Automated inventory tracking by drone 

2nd August 2022

Logistics BusinessAutomated inventory tracking by drone 

PFS, a premier e-Commerce order fulfilment provider and business unit of PFSweb, Inc., has formed a partnership with Vimaan, a technology provider delivering computer vision-enabled solutions for warehouse inventory tracking, control, and management.

Initially, PFS is integrating Vimaan’s StorTRACK AIR, the first-of-its-kind self-flying warehouse drones, to automate inventory tracking activities within one of PFS’s Memphis (US)-based fulfilment operation that stores and picks, packs, and ships inventory for premier brands. Scanning inventory from the ground to the ceiling, the robots capture up to 1,500 locations per hour and deliver highly accurate inventory status details to the PFS Warehouse Management System (WMS). The implementation of this solution will improve the accuracy and traceability of client product inventory across PFS’ fulfilment centres.

“With the rise in demand for multi-node fulfilment operations, it’s more critical than ever to track inventory more efficiently across our facilities,” noted Jon Gardner, Senior Vice President of Fulfilment Operations at PFS. “Vimaan’s technology allows us to implement real-time tracking against our WMS more accurately, efficiently, and safely. It also enables PFS to deploy immediate investigation and adjustments to improve accuracy and responsiveness for our clients. The implementation of this technology means another step forward for PFS’ efforts to drive innovation across our facilities in support of our clients’ e-Commerce operations.”

“We believe near real-time 100% inventory accuracy and visibility across the entire warehouse is attainable. PFS is not only ahead of the curve by being one of the first in the industry to utilise this ground-breaking technology, but they’re also a valuable partner to us as we continue to innovate our technology and solutions,” noted S.K. (“KG”) Ganapathi, Vimaan Founder and CEO.  “We expect PFS to gain significant efficiencies during the cycle count/receiving and packing audit processes, resulting in the same significant savings other clients have seen using this technology.”

The technology is being initially deployed at a single location within PFS’ Memphis-based fulfilment campus with current plans to roll out to remaining global fulfilment centres through 2023.

“The deployment of this technology is another key step in our planned innovation roadmap,” commented Zach Thomann, COO and President of PFS. “We are continuously looking at additional methods to produce more efficient e-Commerce fulfilment operations, such as autonomous mobile robotics, goods-to-person systems and advanced scanning technology. We have opportunities to improve our inbound receiving, put-away, quality inspection and shipping processes by deploying these types of solutions and will continue to explore additional capabilities that will benefit our clients. Vimaan has been a great partner to help us achieve these objectives with technology and consultation.”