Can You Use Drone for Stock Take?

Innovative Way to do Stock Take

Using drone for stock taking. Is this for real? Isn’t drone supposed to be in an outdoor environment?

Recently, there are news articles about start-up companies utilizing drones to perform stock taking within the warehouse building.

Infinium robotics is one such company based in Singapore. They are currently pilot testing the new usage in various warehouses within the country.

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/09/flying-warehouse-drones-are-in-the-works-by-singapores-infinium-robotics.html

 

What is stock take?

It is the process of physically verifying the actual inventory placed in storage locations against the system records. Normally, this process will take a number of days by a team of operators to complete. Clients will also participate in this activity occasionally.

How is stock take normally conducted?

Operators will take the list of inventory to the storage site for checking. With scanners and reach trucks, the staffs will manually verify the data versus the physical inventory.

Pro & Con

What are the advantages of using drone?

  1. Lesser manpower required to perform this activity. You are able to channel these resources to other activities.
  2. Higher accuracy of tallying the physical inventory against manually stock take.
  3. With no human intervention required once the process begins, you can perform this task during the off peak hours.

What are the disadvantages of using drone?

  1. Drone is able to capture the barcodes of the inventory at the front of the racking. For situations where there are multiple SKU in a bin location, errors and discrepancies may occur.
  2. You need to map out the routes prior for the drone prior to the stock take.
  3. For a 24 hour operations, stock take by drone might not be feasible.
  4. The weight and size of the drone may be a concern from the safety perspective.
  5. Because of the short battery lifespan, it might need to tether to a movable base station to complete the whole stock taking process.

Conclusion

In summary, introduction of drones to the warehousing is a bold step moving forward. The objective of replacing manually stock take with machines is to reduce the workload of the operations.

Do you think this idea will fly?

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