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Origami Owl

Automation-Aware Order Releasing

Case Study in Warehouse Automation Orchestration

“PowerHouse optimizes existing control systems to govern equipment movement, but the system’s ultimate value for Origami Owl is insight into operations. Clear automation visibility informs warehouse management decision-making.”

Origami Owl’s business model is difficult to categorize. Forbes magazine once characterized the privately owned, multi-level marketing custom jewelry company as the 14-year old’s $250M “big idea” (Oct. 2013). Currently, 45,000+ independent sales consultants (“designers”) purchase materials and tools from Origami Owl for product direct sales to customers, primarily via in-house sales parties. What is clear is that this level of thinking outside the [jewelry] box requires that technology evolve and adapt with similar innovation and agility.


Product Customization and Personalization

PowerHouse supplied the logic to make the floor automation in Origami Owl’s warehouses work for the company’s changing requirements, regardless of original design intent. 

Technology needed to evolve to keep pace with the company keeping ahead of developing market conditions, including trends toward product customization and personalization. All aspects of operations needed to work as a single unit to achieve the desired enhancements in materials handling. The “choreography of movement throughout the warehouse,” as described by QSSI’s Chief Product Manager, Rob King, required a turnkey solution.

We considered the entire order journey, more than 1.5 miles of cabling, with the objective of quadrupling production capacity.

A Turnkey Solution for Logistics Automation

PowerHouse enhances the production of automated material handling technologies and concentrates the power of robotics. In effect, it provides the logic for releasing orders using an efficient, business savvy protocol that is specific to the user. 

Origami Owl needed individualized solutions for when, where, and how to sequence various fulfillment scenarios and trigger restocking items. By gaining oversight and control over all moving parts in the warehouse, we were able to affect overall productivity and deliver greater efficiencies. Automation-aware order releasing (as well as automation-aware pick pod selection, path planning, and labor scheduling) helps ensure a productive, cohesive work pace across all work zones.

PowerHouse safeguards that no element within Origami Owl’s warehouse is working in isolation.

For example, scan a box and the system will assess which worker and what route he or she should take, depending on where the remainder of the order is located. Also, no worries about flooding the pick-to-light system, because automation awareness means that the right number of picks will be released into the system in the first place.

ORIGAMI OWL

Chandler, AZ

Distribution Center
  • 100,000 square feet
Customers
  • Custom jewelry design 
  • Apparel and textile
  • Direct sales
Warehouse Environment
  • Complicated sourcing requests
  • Split orders
  • Low minimum order requirements 
  • Combined order and customer processing
  • Just-in-time delivery
Solutions in the Design
  • Embedded TMS
  • Real-time order visibility
  • Scale counting and scan & pack
  • Automated customized compliance labeling
  • Automated rate shopping
Global Supply Chain
  • US
  • Puerto Rico
  • Canada

It’s almost always about managing the release of work. So, you begin by learning how a company does pack & ship—because everyone does it differently, in response to specific programs and compliance requirements.

Russ Schumacher, QSSI’s VP of Applications
Simplified Integration Strategies for Complex Order Management

Origami Owl averages approximately $70 per order. However, multiple highly individualized orders are typically shipped to the same location, at the same time, for the company’s sales events. This reality is a fulfillment challenge experienced by many companies in the creative industries, and the solution is gaining full operational oversight and control.

Who: Origami Owl
What: WMS implementation focused on operational solutions
Where: new state-of-the-art warehouse
When: 3 months leading up to holiday season
Why: optimize $4M already invested in floor automation
Wow: up 45,000 orders avg. per day, down 70% pickers

User-friendly, simplified integration strategies for Origami Owl involved solutions for specific equipment and controllers on industrial networks. Increased oversight and control over automated equipment gave our client distinct advantages.

  • WMS + print & apply labeling—triggers next fulfillment step
  • WMS + handheld devices—enables geofencing and positioning data
  • WMS  + predictive analytics—enhances routing, picking, slotting, etc., processes
Connection between Visibility and Capacity

During a critical period of growth, as Origami Owl ramped up for the holiday season with a brand-new facility, we helped with enhanced interface management. PowerHouse delivered full ERP function integration and directly/indirectly supported enterprise application software. We also supported seamless communication with our client’s EDI, OMS, supply chain management software, and the numerous e-commerce, marketplace, carrier, and customer portals employed by the company.

For Origami Owl, a direct correlation now exists between real-time location visibility (product, assets, people) and a real-time view of warehouse space and storage capacity. PowerHouse’s location capabilities include constant insight into an order’s journey through the entire facility. Floor managers have access to useful data that can be immediately acted upon.

  • Dwell times/congestion analysis
  • Equipment overload mitigation
  • Optimization of underutilized resources
  • Asset tracking 
  • Cross-docking strategies
WMS as the Brain that Drives the Muscle

We built a WMS for Origami Owl that excels with evolving warehouse planning and execution processes. We understood from the start that operations would be routinely impacted by changes originating from variable markets and a global supply chain. Small-scale, transient disruptors, such as influencer driven trends and seasonality, would also be the norm. Operations would need to scale up to meet sales goals.

In response, PowerHouse is made more intelligent with real-time quality data about automation system use and material flow. It is the brain that can adjust to changing conditions—even on an hour-by-hour basis, grouping work for increased efficiency at certain times but also automatically increasing capacity for hot orders or imminent carrier pick-ups.

PowerHouse is effectively thinking for the many systems that comprise the warehouse. For an e-commerce enterprise facing complex order fulfillment requirements, like Origami Owl, this depth of knowledge is a huge competitive advantage.

Contact Us for More Information

Move your company to the next level with the PowerHouse warehouse management system. Increase revenue and efficiencies. Lower labor costs. Improve customer service. With the knowledge to act, you have the power to improve.

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