Wal-mart has begun conducting early tests to use drone technology in its inventory-management processes and are apparently just 6-9 months away from installing the drones in their warehouses.
Similar to Amazon and Google, Wal-mart have applied to the American Federal Aviation Administration to conduct outdoor aerial tests of drones for package delivery and drone-based DC inventory scanning.
Wal-mart currently performs its inventory cycle-counting process manually through scanning pallets and handheld scanning devices. However, the company is now looking to accelerate their previously labor-intensive inventory process by utilising drone technology. The drones will potentially fly through the racks, using inbuilt cameras to capture images of inventory. These images would be reviewed using software analysis and the accompanying data would help Wal-mart to identity inventory accuracy.
Finding ways to more efficiently store, transport and deliver goods to customers has taken on new importance for Wal-Mart as it deals with wages costs while seeking to beat back price competition and boost online sales.
Previously, a full warehouse inventory check would usually take Wal-mart around a month to complete if preformed manually. However with the company embracing drone technology this process will shrink dramatically to just one day. Wal-Mart is also going one step further and is said to be testing artificial intelligence and virtual reality technology within their warehouses.
The team at Horizon Inventory has been closely watching the latest innovation waves in the supply chain space and has been using software and technology to make complex problems simple. In similarity to Wal-mart’s plan to make complex inventory management as fluid as possible, our aim at Horizon Inventory is to achieve the same in the inventory optimisation space.