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Inside the CEO Office: A vision for the Automated Warehouse

By Casey Rebman on

Posted under: Culture, Innovation, JD Edwards, Microsoft Dynamics

Here at RF-SMART, our mission statement is a big part of our culture, “We exist to transform our customers and change lives.” That’s a powerful statement, but is only valuable if we follow through on it. We started with the RF-SMART Vision Levels - helping our Customers grow and add more value to their business, with the ultimate goal of getting to an automated warehouse (Level IV). But we’re not stopping there.

This year, RF-SMART CEO Michael Morales released a 3-year vision for the company. Some of the highlights include growing the company, opening additional offices around the world, and increasing our product investment in workforce productivity and automation. 

RF-SMART's vision for the Automated Warehouse

We sat down with Michael to discuss how this vision focuses on helping our Customers get to Level IV.

How did you decide on a 3-year vision vs. a 1-year vision?

Michael Morales: We thought it was important to project further into the future regarding where we wanted RF-SMART to go and where our Customers wanted us to partner with them. Some of our initiatives will take more than a year to accomplish, which necessitates mapping out a vision for a longer period of time. We also wanted to establish big goals that were impossible to achieve in only one year!

We plan to significantly invest in Workforce Productivity and Warehouse Automation. Why did we choose to focus our efforts here?

MM: Our Customers are innovative businesses that want to maximize their investments and profitably scale their businesses. They want to get more value out of their RF-SMART investments and don’t want their warehouse and manufacturing costs to increase at the same rate at which their businesses grow. They will get more value out of RF-SMART if we can help them increase their current workforce productivity instead of requiring them to add more staff as they grow. Warehouse Automation can bring a great return, and we want to be a partner in helping them achieve that objective.

How does our functionality like Warehouse Automation and Performance Metrics fit into the 3-year vision?

MM: Our Performance Metrics module will enable our JDE Customers to better understand the current performance of their labor in their warehouse and manufacturing operations and be able to pinpoint opportunities for improvement.  We are also providing the worker with visibility into his or her performance so that he or she can make adjustments in real-time instead of waiting on an end of shift report. 

Our Warehouse Automation Module is truly a game changer. Customers are looking to leverage their automation investments and seamlessly connect them to Dynamics AX or JD Edwards systems. We are accomplishing this objective while eliminating data entry, data discrepancies, a custom integration, and the requirement to maintain two systems.

What aspect of warehouse automation and workforce productivity are you most excited for us to explore?

MM: Automation is going to affect warehousing and manufacturing in a significant way over the next 10 years.  RF-SMART will be on the forefront of being a trusted supply chain advisor to our Customers as we leverage these technological capabilities and drive better productivity, quality, and lower cost into their operations. Customers are going to want to understand how various automation investments can benefit their businesses and how they fit technologically into their current ERP environments.

While this is a goal for 2019, can you expand on your vision for the RF-SMART Warehouse Manager Virtual Assistant? What will it do?

MM: There are numerous tasks each day that a Warehouse Manager performs that RF-SMART could help him or her perform.  Whether it’s assigning work, inspecting productivity issues, or ensuring staffing is correct, these decisions could be significantly aided by RF-SMART understanding the preferences and decisions of warehouse managers and suggesting optimal solutions.  With machine learning becoming more prevalent, RF-SMART will learn the decisions of warehouse managers and help them perform their jobs at higher levels and provide them more time to focus on higher value add activities.