News

A Fulfillment Network With A Good Return On Investment

Published: Sep 03 2019
About the Author
Thompson Brockmann
Thompson Brockmann
Vice President of Operations, Tompkins Robotics

More and more often, supply chain executives are being asked to do what was at one time, deemed impossible.  Today we are being asked to proactively build a cost conscience fulfillment and distribution network that is agile and adaptable such that it could be completely reactive in today’s environment that is filled with disruption, quickly evolving and filled with uncertainty.

How can we be both proactive and reactive at the same time and how do we prepare for the unknown?  In the past, this meant many months of analyzing forecasts, developing alternative scenarios and plotting out sensitivity analysis to calculate the perfect return on investment (ROI) around sets of static situations for a solution, taking years to build out.  These methods are flawed in today’s climate due to the facts that:

  • The life spans of forecasts are shorter than ever.
  • It is not possible to predict disruption.
  • The pace of change results in realities that were never modeled for ROIs, therefore making the traditional economic evaluations ineffective.

This is why we developed the t-Sort system.  The t-Sort system is the first automated fulfillment solutions that allows supply chain executives to meet the conflicting goals of being both proactive and reactive.  It is a high-performance system that delivers significant operation cost savings and speed of delivery, while allow complete flexibility, adaptability and agility in fulfillment operations.  By being completely modular and configurable, operators can grow the system as volume requires, reconfigure the system to adapt to evolving business requirements and even split the system to relocate, merge or expand capabilities across an entire distribution network.

t-Sort is the first system that truly delivers ROI not just for its intended design, but also across a wide range of results that are common in today’s dynamic supply chain environment.

More Resources

In response to COVID-19 and limiting travel, Tompkins Robotics is now offering interactive virtual tours using a variety of stationary and roaming cameras throughout the facility.  We have the capability to demonstrate five t-Sort systems with various configurations, robots and functionalities.  The main demonstration system includes three different induction types: manual, robotic and A-frame.  Our systems are capable of e-commerce order fulfillment, store replenishment, backroom and parcel / postal sortation.  We can demonstrate the original t-Sort robotic system in multiple dual level configurations and an elevator system to move robots between the levels.  Our larger t-Sort Plus robots run on single level systems with both tilt tray and crossbelt options.  In the very near future we will demonstrate the new t-Sort Mini in an additional system. We have a wide variety of inventory to demonstrate products including general merchandise, apparel, grocery, fragile goods, odd sizes and shapes and a wide range of product weights.  You will also have a chance to learn about the technologies that are integrated into our system such as automated induction, automated charging, integrated weight and dimension capture, our proprietary wireless network and Warehouse Execution System (WES), new innovations such as our automated sorter exit solution and more.  And if mobility and flexibility are important to you, we can demonstrate how easy it is to reconfigure a system, remove or add a sort table, and even fold a table into a smaller footprint for move or transport.