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Active Ants

Name of the product or service

E-Fulfillment

Votes: 47

Product or service description

We offer an international multi-client E-commerce Fulfilment Solution. Meaning: we handle the complete logistic process (Storage, Pick&Pack, Sorting to last-mile carrier, Returns and Data Reports) for multiple online B2C stores from the same E-fulfilment center/warehouse. As of today, we have 4 E-fulfilment centers, of which 1 is located in Germany, 2 in The Netherlands and 1 in Belgium.

The Solution:

First, we receive the products of our clients and process them into our self-made WMS-system. This system gives an overview of stock, sales and all other things our clients need to know about their business.

Then we store the products in our AutoStore. Which stores products 6 times more efficiently than a traditional warehouse. Products are stored in bins that are stacked on top of, and around each other. In other terms, instead of using 60.000m2 traditional shelving, we only need 10.000m2 to store the same amount of products.

Once an order comes in, robots on top of the AutoStore start to collect the bins with the ordered products and bring those to the operators in our picking-ports. Our operator picks the products out of the bin and puts them in a pre-selected box, which is brought to them by an AMR-robot.

After the order is picked, the robot brings the filled box to our packing machines. These machines cut and fold the carton precisely around the products, so we don't need filling material and it saves excess packing material. The box is closed off by a lid, that can be printed in full-colour, tailor-made to the liking and corporate ID of our clients. The shipping-label is also printed on this lid to save plastic labels. Once the box is sealed with the lid, it gets sorted by the robot to the right carrier and the order is ready for transport.

This highly efficient fulfilment process can fulfil orders in a few minutes. Therefore we can offer a cut-off time of 23:59. Meaning that orders, that come in just before midnight, still can be delivered the next day.

Distinction from the competition

Our E-fulfilment process is almost completely automated by the use of robots and machines. By implementing the different robots and machines into our process, we've not only made it a more efficient and sustainable process, but also more humane.

All the heavy tasks that you will find in a traditional warehouse or fulfilment solution, are all being done by machines and robots:

  • Walking through endless miles of shelves to pick orders.
  • Sorting and packing thousands of packages.
  • Carrying heavy boxes full with products.

Doing this, we've given our employees the opportunity to develop themselves in other, more interesting jobs like robot maintenance.

The AutoStore makes the process more efficient and sustainable because:

  • It needs 600% less space to store products than traditional storage solutions.
  • 1 robot only uses as much energy as 1 light bulb.
  • The robots recharge themselves when operational and know, because of Machine Learning and AI, when they need to recharge at a dock.
  • Runs completely on electricity generated by solar-panels on our roof.

We've implemented 3D-cameras to help us to:

  • Precisely know the dimensions of every product.
  • This way our system can determine the smallest box possible for every order.
  • Therefore we never ship products in oversized boxes and we don't need filling materials.
  • It saves materials, space in transport vehicles and increases customer experience.

In the end, what really sets us apart for our customers, is the efficiency and quality we can offer. We offer our clients a service that is normally only affordable for big online brands with hundreds of thousands of monthly orders. By giving them that same, even better quality, by creating a faultless and efficient process with the use of our robots. They can focus on what they do best; running their webshop. We give them the logistical solution to be a serious competitor to the big online brands.

Product or service innovations
  1. The implementation of AMR (Autonomous Mobile Robots) robots into our E-fulfilment process. These robots replace the traditional conveyorbelt in the warehouse. The robots are responsible for transporting the orders through every part of the operation (Pick, Pack & Sorting). It makes the operational much more agile and easy to expand. When a traditional warehouse with conveyor belts wants to increase capacity, it's very difficult (and costly) to integrate new conveyors. We can just add new robots to the existing grid.

  2. The combined use of 3D-cameras, 'tetris-software' and box erectors. All products are 3D measured so we know the exact dimensions of every product. When an order with multiple products comes in, our software starts 'tetrissing' with these products so they can fit in the smallest box possible. Our box erectors set-up the box, which gets picked up by the AMR-robot. This way products never get packed in an oversized box which saves materials, excludes the use of filling materials and saves space in transport vehicles.

  3. Customized printing on packaging Our automated packing machines close the packaging boxes (which are cut and folded around to products to save even more space) with a lid. This lid can be customized and tailored to the liking and corporate identity of our customers. This way they don't need to purchase and store their own branded packaging, which saves a lot of costs. The design can be changed every 24hours, so it also gives customers the possibility to quickly react on current events.

Customer case study

Here you can find a video of a client of ours that shows how their orders are being processed in our system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYxAXolQ-ko

They are also a good example of our quick reaction time of design changes on the boxes. With their company (4gold) being aligned with the Alpecin-Fenix cycling team and top cyclist Mathieu van der Poel, they had the possibility to quickly react to their successes by changing the design right after it. The next day, every order had a special design, responding to his win.

Positive feedback & testimonials

“With the real-time monitoring through the reporting system we can see what the stock levels are and what campaigns are successful at the click of a mouse,” Thomas explains. “Which means we can adjust our marketing and sales efforts at any time. We reinvest every euro in our continued growth and development. And partners like Active Ants help us focus exclusively on that. We know that our online order fulfilment is in good hands.”

https://www.activeants.com/news-and-blogs/active-ants-provides-excellent-customer-experience/

"The attention that Active Ants pays to adapting the size of the package to the specific product (and therefore transporting as little air as possible), working with recycled cardboard, and charging the robots with electricity generated by solar panels, are bonus points in our cooperation. On that front, Active Ants offers us more than we had hoped for."

https://www.activeants.com/news-and-blogs/mediahuis-active-ants-exceeds-our-expectations/

Website

https://activeants.de/


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learn more & register for Expo

Do you want a free ticket to visit E-commerce Berlin Expo on 5th May 2022? 5 stages of presentations, over 180 exhibitors.

Please, fill in your personal details in the form below

E-commerce Germany Awards 2022

Networking Party & Awards Ceremony

  • 4th May 2022

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