Equipment News

Direct Relief’s integrated lithium power carts improve operations

The mobile carts have accelerated medicine and healthcare supply distribution.

For nearly 70 years, Direct Relief has helped the needy of the world, primarily by providing medicine and health supplies to refugees and the disadvantaged. While operating a single 24,000-square-foot distribution facility in Santa Barbara, Calif., the relief network currently receives most of the medicines and supplies it distributes from pharmaceutical companies and medical manufacturers.

Since the distribution facility’s storage space is limited, it is crucial for the network to receive and ship products as fast as possible, especially since they’re so necessary to people’s well-being.

Aside from efficiency, 100% accuracy is critical, particularly when medicines are being distributed. However, since Direct Relief’s inventory is comprised of donated items, SKUs are constantly changing, resulting in additional complexity as shippers attempt to distribute items as precisely as possible.

“For us, every efficiency we can squeeze really does get to the point of helping more people. That’s our bottom-line equivalent.” says Thomas Tighe, president and CEO of Direct Relief.

To improve speed while still maintaining accuracy, the distribution facility recently moved to paperless processing and introduced 12 carts with integrated lithium power. The carts are currently used for inbound receiving, double-checking picked orders and as mobile pack stations. Their mobility allows them to move to wherever a job requires them.

The carts can also run peripherals. The receiving carts, for instance, carry a laptop, a monitor, a scanner, a printer, an electronic scale, supplies and a wastebasket. Both the carts and medicines are wheeled to storage locations or forward picking bins for direct putaway, which saves additional handoffs and assures the products are placed in correct locations.

“We are not tied to a wall plug with the battery system, so it allows us to be mobile now,” explains Sean Copeland, operations manager of Direct Relief.

Similarly, the carts used in the packing area also contain computers and peripherals, including printers to create shipping labels and packing lists. The cart batteries provide enough power to operate for the entire shift, but they are also hot swappable in case more power is necessary.

Thus far, the combination of paperless processing, along with the carts, has led to impressive results.

“In the first month that it went live, we had an increase of 40% of the number of batches that we received,” Tighe adds. “We [also] did them more accurately—and in 20% less time.”

Newcastle Systems
(781) 935-3450


Article Topics
Carts   Casebook   Newcastle Systems   Picking   All topics


Comments
You must be logged in to post a comment. Login.

 
Latest Equipment News
Drug Supply Chain Safety Act Compliant Serialization with STEPLogic Trace
To comply with federal mandates, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers must be able to track, trace and report on the movement of prescription drugs and medical devices, throughout the supply chain.

Addressing the Challenges of Scalability in the Ecommerce Omnichannel Warehouse
While ecommerce continues to be the fastest growing segment of the global economy, individual warehouses face more volatility and unpredictability, and intelligent, modular robot-based automation delivers…

5 Ways to Streamline Supply Chain Logistics Operations with Autonomous Robots & Drones
Many companies have already integrated autonomous robots into their supply chain, however, for some companies considering launching an autonomous robot strategy it can be intimidating, here are five examples…

The Difference between a Traditional Warehouse and an OmniChannel Warehouse
The days of an ecommerce-dedicated warehouse are over, and warehouse managers must understand the necessity of new systems and processes to create omnichannel warehouses.


 

24|7 Pro Team

The 24|7 Team is your direct pipeline to solutions for your business challenges. It's your opportunity to have supply chain and logistics experts look at your specific challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information.

The 24|7 Team will simplify the task of creating a database of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your Request for Proposal list.

1
  Choose a topic for your RFP

Transportation RFP/RFI

The Transportation RFP is your direct pipeline to solutions for your transportation challenges. It's your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific transportation challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information specific to your request.

Choosing the perfect software or system can be an indomitable challenge. Using this transportation/TMS RFP will simplify the task of creating a database of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your Request for Proposal list.

Warehouse/DC Management RFP/RFI

The Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) RFP is your direct pipeline to solutions for your WMS challenges. It's your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific WMS challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information specific to your request.

Choosing the perfect WMS solution can be an indomitable challenge. Using this WMS RFP will simplify the task of creating a database of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your WMS Request for Proposal list.

