Staples has been granted a patent for a method that determines a processing cluster of stock keeping units (SKUs) and divides it into two clusters based on SKU affinities. The method then replicates a SKU from one cluster to the other based on demand correlation and assigns each cluster to a physical location. The patent also includes initializing a SKU storing model, clustering SKUs into aisle clusters, and instructing an automated guided vehicle. GlobalData’s report on Staples gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Staples, autonomous delivery mgmt was a key innovation area identified from patents. Staples's grant share as of June 2023 was 1%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Method for optimizing storage and order fulfillment in a facility

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Staples Inc

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11681982B2) describes a method and system for optimizing the storage and retrieval of items in a storage facility using automated guided vehicles (AGVs). The method involves initializing a stock keeping unit (SKU) storing model of the facility, which includes pick-cell stations and storage aisles. The SKUs associated with the facility are divided into clusters based on order volumes and affinities. A first SKU from one cluster is replicated to another cluster based on demand correlation. The clusters are then assigned to pick-cell stations and storage aisles in the SKU storing model.

The method also includes receiving customer orders and determining matching scores between the orders and the pick-cell clusters. Based on these scores, a target pick-cell station is selected to fulfill the order. The system further assigns aisle clusters to corresponding storage aisles based on matching scores and relative distances. An AGV is then instructed to perform tasks using the assigned clusters and aisle information.

Additionally, the patent describes a method for assigning rack clusters to rack units within storage aisles. The method involves clustering SKUs within aisle clusters and determining demand scores for each rack cluster based on SKU velocities. The rack clusters are ranked and assigned to rack units based on these scores.

The patent also covers assigning mini-pallet clusters to mini-pallets within rack units. Furthermore, the

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.