Inventory drones strengthen Post-COVID supply chain

inventory drones

Source: Flytebase

California-based startup FlytBase recently partnered with Romark Logistics to deploy inventory drones at warehouses and distribution centers amid coronavirus disruption.

As a provider of third-party logistics (3PL) ecosystem, Romark had already invested in inventory-management tech such as very narrow aisle (VNA) racking, swing-reach trucks, robots and cloud-connected information systems. Company officials say adding inventory drones to the mix helps fill in the gaps left by worker loss amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As a 3PL, we are faced with higher velocity supply chains, dynamic service level agreements with our customers, and their expectations of same-day delivery,” Romark president Marc Lebovitz said.

“Frequent, accurate and in-depth inventory data is key to our ability to manage customer inventory efficiently, minimize inaccuracies, avoid adjusting orders and differentiate ourselves in a highly-competitive marketplace.”

Romark signed on with Flytbase last year after evaluating inventory drones for automated scans of pallet barcodes at its distribution center in Lancaster, Texas.

“Since frequent inventory counts consumed valuable resources and equipment, yet were necessary to meet customer expectations, Romark wanted to invest in inventory drones that could aerially and autonomously scan front-facing barcodes  across all the VNA racking at the Lancaster-based DC,” a company official explained.

Romark deployed FlytWare, a solution that replaces manual inventory cycle counts for large warehouse or distribution centers, saving time and money with intelligent, automation software working behind the scenes.

By using autonomous inventory drones, companies can also mitigate COVID-19 health risks for warehouse workers who would otherwise have to work closer together with manual scans.

Nitin Gupta, CEO of FlytBase said the deployment at Romark’s warehouse helped “refine the FlytWare production roadmap, to ensure that this solution can be reliably deployed on weekends, nights and in-between shifts.”

FlytWare set out to solve supply-chain challenges of indoor autonomous navigation, automatic barcode scanning and reliable, affordable hardware. The drone-centered solution can be configured across a variety of storage layouts, operated via user-friendly dashboard and integrated with API-enabled warehouse-management systems. “The operational success of FlytWare is driven by continuously refining the solution in close partnership with warehouse inventory and IT teams.”


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