Micro Fulfillment Solutions
As a partner of AutoStore, ALS StrongPoint offers hyper-efficient micro-fulfilment solutions.
All Online Grocery Orders Can Be Processed At World-class Levels of Efficiency.
Micro Fulfillment Centers (MFCs)
As a partner of AutoStore, ALS StrongPoint offers hyper-efficient micro-fulfilment solutions tailor-made and purpose-built for grocery retailers and wholesalers. By combining micro-fulfillment with ALS StrongPoint’s best in-class Order Picking and last mile solutions, all online grocery orders can be processed at world-class levels of efficiency.
MFC With A Frozen Zone
As the only provider in the world, ALS StrongPoint is building the first AutoStore MFC with an automated frozen zone which allows for picking of all grocery items. This saves hugely on energy and space, and simplifies the work-process.
Tailor-Made For Groceries
Hyper-efficient MFC combined with ALS StrongPoint’s grocery technology solutions allow for hyper-efficient grocery order fulfilment.
MFCs from Autostore is the fastest fulfilment solution per square foot.
The solution also utilizes the space optimally and has the highest storage density of any ASRS (automated storage and retrieval system).
What Is A Micro-Fulfillment Center?
A micro-fulfillment center is a small scale, often partially automated warehouse which can be placed in relatively urban areas or even in the back of large stores. It’s called micro because it is a smaller version of the often very large customer fulfillment center (CFC) which is usually placed in rural areas due to cost and the need for space.
An Automated Goods-To-Man Picking System Is Often Part Of An MFC.
The key reason to invest in an MFC is usually to be able to deliver more online orders to customers faster. Thereby reducing the labor hours and cost needed to fulfill an order.
AutoStore has the world’s densest automated picking solution for MFCs, allowing for the highest utlization of space possible. AutoStore’s automated picking system, together with StrongPoint’s software and set-up, allows for the items of an order to be picked automatically and incredibly fast.
Do you need to fit more items in your warehouse and have them automatically picked at incredible efficiency? Then an AutoStore MFC in cooperation with StrongPoint is something for you.
The World’s First AutoStore MFC With A Frozen Food Zone.
ALS StrongPoint has been chosen to design and install the world’s first AutoStore solution purpose built for groceries with three temperature zones: ambient, chilled and now, frozen. This is based on AutoStore’s new solution to automate the storage and retrieval of frozen items.
Grocery retailers and wholesalers have often used manual picking for frozen items when automating their e-grocery fulfilment services.
Now grocery retailers can automate with AutoStore at all three temperature zones boosting efficiency and significantly decreasing energy bills. In this world’s first installation, energy costs are expected to be reduced by more than 30%.
The First Grocery-Focused AutoStore Partner
ALS StrongPoint is the only grocery-focused AutoStore partner and is uniquely situated to maximize the potential for grocery retailers and wholesalers with our experience in the sector. How to set up the warehouse space, handle items of different temperature zones, integrate with seamless last mile options and combine with manual picking for some items are all part of our expertise areas. StrongPoint can ensure the operational speed in the entire process.
Last Mile Integration
ALS StrongPoint has the market’s most complete last mile solution portfolio, handling both all forms of click & collect and home delivery. Want to deliver products directly from the MFC to the customer? We can integrate seamlessly the most efficient solutions in the market.
The robots used in the MFC requires extremely little energy. In fact, 10 robots use the same amount of energy as 1 vacuum cleaner. Smart innovations and avoiding unnecessary drains on energy consumption, such as light and heating, are key. With the new integrated frozen section, approximiately 30% of energy costs associated with frozen goods is reduced.
Consultancy Regarding Drawing The Entire Storage Plan And Operation
Profit from our experience! We can help plan how the storage facility could look like and where and how each part of the process can be executed for optimal efficiency. Having the full process in mind is what really separates us from the rest.
Smooth System Integration
The solution has been connected to hundreds of different warehouse management systems around the world with ready-made APIs.
The Parts That Make The Magic
There are a few parts that are essential for a working and efficent MFC. Here you can take a closer look at each of the specific parts.
The aluminum grid is what holds everything together. This is the infrastructure for bin placement and the rails which the robots use to maneuver around and find the rights bins with the right products. The size and shape of the grid is restricted only by the warehouse itself and can expand in all directions.
The bins are the containers for your products. The bins used in our solution are a strong construction made from a durable material. With gentle robot handling they can last an unbelievable long time. Every bin is marked with a unique number that is stored in a database and printed on the label of the bin. The bins are available in different heights and materials, you can even divide a bin into different compartments in order to store different products in the same bin.
The robots are the actual workers of the system. They race back and forth along the grid and collects the products you need. They work around the clock and are charged automatically every time they brake or lower a bin.
When more charging is necessay, the robots to this themselves at the right time to avoid excessive charging. This results in a healthy battery and the robots have been working tirelessly for over 15 years. The robots diagnose themselves every second and will report the smallest inconsistency of their data. Should a robot get called to the service mezzanine, it will automatically be replaced by another robot.
The Manual Picking
When using an MFC for groceries, you are bound to meet some obstacles for certain products which will need to be picked manually. For example, frozen foods, oversized items and some fruits and vegetables. These often account for 15-30% of an online order. Fortunately, this part of the fulfillment process can optimized using ALS StrongPoint’s Order Picking solution which has been purpose-built for maximizing the efficiency of manual picking.
The workstations is the area where users receive the products from the MFC. The workstation could either be one simple conveyor port, a carousel port, a swing port or be a modular workstation.
The workstations are designed to be as easy as possible to use, while being ergonomically adapted with the highest user safety. Smart covering and sensors keep the operation safe for both your products and staff, as the movement and technical solution have been optimized through millions of tests. Both at AutoStore Labs and live installations.
The controller is the command center of the micro fulfillment center. It controls the traffic, plans and schedules tasks, logs robots and bin positions, provides access control to service personnel and much more. Perhaps most importantly, the controller is in charge of directing the movement of the robots and is continously calculating the smartest way to work.
Integrations, Support And Analytics
At this point you might be wondering how this solution connects to your existing solutions and IT infrastructure. After all, the systems need to speak together. Fortunately, we have made that as easy as possible.
Standard APIs For Integration
The MFC software can be integrated to your existing e-commerce, ERP or other system you would like. That is done through ready-made API’s provided by StrongPoint. We will further assist with anything you need for the smoothest operation possible.
At the IT department, you don’t want to spend unnecessary time troubleshooting in the rare cases that something doesn’t work properly. With ALS StrongPoint, you have around the clock customer support to save you time and unnecessary headache.
Dashboard And Analytics
Once the solutions is installed you naturally want to keep track of it as well. StrongPoint’s MFC software runs on a cloud-based solution and the back-office is accessed through a web interface. Here you will be able to see the efficiency, number of orders processed and more.
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