Fill Orders Faster, with Fewer People

Dematic’s design-build methodology drives change beyond automation and into your organization via a proven 5-step process.

According to the annual automation survey by Modern Material Handling, an increasing number of production and distribution operations plan to implement material handling automation to solve their most urgent intralogistics challenge: fill orders faster, with fewer people.

“Of the companies that are planning to evaluate or buy automated materials handling equipment, technology or software in the next two years, most are looking to fill orders faster to meet customer service level agreements and expectations. Other investments are being driven by faster e-commerce order piece picking and packing, and some companies see automated options as a way to deal with the persistent labor shortage.” —Modern Material Handling

Whether you’re modernizing your order-fulfillment strategies or building the distribution center of the future, that means you’ll need to increase capacity, maximize productivity and reduce operating costs. Dematic’s Design-Build methodology achieves those results by smoothly guiding your project from concept to ownership, one step at a time.

Why Use this Methodology?

A refined practical design methodology ensures that projects make sense, go well, and deliver the results that are expected. In other words, it offers validation that the implemented solution will perform as promised.

Dematic developed its simple but effective 5-phase program with the following attributes in mind:

  • Scalable. Your project may include adding a pick module to an existing warehouse, implementing a work-in-process buffer for a production operation or it may be the development of a high-volume automated e-commerce fulfillment distribution center. This process can be scaled for a broad continuum of size and complexity.
  • Practical. There is no single right answer when conducting design. The levels of fit depend on your company culture, your customers, and your economy. This process flexes to accommodate those variables.
  • Recyclable. This process has a beginning but no end. It is intended to be an ongoing, dynamic part of your operation. It will continue to serve your company as you later refine your cost of ownership, consider modernizations, and re-mission your assets for changes in your business.

The Change Process

The phases of the process are as follows:

Phase 0 — Realize the Need for Change

The Owner has a mathematical, physical, or emotional epiphany that a project is worth considering.

Phase 1 — Analysis

This preliminary stage, often referred to as the Feasibility Study or Concept Study, is where the business case is generally defined; one or more reasonable approaches are also identified.

Phase 2 — Solution Design

This design engineering phase involves the refinement of one best-fit solution that has both technical and business merit.

Phase 3 — Engineer

Multiple disciplines perform the detailed engineering of the designed solution. This often involves manufacturing, software, mechanical, CAD, electrical controls, and systems engineering.

Phase 4 — Implement

This phase is the actual delivery, installation, test, and launch of the best-fit solution that was designed.

— Change —

Since the first 4 phases were done correctly, the Owner now realizes positive change to their business and enjoys the return on their investment.

Phase 5 — Manage, Lifecycle Support

Being a good parent of a technology-based solution means both care and feeding as well as keeping things current (which requires a design effort in itself).

Fill Orders Faster, with Fewer People


Throughout, the integrator and client work in lockstep within a seamless process from inception to completion. Design-Build is a Client-Partner relationship based on trust and performance. The process commits resources to consultative nonbiased design engineering. It supports excellent performance and is accountable to deliver the optimal design to achieve your goals.

By Ken Ruehrdanz

An intralogistics insider for 40+ years. He’s seen it all, solved it all, and probably wrote a whitepaper about it. If supply-chain Jeopardy was a thing, he’d be the all-time winner.

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