60 Seconds With... Bruce Welty, Quiet Logistics

Staff – Modern Materials Handling
December 9, 2009

Modern: What makes Quiet Logistics different from other third-party logistics providers?

Welty: Like our competitors, we receive, label and putaway our customers products, and then pick, pack and ship orders. Two things are different. One is that we're using our own warehouse management system (WMS). I was the founder of AllPoints Systems (now part of Infor), and we had a lot of experience supporting third-party logistics providers (3PLs) including returns processing. And, we're handling everything but non-conveyables with a Kiva (www.kivasystems.com) robotic fulfillment system for storage and picking. Automation is our competitive advantage.

Modern: But don't most 3PLs avoid automation?

Welty: They do. That's because many automation technologies aren't flexible enough to support multiple processes, products and order profiles. The Kiva solution, however, is simple, faster and cheaper to buy. It's also less expensive to operate than other systems and cheaper than processing orders manually. We're handling garments on hangers and guitar picks with the same system.

Modern: Is it flexible as well as accurate?

Welty: It's very flexible. I'll give you an example: We grew faster than we anticipated and needed more automation and space to support the growth. We knocked down a wall, put location bar codes on the floor, and in one day we doubled the size of our facility. We're able to build the storage pods in different configurations so that if we see we're getting bigger products, we just build bigger storage pods. In the WMS business, we used to do a lot of conference room pilots to show a customer how a solution might work. With the Kiva system, all we need is a couple of days to put some of their inventory into the pods and enter their data into the software system and we can fill orders. As for accuracy, we've literally had just two shipping errors in 10 months, and both were the result of someone being careless. After 10 months of operation and one expansion, I think we've proved we can deliver products at a lower cost, faster and in better condition than with other technologies.


LOCATION: Andover, Mass.

EXPERIENCE: 25 years in warehouse automation

PRIMARY FOCUS: Third-party, direct-to-consumer order fulfillment

About Quiet Logistics

Quiet Logistics is the first Fulfillment to Consumer (F2C) provider to deliver a complete outsourced solution that leverages the game-changing material handling robotics of Kiva Systems. Quiet Logistics "Consumer Driven Fulfillment (CDF)" services is an alignment of best-in-class operations experience and a fully integrated technology platform with a simplified business model which considerably improves distribution throughput, accuracy, scalability and flexibility at a lower cost. www.quietlogistics.com