is reliable, as it gives complete information about product, pallet, in which row product is, how much stock is needed to fill the pallet or how much stock is remaining.

 

Sources:

https://www.ibm.com/blogs/think/2015/12/ups-wearable-tech-iot/

 

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How to create smart garbage?

What are the first words that will come through our minds when we hear about garbage handling? Dirty, disgusting? Words like innovation and intuitive are sadly not very top of mind in this industry. However nothing is less true. Especially within garbage handling there are a lot of innovative projects which tremendously change the way of working and impact the logistics of garbage handling.

The era of internet of things technology (IoT)?

Internet of things is the interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data. And with devices in everyday objects, we mean like really EVERY day objects. Imagine (smart) bicycles which capture real time data on material wear and tear or data regarding to where your bike is located, or Smart street lights providing the government data on energy usage and functioning hours. In addition, even a better application of internet of things is combining those data between bicycles and street lights to create smart lightning on the streets in order to create an efficient energy distribution by knowing when to turn on the streetlights as soon as bicycles arrive. Due to decreasing costs on sensor technology and big-data handling, last years the internet of things technology took its momentum and skyrocketed enormously in popularity and applications in our whole society, IoT is everywhere.

Car Parking sensors and garbage handling logistics…..?!?

Last years I worked on a great pilot project to create smart garbage handling and I would like to share the idea behind our project and the impact on garbage logistics.

We all know parking sensors applied on cars, that technology is not new anymore, became cheap and is applied to almost every new car. It is that sensor that rings an annoying beep sound if you are almost hitting an object while showing your parking skills (see image below).
parking sensor

So what does parking sensors have to do with garbage handling? We created a creative unintended purpose for those sensors by adding them into the process of garbage handling. We all know the big garbage containers in city center which are being emptied by the garbage handling companies like for example GDF Suez. In our project we created smart containers by putting a car parking sensor up-side down on the ceiling of the container in order to measure the filling degree of the container.

Smart garbage handling

Each time the container reaches 70% of the total capacity the sensor will send a small data package to the garbage handling company that they need to drive by to empty it. They incorporated these data packages into their management information systems to create (big data) intelligence regarding the most efficient route for the truck driver.

smart routes

Creating operational excellence:

  • Effective routes to only full containers
  • Saving labour costs (working hours)
  • Saving fuel (environmental friendly)

Ever thought garbage handling could be so intuitive?

ZARA – LOGISTICS IN SALES PERIOD

In the beginning of the year and in summer season, is produced the biggest movement of products between seller and consumer, this is the sales period. Nowadays, with sales on internet, this movement increase considerably. I want to focus on textile sector, more concretely in Zara, from Inditex.

Resultado de imagen de logo zara

Zara is one of the largest international fashion companies. It belongs to Inditex, one of the world’s largest distribution groups with eight brands (ZaraPull&BearBershkaStradivariusMassimo DuttiOyshoZara Home and Uterqüe) and 7504 stores in 94 markets around the world, of which 2266 are Zara shops. The customer is at the heart of their unique business model, which includes design, production, distribution and sales through their extensive retail network.

In last winter sales period I went shopping and I thought about the big logistic organization must exists in order to supply the needs and requests of customers in shops and online orders.

When you buy a product in Zara webpage you can choose the store in which you are going to pick up your purchase. In my case, my delivery would be in Valladolid, city with 5 Zara stores, then I get a question, the delivery time will be the same if you choose any store in the same city? or on the contrary, does it depend on the store you choose?

This both previous questions make me think about more issues:

  • How they plan which product must be delivered in one store or another?
  • All the products which are delivered to the same city come from the same warehouse? If this is not the case, what is the meeting point to gather all the products?
  • Are they shipped in the same truck?
  • If a store has more order volume, do they get the orders quickly due to transportation costs will be lower since the transport truck will be full?
  • Exists movement of products directly between stores or they must go to warehouses firstly?

In order to answer some of these questions, you can see the following video, where is explained that the suppliers send their merchandise to their distribution center in Spain and from there, all of these clothes are distributed to each of their stores around the world. Distribution is done twice a week and in this way what they achieve by this is that what is being offered in the stores is constantly updated.

Inditex has 10 logistics centers located in Spain, close to the head offices of our eight brands. Most production is also carried out in proximity, cutting travel distances, and reducing energy consumption and emissions.

Their logistics centers are next ones: Arteixo (A Coruña), Cabanillas del Campo (Guadalajara), Elche (Alicante), Meco (Madrid), Narón (A Coruña), Onzonilla del Campo (León), Palafolls (Barcelona), Sallent (Barcelona), Tordera (Barcelona) y Zaragoza.

You can find more information about Inditex logistics in the link below:

https://www.inditex.com/how-we-do-business/our-model/logistics

Of course, this information is not enough to answer all the questions in detail, because it is more concrete and specific of the internal management of the company.

Zara is an example, but all the questions proposed can be applied for other companies which distribute a lot of different products to stores located throughout different places in the world with several stores in the same city.

Sources:

https://www.inditex.com/

 

 

Foldable containers

Some days ago I read a news that surprised me pleasantly. A Valencian company with a high component of R&D, Navlandis Logistics Technologies, presented a revolutionary folding container, the Zbox, at the Port of Valencia. This company was born after a conversation between friends concerned about improving the environment. After discussing one of them the mountains of containers that are disabled in ports of merchandise, an engineer, Miguel Navalón, investigated that in the exporting areas there was always a need for containers and in the importing areas containers were piled up without giving them use because for the shipping companies it was expensive to return them empty; therefore an empty container is expensive and polluting.

