This was originally published in April 2022
Warehouse automation is the process of using sensors, robots and AI technologies to automate tasks of moving inventory into, within and out of warehouses. Among the many benefits of warehouse automation are increased efficiency and accuracy, better resource utilization, and improved employee satisfaction.
World Wide Technology (WWT) receives over 6 million components of technology equipment across our global warehouses yearly. WWT's Data Science team and Supply Chain Process Improvement team worked together on a Smart Receiving solution that leverages computer vision technologies in aiding operators in the material validation process at the receipt. The current receiving process is quite manual and often requires operators to check items and quantities on the packing slip attached to the package and verify those on the purchase order (PO) stored in the database.
The new solution uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology to extract important shipment information from the packing slips and a matching algorithm to automatically validate that information against the PO database. The operators can then quickly go through a list of pre-matched items and quantities upon receiving a package. In this paper, we will layout the key steps of our application, from image pre-processing, text recognition to fuzzy matching.
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