VIL's Future-Proof Warehousing tool is a perfect hit

25/01/2023 — minutes reading time

VIL launched its Future-Proof Warehousing tool a year and a half ago, allowing companies to determine which technologies can really help them when it comes to automating and digitising their warehouse activities. By now, over 20 companies have used the tool, and their feedback has proved to be exceptionally positive.

Logistics providers, manufacturers and retailers are all faced with difficult choices in terms of optimising supply chains and making distribution centres and warehouses future-proof. Numerous concepts, technologies and systems are available in the marketplace, while a host of new technologies are also on the horizon. In order to support businesses in making these decisions, VIL created the Future-Proof Warehousing tool, a smart and user-friendly tool that allows a company to get a grasp of existing and cutting-edge technologies that are suitable for their specific operations.

So how does it work? During a dedicated workshop, VIL helps the user to set a series of operationally-specific parameters, such as the size of the warehouse, the processes that are to be automated, the objectives, and so on. The web application charts all these factors and then outputs a completely neutral and objective selection of one to three technologies that best fulfil the company's requirements and that most closely match the company profile.

Four domains

'The tool assists a company to select potential technologies and solutions in four domains – storage and picking systems, transportation robots, support systems for localising and identifying goods and picking support systems,' says VIL project leader Luc Pleysier. 'The technology tab in the tool makes it very easy to compare different technologies, giving one a solid foundation for building up a business case.'

User feedback for the Future-Proof Warehousing tool has abundantly demonstrated its usefulness, particularly in the early stages of an automation or digitisation project. Companies frequently find themselves lost when it comes to launching such a project, given the myriad of available solutions and technologies. 'That makes the tool an excellent aid for pointing in the direction they should head and which technologies should be taken into account in order to end up with a well-considered business case,' Luc adds.

Enthusiastic feedback

The tool has been available since mid-2021 and to date 20 companies have already signed up, with some opting to use it within their own environments and others using it together with a client. All of them have been exceptionally enthusiastic about the results.

One of these initial companies was logistics provider H. Essers. 'The tool ensures that you have a proper foundation for commencing with automation,' says supply chain innovation expert Robin Ceunen. 'It provides a clear picture of the various automation options out there, and that information is centralised in one location so you don't have to trawl through the entire internet. It also pinpoints which automation is most suitable for the various types of warehousing activities.'

Keen to try it out?

If you're keen to see what our Future-Proof Warehousing tool can do for you, then get in touch with Luc Pleysier (luc.pleysier@vil.be). He'll not only guide you during a dedicated workshop, he'll also be there for you throughout the one-year period during which the tool is licensed to you.