Saddle Creek Logistics Services provides omnichannel fulfillment and distribution services for clients throughout the United States. One client in Texas was looking for a more efficient way to provide e-commerce solutions for medical apparel and supplies that are shipped to consumers as well as major hospitals and universities.
This client was going through a period of considerable growth and experienced upwards of three times its normal order volume compared to previous years. The team at Saddle Creek evaluated solutions that would scale and support its client’s business growth as demand spiked and needs changed.
“We were looking at mobile robotic solutions that had a quick return on investment, and something we felt could be incorporated easily into our operations,” said Tony Hollis, director of technology and innovation.
Locus Robotics deployed autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) and a suite of actionable reporting tools and dashboards. This installation included a systems integration with the WMS and network, a solution design of the facility and workflow, and the implementation of the robots including navigation and pick testing.
The Saddle Creek team worked with the team at Locus to implement a solution that would increase productivity and reduce expenses.
“Implementation went very well. The transition to using the Locus platform was quite easy,” said Hollis.
Cody Johnson, director of fulfillment, added, “We really got ramped up in about two months. Locus was onsite, they were a great partner to work with because they listened to what we needed rather than just making us work around their solution.”
The Saddle Creek team more than doubled productivity and significantly reduced congestion on the warehouse floor, resulting in faster fulfillment of client orders. The ability to scale is especially valuable – allowing them to accommodate unexpected demand increases as much as 30 to 40% above projections and still meet service level agreements (SLAs).
“As we moved away from the pick carts, the associates really enjoyed using the Locus Robotics platform,” said Hollis on the successful adoption by warehouse associates. “It’s easy for the associates to train and learn, and be effective on day 1.”
The Saddle Creek team is now preparing for its client’s growth, expecting the operational footprint to expand and the number of robots assisting workers to increase by 85%. They’re also reviewing plans to leverage this automation solution for other clients in the multi-tenant building.