Walmart going high-tech to add efficiency to its supply chain
This July, a Walmart supply chain first is coming to Colton, CA. A newly built, 340,000-square-foot high-tech consolidation center will be the first in Walmart’s supply chain to receive, sort and ship freight. This automated technology will enable three times more volume to flow throughout the center and helps Walmart deliver the right product to the right store, so customers can find the products they need.
This massive Walmart-owned center, which will open in July with 150 full-time associates, can move three times as many cases. It will grow to employ more than 600 associates by 2021. With the combined might of people and world-class logistic technology, this facility will be the most efficient consolidation center in Walmart’s supply chain.
Walmart continues to expand its portfolio of high-tech distribution centers. In October, Walmart announced that it had broken ground on a tech-enabled perishable grocery distribution center in Shafter, CA.
Walmart has consolidation centers today, but the process is manual. Right now, merchandise suppliers create and ship 42 separate orders through the same consolidation center that then forwards the orders on to each of the 42 regional distribution centers where they are officially received and counted. This makes reacting to order inaccuracies a challenge, because associates may not discover them until the orders are planned to be at the store.
The new system enables suppliers to fill one massive order instead of 42. New software automatically scans and counts the product immediately when it arrives and documents the information in our systems, so Walmart will be able to react faster to order-filling issues.
This new center is also a warehouse. When it comes to reacting to unexpected events such as sudden changes in weather, having products separated and stored further upstream allows Walmart’s supply chain to react even faster to get the right products to the right places.