Anthony Beavis, Managing Director, and Darren O’Connor, Director of Solution Delivery from Körber, sat down with MHD at CeMAT 2023 to discuss the supply chain software company’s products and offerings that were on display at the annual trade show, and how it can provide wall-to-wall solutions to businesses seeking to automate and digitise their operations.
While CeMAT 2023 in Sydney’s Olympic Park was bustling and event-filled, Körber managed to take centre stage at the annual trade show with a display of some of its latest technological solutions at its large stand in the middle of the dome-shaped venue.
Among its wares were its new Order Management S*stem (OMS), demos of the Körber One Voice platform and WMS solution across 10 different picking scenarios, a Virtual Reality Warehouse Picking Experience with Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) technology, and live interaction with Locus Robotics AMRs.
BECOMING HANDS-FREE WITH VOICE CONTROL AND COBOT
The Körber One Voice platform increases productivity and efficiency by allowing the operator to remain hands-free as they listen to instructions dictated by the solution. They can use both hands to pick packages from the totes and place them in the correct trays.
It’s noteworthy to underline the substantial enhancements Körber One Voice brings to the entire logistics workflow. With a substantial increase of up to 25 per cent in accuracy, the platform streamlines operations by providing a more precise workflow. Users have reported witnessing significant improvements almost immediately following the platform’s first implementation.
The human element is equally significant in the supply chain, and the Körber One Voice platform comprehensively elevates the job quality and safety for warehouse staff. Staff performance metrics have been observed to skyrocket, attesting to its transformative potential. The simplicity and intuitiveness of the voice guidance mean that workers can concentrate fully on the task at hand, ensuring quality and efficiency.
Lastly, but by no means least, the platform offers enhanced visibility into the supply chain. In an industry where real-time data and transparency are crucial for timely decision-making, this improved visibility is invaluable. Not only does this feature bolster safety further, but the clear and straightforward voice solution also ensures that the workforce remains singularly focused on their tasks.
Similarly, the benefits of cobot solutions are easy for everyone to see. Instead of having to walk several kilometres during and at the beginning and end of a regular work shift, the operator can depend on the AMR to transfer the orders across the warehouse. From there, they can put the orders in an envelope or box and have them shipped off.
“There are many robots in the working environment,” explains Darren O’Connor, Director of Solution Delivery at Körber. “We place a picker in what we call a zone, so they cover a particular area. The picker moves from robot to robot, taking the item out of the pick face, and placing it onto the robot.
“This solution eliminates high error rates. Cobot solutions sit above Voice and below AMRs. They’re implemented without needing to change a DC’s rack or pick face layout. We might change some configurations to enable a pick zone and we require some software capability to assist with it. We don’t touch the physical infrastructure in the customer site, which helps lower the implementation costs and makes deployment faster and easier.”
The Locus robot is available via a monthly service OPEX model, enabling businesses to scale their operations up and down during peak periods. Repayments for the robots increase if an enterprise requests extra robots. Once it’s finished using them, it returns them to Körber, and its fees decrease to the original price.
“When a business designs its original s*stem and identifies how many robots it requires, it’ll pay an amount per month based on consumption and agreed term,” says Anthony Beavis, Managing Director, ANZ at Körber.
With the Locus solution providing flexibility to Körber’s customers, they can tailor it to suit their seasonal needs. Additionally, it makes it easier for peak periods such as Christmas, Boxing Day and Back to School sales.
CONNECTING SOLUTIONS WITH A SINGULAR S*STEM
Körber’s Unified Control S*stem (UCS) simultaneously bridges the gap between disparate technologies and drives them in normal mode so it can link software and hardware from Körber and third-party s*stems.
“The UCS stops different pieces of technology in a DC from becoming separate islands,” notes Anthony. “Traditionally and historically as a software company, Körber strives to be the market leader in technology. We can unify and orchestrate our solutions with our WMS, as well as those from third parties.
“Many components of our solutions are not dependent on the customer having Körber’s WMS. Our UCS platform is adaptable and can be integrated with other technologies, including other vendors’ WMS platforms.”
“We can provide support across different technology areas,” adds Darren. “If a customer is on our WMS or voice or RF s*stems, we have a common support approach, where they can raise a ticket and it’s lodged into our support portal. It’s then assigned to the appropriate technical teams and it’s all in one place.”
“The APAC region of Körber is a pillar of its global service,” says Anthony. “Customers only have to call one number to be connected to the relevant team. This is an area we’ve heavily invested in over the last 12 months. We’ve almost quadrupled the size of our team and we’re still growing these services to cater not just for the ANZ market, but worldwide.”
And with customer service a priority, whenever s*stem updates are made, Körber notifies its customers well in advance so they don’t get any inconvenient surprises.
“Many of our clients like to have a degree of control of when changes are scheduled,” says Darren. “If we’re implementing an update, we work with them to schedule it into production, so there’s a level of understanding about when it’ll become available.”
Still more evidence – if it were needed – that Körber is your go-to one-stop-shop for supply chain solutions.
For more information on Körber, click here.