ISN: 266% Improved Productivity with AMRs

October 11, 2021

Automotive tool & equipment distributor is deploying integrated automation solution across three distribution centers in the US.

Körber and long-time strategic partner Locus Robotics have joined together to deploy 49 autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) across Atlanta, Fresno, and Indianapolis for Integrated Supply Network (ISN).

The solution was initially implemented in ISN's Atlanta location in just 90 days. This has already shown exceptional results. Picking quality, accuracy, and speed were significantly improved - from 30 to 110 picks per hour, equating to a productivity increase of 266%. ISN also significantly reduced travel times for workers, freeing up time for them to carry out other critical tasks.

"With the AMRs, we have been able to significantly improve operations. Adoption of the AMRs has reduced physical stress of our workers, improving quality of work and as a result has increased job satisfaction. Additionally, we are reinvesting cost savings achieved with the AMR integration into higher wages for our warehouse associates, further boosting retention," says Theron Neese, Chief Supply Chain Officer at ISN.

ISN's customer service includes picking and shipping on the same day, so high efficiency is key. The company has grown at an extraordinarily fast rate, leading to the expansion of the size of its distribution centers. Small package shipments increased from 50% pre-pandemic to 80%, adding even further fulfillment complexities. With a high reliance on warehouse labor, the current climate has brought about staffing challenges with high turnover rates amongst the competitive job market. A longtime user of a K.Motion Warehouse Management System (WMS), ISN turned to Körber to overcome these challenges with LocusBots.

"The Locus Solution allows ISN to gain higher productivity levels with the existing workforce, while also significantly improving the overall workplace environment," said Rick Faulk, CEO of Locus Robotics. "Locus also helps reduce the cost of labor recruitment, training, and retention costs, as workers spend less time walking and more time picking. And because the Locus bots handle the travel and transport of the items, workers are less fatigued and more motivated."

Bill Ryan, CEO Software North America, Körber Business Area Supply Chain, adds: "Deploying Locus Robotics' AMRs allows ISN to improve the efficiency of their operations, overcome labor shortages and quickly scale their operations to meet rapid market growth. The successful deployment at the Atlanta site has shown that Kӧrber's solution can be seamlessly integrated with existing system environments in a short amount of time, without disruption."

Following a successful phase one, ISN has just launched AMRs at its Fresno site with the deployment in Indianapolis following soon. The automotive tool & equipment distributor is also expanding the AMR usage to the put away process to drive further efficiency improvements.

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