Featured Case Study
Additional Solutions Built by the Team at Lab 651
Just In Time Supply Chain Done Right
Just-In-Time (JIT) supply chain is nothing new. It is a simple idea but one that is essential in modern supply chain management. JIT aims to cut costs by reducing the amount of goods and materials that a firm holds in stock. One of the most critical, fundamental, and costly aspects to JIT is knowing real-time inventory levels. So when a large chemical company needed to automate its supply chain in a JIT fashion, it called on Lab 651.
The client company has tanks of its products scattered all over the world. These tanks are either fixed or mobile and are usually in remote areas used for oil production. In order to provide its "chemicals as a service," the company needed to know the tank levels and conditions of the chemicals in real-time fashion.
Engineers at Lab 651 designed a device/system that could ride on a variety of tanks. We used sonar technology to measure the level of chemicals in a tank, GPS to know the location, and a myriad of other sensors to measure environmental conditions of the product itself. The data is all sent to the cloud via cellular or satellite transmission.
Automating this process reduced truck rolls to evaluate tanks, provide a more accurate reading of levels, and predict the quality of the product once needed. Another added benefit was less work for the client’s customers and employees who were manually measuring the levels using sound… leading to product and brand loyalty.
Building an Industrial Grade Smart Level Sensing Application
Implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERPsystem is an expensive proposition, as it should be, because an ERP solution typically manages all critical and commercial functions of a business. Automation between processes enables data sharing and enhanced visibility to make better and efficient business decisions. Another form of ERP automation involves the incorporation of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT).
The agriculture industry faces many supply-chain challenges. Real-time visibility on the condition, quality, and quantity in silos is at the top of that list. Today, keeping track of those variables is mostly a manual effort, which risks human error and injury. So, when a large ERP vendor needed to give its agricultural clients better visibility into their supply chain, the company called on Lab 651 to develop and integrate IoT technology with its platform.
Lab 651 developed a unique level-sensing technology that gives the ERP’s agricultural clients complete visibility into their products in silos. The sensor incorporates a highly accurate (cm accuracy) radar range finder that can scan the undulating levels of products in bins and silos, calculate levels or volumes, and put that real-time data into the ERP system through the cellular network—in other words, automating ERP through IoT.
The vendor’s agricultural clients are now seeing greater inventory accuracy while simultaneously reducing human capital risk. The company is providing real-time environmental conditions that lead to less spoilage. Its clients are seeing improved vendor managed inventory replenishment and improved capacity planning. These are all value-added services made possible through real-time data visibility for the ERP vendor, leading to additional license sales.
Helping an Old Company Rethink Their Service Model
Manufacturers and suppliers of commodities are trying to establish a direct link to consumers and to strengthen their competitive position. The emerging concept known as product as a service (PaaS) transforms a product from a standalone function from a supplier to an integrated product and service offering. Examples of PaaS include a manufacturer using widely available wireless and Internet connectivity to outfit their products with sensors to better understand how their products are being used in the field. A commodities and agricultural giant turned to Lab 651 to help create that direct link to turn its ordinary commodities business into a service business. In other words, being able to monitor its commodities at client sites to replenish or replace them in a timely fashion.
Lab 651 created a sensor-based solution that was able to monitor our client’s commodity at its customer sites. The technology is based on a radar range finder tied to data acquisition with a cellular backhaul that reported the level information at clients’ large storage bins and silos.
Our client was able to convert its normal supply-chain process of ordering “when needed” into a fully automated just-in-time replenishment system. They are able to monitor their client’s usage and have better capacity planning from harvesting to shipping to customer. Their customers never run out of product, which instills customer retention and bolsters the company’s competitive position.
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We look forward to sharing our decades of experience with you. Please drop us a note via the Contact page, or call us at 651.300.4868.
- Leading Market Innovator - GPS enabled pet containment, training and tracking system. Soon to hit the market - Stay Tuned!
- McDonalds - Reduced waste, increased food safety, increased efficiencies and saved money.
- Vitals Aware Services - Lab 651 is saving lives and as quoted by CBS News, "A game changer"
- Weight Management Company - Postured the business to secure $110M acquisition by a large electronic product company
- Best Buy - Developed mobile app that linked to thousands of in-store products - In one Month! Downloaded by more than 10M People!
- BuzzFeed - Developed a powerful and interactive mobile app - Measurable increased engagement - More than 1.5M downloads
- National Amusement Park - Improved engagement and increased customer delight
- Consumer Car Loan Company - Decreased slow paying car loan customers by 70%
- The Vitals App - Providing live changing information during critical times between police and those with disabilities.
Medical Device Manufacturer - Continuous glucose monitoring device was instrumental in uniting family around the condition and improving health management.
Medical Device Manufacturer - Real-time feedback to clinicians resulted in better tracking, treatment and reimbursement percentages.
- Lab 651 Engineers created the technical foundation for an automotive services company which led to a $500M acquisition.
- In 2 weeks, Lab 651 engineers developed a connected sensing solution that will save our client $12M in sensor hardware alone.
- Lab 651 Engineers helped a 70 year old Automotive Supplier decrease supply chain costs and helped increase revenue by developing a just-in-time inventory replenishment system.
- Consumer Goods Supply Company - Dramatic business turn-around from millions of dollars of lost opportunity to a multimillion dollar service business
- Lab 651 Engineers helped a $20B company change their business model from low margin product to higher margin product as a service
We Have Decades of Experience in Building Connected Products
Drop us a note from our contact page or call us at: 651.300.4868
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