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DHL has bright IDEA with new warehouse optimisation tool

DHL has launched a new off-the-shelf fulfilment management solution for online retailers.

Called IDEA, the software is designed to use algorithmic analysis and data science to optimise warehouse processes such as picking routes and staff allocation.

It clusters orders by logic and optimised how workloads are distributed in order to prioritise time-critical shipments. It also reduces error rates and employee training times.

DHL says the system can improve order picking processes while requiring little in the way of implementation, as it integrates directly with traditional warehouse management systems. In initial deployments the solution has reduced distance travelled by warehouse employees by 50% and increased productivity of individual sites by up to 30%.

Markus Voss, CIO and COO at DHL Supply Chain, said: “The COVID crisis has shown us that unforeseen volume fluctuations for individual products can put enormous stress on supply chains. Lack of clarity regarding stock levels and incorrect data on availability can lead to bottlenecks for individual products and then delays in delivering to end customers.

“We are working with our customers – large online stores and retail companies – on more stress-resilient, reliable algorithms and tools to better anticipate demand fluctuations, optimise the allocation of manpower and thereby accelerate the throughput of goods and order cycles.”