Captura-de-pantalla-2016-10-13-a-les-11.38.52

Thus, the Zbox is an original idea that allows to solve the saturation of space in the transport of goods and save 10,000 million of Euros per year. If you take into account that 25% of containers are empty, taking up a lot of space, it is a great idea to create a collapsible container that lowers the cost of operations, occupies less space (saves 80% of space), reduces CO2 emissions, it is cheaper to produce, more efficient to operate and it folds with the least possible technology. All this by guaranteeing its resistance, sealing and loading functions, just like a normal container.

From what I have been able to read, given the suitability and necessity of this product, important investments are being made, as well as pilot routes that verify the saving. Its commercialization is expected next year, with the sale of 3000 units in 2019.

Without a doubt it is a product that will revolutionize the logistics industry of storage and maritime transport. It offers considerable competitive advantages and due to its characteristics it is convenient to integrate it into the worldwide logistics chain.

Bravo for this Valencian company that, based on a simple idea, can revolutionize the problem of shipping merchandise.

Bravo for this Valencian company that has managed to patent its Zbox container, not only in Spain and the US. but also in China, container producing country.

And above all, bravo for this Valencian company that cares about climate change and pollution.

©Heinrich Hecht-Valencia-072

If you are interested in the news enter these websites:

http://www.levante-emv.com/economia/2018/02/21/contenedor-plegable-patentado-china/1681977.html

 

http://www.lasprovincias.es/economia/fotos-zbox-contenedor-plegable-para-transporte-maritimo-mercancias-20170705205139-ga.html

McDonald’s Logistics

Did you know that McDonald serves 75 burgers per second? We all knew that McDonald was the biggest fast-food chain in the World (before KFC, Subway and Pizza Hut), but what made its success can be a little blurry… Part of the reason why is their incredible logistics system. They actually had the 2nd best Supply Chain Management in the World in 2016 (after Unilever). Bob Stewart (McDonald’s Corporate Vice President of Strategic Supply Chain Services) said: “As a restaurant, you have to be prepared to offer menu items when customers want them, not when it’s convenient to you“.

This is why we are going to try answering the following question:

hero_pdt_value_au

What makes McDonald’s logistic system so damn good?

First, they use what we call a “Supplier Optimization” system in which they prefer to select only a few suppliers with whom they create a solid, long-term relationship rather than having too many. This helps building a relationship where trust is a major component.

This is also linked to the “Vested business model” that McDonald is trying to create. It is a model in which every party wins: the suppliers, the company and its employees, and the franchisees. They want to answer this important question: “what’s in it for We?“: they work together to ensure a mutual success.

In order to build a successful system, they have created a set of rules to follow:

  • Rule 1: Focus on outcomes, not transactions
  • Rule 2: Focus on the what, not the how
  • Rule 3: Agree on clearly defined and measurable outcomes
  • Rule 4: Pricing model/incentives for cost/service trade-offs
  • Rule 5: Govern for insight, not oversight

McDonald also uses 3PL Strategy (3rd Party Logistics providers), such as Martin Brower, which are responsible for executing the supply chain management decisions. The company represents 36,000 restaurants throughout the world, among which 80% are franchises. the board of Directors made the decision to support these franchises and to assure that they are correctly supplied. To do so, they created shorter supply chains, which are easier and more reliable to deal with. This also means a great supply and demand consistency where the supply exactly meets the customers’ needs. To do so, each restaurant is approximately resupplied 2.5 times a week with fresh and frozen products.

McDonald is currently spending a lot of money into its supply chain development in order to offer a greater experience to its customers. For having such a performant supply chain strategy, McDonalds has been able to serve 62 million customers a day!

https://www.forbes.com/pictures/feji45hfkh/top-10-global-fast-food-brands-2/#c58e99580c95

https://www.supplychain247.com/article/gartner_announces_its_rankings_of_the_2016_supply_chain_top_25

http://www.vestedway.com/laying-the-foundation-whats-in-it-for-we/

https://www.supplychain247.com/article/mcdonalds_secret_sauce_for_supply_chain_success

http://www.tlimagazine.com/sections/packaging-and-warehousing/2364-mcdonalds

Amazon’s wristbands

The biggest e-commerce company in the world keeps developing new ways to optimize their resources.

How could them reduce costs without decreasing effectiveness?

Some warehouses are already automatized using robots that move the shelve where the product that is required is located to where the employee is preparing the delivery, (I have found a nice post in this blog about this: ROBOTS IN AMAZON WAREHOUSE) but what about those ones that are not robotized yet?

Amazon has patented a wristband that, using ultrasonic tracking technology, can precisely track where warehouse employees have their hands and use vibrations to guide them to where the product that they have to pick up is placed, with more or less intensity depending on the closeness. This will help them to find the location of the product easily and to avoid mistakes while choosing the product.

Amazon wristband

This new technology, would also help to analyze efficiency of employees, such as time that is not used and other factors that could be improved, in order make more efficient all the processes that are done since you click the desired product in their web-site until it is delivered in your door.

Despite this innovation, Amazon already has a reputation for turning low-paid staff into “human robots” carrying out repetitive packaging tasks as fast as possible in an attempt to achieve their objectives, and that’s why this innovation adds another layer of vigilance to an already difficult working environment.

What do you all think?

 

Sources:
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jan/31/amazon-warehouse-wristband-tracking
https://elpais.com/tecnologia/2018/02/02/actualidad/1517591256_241404.html