The Kiva warehouse automation solution is built upon a flexible and configurable software foundation that exposes a standard set of interfaces for integrating with enterprise systems. The software functions as both a warehouse control system (WCS) to operate and direct the Kiva gear and as an inventory and order processing system for work inside the Kiva zone. By placing all the intelligence of the solution into software, Kiva adjusts dynamically to your ever-changing environment - both on a daily operational basis and as your business and distribution strategies transform over time. Because Kiva uses software as the central repository for the logic of the system, the solution can adapt in ways not available anywhere else in the material handling industry.

Conceptual Drawing of Kiva's Software

Embed flexible business policy logic

In order for a distribution center to function efficiently, business policies such as management of order exceptions, decisions on when to expedite an order, special product handling, or even management of value-add activities need to be disseminated and followed throughout your processes. However, business policies tend to change, and hard-coding policies in hardware solutions or operational best practices documentation does not deliver the flexibility required in today's dynamic work environment. With Kiva, these business policies are embedded directly into the software solution, so a modification of a business policy is a simple change to an attribute, and the policy is automatically implemented throughout your distribution center.

Adapt to changing daily environment

In a perfect world, plans made at 8AM will be executed throughout the day without intervention. But, in reality, trucks are late, inventory is missing, and some resources are unavailable. Kiva software uses sophisticated decision algorithms to process transactions on a just-in-time basis whenever possible. This means the traditional approach of batching and waving work tasks is virtually eliminated. Changes on-the-fly are not a problem for Kiva. The solution adapts to changing operations environments and automatically re-routes the orders for the late truck, delays working on the orders with missing inventory, and allocates work dynamically as resources become available while maintaining an efficiently running distribution center. Kiva management applications alert supervisors to exception conditions and allow them to take appropriate actions such as shorting an order or intervening to move up the priority of a sudden rush order if necessary.

Dynamically refashion your distribution center to changing business needs

Distribution centers, by definition, have to adapt to increases and decreases in sales or modifications to inventory caused by changing business needs. Kiva is designed with that flexibility built into the software. Kiva provides on-going automatic inventory re-slotting, allows for simple expansion to your distribution center, manages both fast and slow moving products with ease, supplies the ability to simply add in new products, and even enables moving your entire distribution center with minimal disruption.

Integrate with enterprise systems

Kiva is a total fulfillment solution that incorporates hardware and software elements to perform replenishment, picking, and shipping sortation within distribution centers. During implementation, the Kiva software is integrated with the client's enterprise systems, including: warehouse management systems (WMS), order management systems (OMS), and enterprise resource planning systems (ERP). Kiva has integrated with both commercial off- the-shelf packages and several homegrown systems. Using a well defined standard XML interface, Kiva can integrate with your existing enterprise quickly and efficiently.