Automation and Technology Best Practices Revealed at Operations Summit 2015

Operations Summit 2015, Crutchfield Corp., Cabela's, Colony Brands, Warehouse/Distribution Center, distribution center, distribution center automation, order fulfillment automation, voice-activated picking/packing, order fulfillment technology, Operations and Fulfillment, omnichannel, omnichannel operations, omnichannel fulfillment, omnichannel retail, drect-to-customer, direct-to-customer ecommerceEveryone wants to see how other multichannel and omnichannel companies apply automation and technology to their fulfillment operations. What are the benefits, challenges and the ROI?

My panel at Operations Summit 2015, April 14-16 in Louisville, KY, will showcase how Cabela’s, Crutchfield and Colony Brands (formerly Swiss Colony) have implemented automation and technology. These fellows are four of the most talented multichannel and omnichannel leaders I know.

Bill Helt, senior manager of fulfillment operations at Colony Brands, will address different methods of picking applied to its numerous brands, orders and products. He’ll also give us an inside view of Colony Brands’ new highly automated pick-to-order system, and talk about the efficiency gains they expect.

[RELATED CONTENT: Automation Brings Efficiency to Order Fulfillment]

Kevin Thompson, senior systems manager of distribution at Cabela’s Inc., will share the benefits and challenges related to Cabela’s implementation of voice-enabled technology, not only in picking but in cycle counting, receiving, pack confirmation, shipping, replenishment, put away and other applications.

Scott Collignon, senior director of supply chain operations for Cabela’s, will discuss omnichannel fulfillment from the company’s 68 stores and four DCs, and continue the voice-enabled theme. The omnichannel distribution and systems strategy that Scott oversees lets Cabela’s service an extremely high percentage of customers in minimal time; process orders from store to save a sale, when the item might be out of stock at the DC; and help in the liquidation process. Scott will also talk about what he sees as the future for Cabela’s in in a number of areas, including same-day delivery.

Chris Groseclose, senior director of fulfillment for Crutchfield, will talk about its highly automated solution installed last fall, including major changes to picking, packing and shipping operations and project ROI. The system also allows Crutchfield to reduce shipping charges, including lessening the impact of dimensional pricing, and the use of corrugated product.

This will be a power-packed session filled with knowledge and information. Click on this YouTube video of Chris and the Crutchfield system in action to see what you’ll miss if you’re not there. Sometimes it’s hard to get the big guys to share their forward-thinking ideas, but not at Operations Summit 2015. See you at the show!

Curt Barry is president of F. Curtis Barry & Company