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KEYENCE Technology Helps Taylor Logistics Drive Growth

Backed by a number of investments in the latest KEYENCE technologies, a highly progressive and rapidly expanding 3PL (third-party logistics) company in the US is targeting even more growth in this competitive market. By adopting solutions such as the KEYENCE BT-A700 mobile computer, BT Management Tool, and RK Navigation RPA software, Taylor Logistics Inc is saving time, reducing the potential for errors, and driving even greater efficiencies in its warehouses and other business operations.

The Cincinnati public warehouse of Taylor Logistics Inc

A family business with origins back to 1850, sixth and seventh-generation members of the Taylor family today head-up this forward-thinking business. With five warehouses, three divisions and around 360 employees, Taylor Logistics is currently enjoying a phase of rapid growth founded on astute leadership, motivated employees, and a culture of continuous improvement.

Providing an example of this ethic is the company’s recent investment in KEYENCE technologies. In the first instance, Taylor Logistics wanted to upgrade legacy RF scanner guns for barcoding and traceability at the company’s Cincinnati warehouse in support of its transition to the Synapse WMS (warehouse management system).

First Port of Call

Taylor Logistics has around 150 KEYENCE BT-A700 mobile computers across five locations

“We get a lot of door-to-door sales representatives here, but the KEYENCE call was very timely,” says Grant Taylor, VP - Warehousing. “In response to our requirement, KEYENCE recommended its BT-A700 handheld mobile computer and I was very impressed with its long-range scanning capability [up to 30 ft], full-range camera, ultra-high-speed decoding, and touchscreen technology. To confirm compatibility we spoke with Synapse, who said KEYENCE technology works well with their WMS.”

After a trial of the device in 2021, Taylor Logistics upgraded its Cincinnati warehouse with KEYENCE BT-A700 devices, followed soon after by the company’s four other warehouses: two more in the Cincinnati area, one in Omaha, Nebraska and another in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Taylor Logistics uses the BT-A700 devices for its forklift receiving and put-away process at sites with replenishment. The company also uses the technology for its e-commerce picking. Across five locations, Taylor Logistics today has around 150 BT-A700 mobile computers, which see around 20 hours of use a day across three shifts. In addition, the company consults for a further 100 BT-A700s at the facilities of its largest customer, a pet food manufacturer. Taylor Logistics says the devices have solved a number of issues.

“The limitations of the operating system used by our legacy RF guns meant docking each scanner to a laptop just to perform a simple task like changing the Wi-Fi password,” explains Grant Taylor. “Also, adding applications was always a miserable experience. These issues have disappeared with the KEYENCE BT-A700 and its Android OS.”

At the same time, Taylor Logistics invested in the accompanying KEYENCE BT Management Tool, which has the ability to manage multiple devices simultaneously, across sites. The Management Tool can be used to update and provision hundreds of devices all at once, and provides real-time productivity and traceability statistics to empower decision making.

“It’s a big win for us against previously having to dock legacy guns individually and hope for a connection,” says Grant Taylor. “Now it’s so easy to update apps and firmware remotely, configure device settings, and check the status of devices as often as we need.”

Robotic Process Automation

The latest development at Taylor Logistics saw the company participate in pre-launch testing for KEYENCE’s Navigation RPA (Robotic Process Automation) software. The Navigation RPA software acts as a digital worker, and is capable of mimicking mouse clicks and keystrokes to interact with a PC just like a human does. Governed by predefined rules and workflows, the software is able to perform PC tasks automatically on behalf of the user at pre-scheduled times.

“After a couple of months we really began to understand what we could automate, particularly with respect to analyzing reports, and found it very beneficial,” says Grant Taylor.

Grant Taylor, VP - Warehousing, at Taylor Logistics Inc

The company later adopted RK in its warehousing operations with expansion planned to the company’s trucking and brokerage (non-asset freight solutions) divisions.

“We run or assist several facilities across the country and I’ve found the time-saving aspect of RK to be a major advantage when we need to execute tedious and time-consuming changes,” says Alexander Brinkman, Operations Analyst - Project Admin at Taylor Logistics. “Previously, team members would perform these manually, so we are more productive now.”

The RK software allows anyone, regardless of technical aptitude, to automate operations without the need for technical knowledge or experience. Users simply follow the on-screen prompts to complete their automation scenarios.

Food for Thought

All of this investment is great news for customers of Taylor Logistics, many of which are in the food industry, both human and pet. Consumer packaged goods is another specialty of this ambitious 3PL expert, which is enjoying strong organic growth from its existing customer base. The company has expanded its workforce to around 360, from just 30 a decade ago. With growth of this level, technology helps Taylor Logistics to keep pace.

“Compared with what we had previously, KEYENCE technology is a real game-changer and I’m excited to see where it can lead us,” states Scott Dowers, Senior WMS Superuser - BI Admin at Taylor Logistics.

Looking ahead, Taylor Logistics is targeting double-digit revenue growth in the coming 7-10 years and is pledging to continue adopting automation as the business strives to maximize the efficiency of its warehouses for the benefit of customers.

Related Products

  • RK series - Navigation RPA

    The RPA RK Series, which is equipped with a navigation system, allows anyone regardless of technical aptitude to automate operations without the need for knowledge or experience. The RK Series is equipped with a "Flow Navigation" system that allows users to simply follow the prompts to complete their scenarios. No programming knowledge is required at all, and you can quickly and efficiently automate your desk work by yourself. RK makes it possible to process data 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, while at the same time reducing human error, avoiding the need to assign work to a specific person, and thereby improving operational efficiency.

  • BT-A700 series - Handheld Computer

    Our new, full-range model of handheld computers, the BT-A700 Series, is capable of reading codes from a minimum distance of 1 in. to a maximum distance of 10m(30 ft). Its impressive reading range and speed enable users to read codes instantaneously in one hand not only while standing but also while seated in a forklift. This leads to impressive productivity improvements. The combination of the first-in-class full-range camera and ultra-high-speed decoding allows instantaneous reading of barcodes even from an angle. The ease of on-site use has also been greatly enhanced. The compact body with a largest-in-class 5-inch screen offers excellent grip to allow stable one-handed operation. Rugged design with a tempered glass screen withstands drops from heights of 2.4 m (8 ft). The device can also be used continuously for up to 32 hours.