Drones and Inventory Management: Wal-Mart’s Innovative Move

Businesses of all kinds continue to discover new and exciting ways to make use of the ever improving drone technology. From delivery services all the way to industrial mining operations, drones have become a valuable tool that helps increase the efficiency of an organization and the applications continue to seem limitless. Now Wal-Mart is looking at an innovative way to utilize drones throughout their business and claim they’re 6-9 months away from getting this incredible new project off the ground.

Wal-Mart will be incorporating drones into its inventory management process which is a step that they believe will increase their competitiveness and improve on the system that’s already in place. There have been many large companies looking at drones for delivery services like SHL, Amazon and Wal-Mart. However, Wal-Mart is looking beyond just the delivery applications for this incredible technology.

In October 2015 Wal-Mart had filed for a FAA application to test commercial drones. “In the FAA application, Wal-Mart said it wanted to test drones for taking stock of trailers and other items in the parking lot of a warehouse using electronic tagging and other methods. A Wal-Mart distribution center could have hundreds of trailers waiting in its yard, and a drone could potentially be used to quickly account for what each one is holding.” A report from Reuters that was released when Wal-Mart first applied for FAA approval.bit.ly/1WzkqiB

They also had a demonstration for reporters to show the effectiveness of this kind of technology at one of the company’s regional distribution centers. The test was conducted by the Wal-Mart’s VP of Last Mile and Emerging Sciences Shekar Natarajon. The drones were able to capture 30 frames per second of products on aisles and then alerted the operator when products were running low or not stocked correctly.

Wal-Mart is still in the early phases of development but the potential of these systems are extremely exciting.

You can find more interesting uses for drones in an industrial setting here: https://mfgtalkradio.com/the-buzz-drones-manufacturing/

Drone technology has advanced at an incredible pace and more and more businesses are finding innovative applications to add value throughout their organization. Wal-Mart is just one of many companies that have found new ways to make drones work for them and it could pay off in the next 6-9 months.

Sources:

http://dronelife.com/2016/06/02/walmarts-use-drones-inventory-stupid/

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-wal-mart-drones-idUSKCN0YO26M