Synergy Logistics is to receive some £240,000 from Innovate UK, the government’s innovation agency, to help develop the next generation of its Snapfulfil warehouse management system.
The aim of the project is to allow Snapfulfil to deliver robotic levels of efficiency without the high capital cost and fixed capacity associated with traditional warehouse automation technologies.
It will use a network of sensors to supply accurate, real-time 3D locations of both pickers/trolleys and stock in the warehouse, and include routing and scheduling algorithms to optimise the location and movement of people and goods within the warehouse dynamically, allowing these to be altered in real-time in line with both planned and unplanned events.
The project has been given the working title of ‘Choreo’ (from ‘to choreograph’) and is expected to take 18 months. It has been conceived to allow small and medium-sized e-commerce retailers affordable access to innovative technology which enables them to compete even more effectively with much larger retailers.
Synergy says the new version of Snapfulfil will offer many of the benefits of goods to man systems, without the need for expensive automated plant and equipment.
Managing director Tony Dobson said: “This new generation of the software will allow fast-growing e-commerce retailers to operate the leanest possible warehouse operation, where every movement of both stock and people is choreographed to optimise productivity.”