Supply Chain RFP/RFI

The Supply Chain RFP is your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific challenges and needs, and receive free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information. It simplifies finding a pool of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your Request for Proposal list. The companies in the Logistics Planner have agreed to respond to your request for in-depth information and follow-up, and your request is totally confidential.

Software/Technology RFP/RFI

The Software/Technology is your direct pipeline to solutions for your logistics information technology challenges. It's your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific technology challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information specific to your request. Whether it's WMS, TMS, Mobile or Cloud, our pros can help.

The companies listed below have agreed to respond to your request for in-depth information and follow-up. Your request is totally confidential.

Executive Education RFI

The Logistics and Supply Chain Education RFI can help you identify the schools, coursework, continuing education, distance learning and certification opportunities available from leading logistics educational institutions.

Upgrade and improve your logistics and supply chain skillsets. Whatever route you choose—advanced degree, executive education, certification or distance learning—the time and money you invest in your education today can pay off in continued career success tomorrow. Contact leading universities and professional institutions for the information you need to prepare for the future.

Third Party Logistics RFP/RFI

This 3PL Request for Proposal (RFP)/Request for Information (RFI) can help you find the 3PL and 4PL providers that can meet your specific 3PL service challenges and needs. The 3PL companies below will provide free, no-obligation third-party logistics advice, solutions, and information.

Ask your 3PL questions, you'll get answers. Simply complete the information, and detail your 3PL challenges. Then, check off the third-party logistics companies that you want to review your request.

1. Choose an RFI topic.
2. Enter your contact information and challenge.
3. Select companies and optional categories.
4. Submit.


2

Your Information



Your Challenge, Problem or Request *

3

Select Transportation Companies

  • Select All

  • 3Gtms
  • BluJay Solutions
  • CSX Trans. Intermodal
  • Kuebix
  • Landstar
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • One Network
  • Pitt Ohio
  • Purolator
  • Quintiq
  • SEKO Logistics
  • SMC3


Select Relevent Categories

  • Air Freight
  • Intermodal
  • Motor Freight
  • Ocean Freight
  • Rail Freight
  • TMS

Select Warehouse/DC Management Companies

  • Select All

  • 3PL Central
  • Apex Supply Chain Tech.
  • Honeywell Intelligrated
  • Kuebix
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • Swisslog
  • Westfalia Technologies
  • Zebra Technologies


Select Relevent Categories

  • Auto ID & Data Capture
  • Automation
  • Conveyors & Sortation
  • Lift Trucks
  • Packaging & Labeling
  • Pallets & Containers
  • Shelving & Racking
  • WMS

Select Supply Chain Companies

  • Select All

  • 3Gtms
  • 3PL Central
  • Amber Road
  • Apex Supply Chain Tech.
  • APICS
  • BluJay Solutions
  • CSX Trans. Intermodal
  • Frontier Business
  • Kuebix
  • Landstar
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • Logility
  • One Network
  • Purolator
  • Quintiq
  • SMC3
  • Synchrono
  • TAKE Supply Chain
  • Westfalia Technologies
  • Zebra Technologies


Select Relevent Categories

  • Global Trade
  • Inventory Management
  • Risk Management
  • Sustainability

Select Software/Technology Companies

  • Select All

  • 3GTMS
  • 3PL Central
  • Apex Supply Chain Tech.
  • BluJay Solutions
  • Honeywell Intelligrated
  • Frontier Business
  • Kuebix
  • Logility
  • One Network
  • Quintiq
  • SMC3
  • Swisslog Logistics
  • Synchrono
  • TAKE Supply Chain
  • Zebra Technologies


Select Relevent Categories

  • ERP
  • Sales & Operations
  • Sourcing/Procurement
  • Optimization
  • Transportation Mgmt
  • Warehouse Mgmt

Select Executive Education Choices

  • Select All

  • Graduate Courses
  • Online/Distance
  • Executive Education
  • Certifications
  • Undergraduate
  • Seminars
  • Associations
  • Conferences
  • Tradeshows


Select Third Party Logistics Companies

  • Select All

  • 3PL Central
  • Landstar
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • Purolator
  • SEKO Logistics
  • Westfalia Technologies


4
 

24|7 Company Profiles