Automated Inbound Receiving
Improve traceability, reduce manual handling, and lower operational costs during the inbound process
In the race to respond to accelerated demand from customers to meet shorter and shorter delivery windows, retail distributors, fulfillment, and parcel processing organizations need to implement traceability solutions within their logistics operations to help meet delivery expectation goals. This is accomplished by more effectively managing inventory, capturing information needed to know where a package is at any time, and controlling loss. This starts at the inbound dock door: verifying what is supposed to be on the incoming truck is really on the truck. Scanning packages as they enter the truck creates an opportunity to find issues faster to reduce problems later and manage expectations with the store or end customer.
In many cases, organizations have no traceability at the receiving door, or the process is a manual check-off from a printed list. In other situations, handheld laser scanners are used to scan incoming items. However, in both situations, inaccuracies and inefficiencies can occur which can lead to lost money, poor inventory control, and the inability to trace a problem to its source.
Even with traceability methods in place, occasionally codes on boxes are mis-read or not read at all and without proper quality control measures, these issues can cause errors through the rest of the downstream processes. Inventory levels become inaccurate, the wrong product gets shipped to stores or customers, or the product gets lost all together – all which costs money, rework, and customer dissatisfaction. Misread items can also be stored in the wrong place and incur damage just by being stored in the wrong place (i.e. perishable food).
There are a few ways Cognex improves traceability at the receiving dock door. Solutions range based on factors including how many operators your facility requires as part of the inbound logistics process as well as throughput requirements. Adding touch points (operators) can add time and cost to the operation, so figuring out the right balance of automation and operator resources is key.
Cognex Modular Vision Tunnels, featuring DataMan barcode readers, offer a hands-free solution to reading codes quickly, efficiently, and accurately. Using advanced algorithms and decoding technology, Cognex barcode readers offer up to 99.9% read rates even for damaged and torn codes, or codes covered in shiny material. Additionally these readers capture and send output data and images that facility managers can use to identify problems more quickly during the inbound process, which saves time and money as well as minimizing rework.