Dynamic picking and inventory optimisation in dark stores and urban micro fulfilment centres

Project: Central government, health and local authorities

Project Details


Urban warehouses, dark stores (where physical stores fulfil orders for delivery and pickup from customers and other nearby stores) and micro-fulfilment centres are currently ill-equipped to handle the high volumes of online orders, customer pick-ups and deliveries, and supply chain fluctuations, with most relying on manual processes with added time, human resource and cost pressures to remain competitive. In collaboration with the University of Bath's Centre for Smart Warehousing and Logistics Systems, Sonodot will design a novel Smart Warehousing solution tailored for dark stores and urban fulfilment centres, addressing key challenges created by the short time frame and complexity of orders with customer trends towards next hour deliveries and now even as short as 10-minute pick-up times.

The solution will be based on Sonodot's state-of-the-art indoor/outdoor tracking technology to continually monitor the movements of material handling vehicles (forklift trucks), equipment (barcode scanners) and order pickers wherever they are in a warehouse. Very low power wireless hardware will be developed for ease of installation and reduced maintenance cost, alongside innovative dynamic routing algorithms to add constraints (e.g., dispatch times, synchronisation with delivery services and customers pick-ups, zoning, routing and picking optimisation) based on warehouse layout and operational data inputs specific to urban dark stores and micro-fulfilment centres. New functionality and tools will be rapidly developed and integrated with Sonodot's high-performance location intelligence platform, warehouse management systems and last-mile delivery services to provide real-time data insights, allowing operations and warehouse managers to make better decisions around order prioritisation, safety, human labour and resource/fleet utilisation to improve efficiency and performance, and reduce operational costs.
Effective start/end date1/11/2130/04/23


  • Innovate UK


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