June 2, 2009
Quiet Logistics uses robots - not noisy conveyors or forklifts - to solve customer's order fulfillment woes.
It might have been the quietest launch party ever. Orange pod-shaped robots
carrying bright blue racks zoomed silently around in the background as third-party
logistics service provider Quiet Logistics announced that it was open for
business. The robots are part of a unique order picking system from Kiva
Systems (the robots bring storage racks to the pickers, rather than the
other way around), which is the centerpiece of the new 3PL's operation.
At the event, Quiet Logistics also introduced its first customer,
Music Parts Plus, an online seller of parts and accessories for musical
instruments. Until now, Kiva's system has been adopted by large companies,
including Staples, Walgreens, and Zappos.com (see "a DC gets its own
fast fulfillment," September 2008, www.dcvelocity.com). Quiet Logistics
hopes to prove that the zippy little pods will improve order picking
accuracy and cycle times for small and medium-sized businesses, too.
Dominick Moreo, CEO of two-year-old Music Parts Plus, said the system
solved his biggest headache almost immediately. As musicians discovered
the e-tailer's low prices and prompt turnaround, order volumes had
overwhelmed its manual fulfillment system, leading to shipping delays
as well as slotting and picking errors for the thousands of small,
look-alike parts. Now, bar-code scanning and a laserdirected
pick-to-light system ensure slotting and order accuracy. And because
the robots bring racks to pickers, picking and packing can be done
simultaneously. Further speeding things along is a Web "storefront" system
that automatically feeds order information directly to Quiet Logistics,
so that orders usually are shipped the same day. "Our feedback scores
on eBay are 100 percent positive," said Moreo. "And almost all of
them specifically cite our superfast, accurate shipping."
The operation is still in its infancy, and Music Parts Plus's inventory
currently occupies just a corner of the DC. But Quiet Logistics CEO
Bruce Welty says Kiva's system is easily scalable, and that he'll
announce another customer soon.
About Quiet Logistics
Quiet Logistics, Inc. is the industry's first Third Party Logistics company
to deliver a complete outsourced fulfillment solution that leverages the
game-changing material handling robotics of Kiva Systems. Quiet Logistics'
"One Touch" fulfillment service is an alignment of best-in-class operations
experience and a fully integrated technology platform with a simplified
business model to improve distribution throughput, accuracy, scalability
and flexibility at costs that are 30-50% lower than the competition. For
more information on Quiet Logistics and its services, please visit