Empowering Manufacturing with Drone-Powered Accuracy

Accurate inventory is critical for warehouses. It increases productivity, as the fire drills for finding lost inventory are minimized. It also drives employee satisfaction as orders get fulfilled quickly and efficiently. It Improves customer satisfaction as items get shipped on time and it lowers carrying costs as the warehouse only has to stock what it needs.

But today, getting accurate inventory is time-consuming and costly, especially with labor shortages and high employee turnover reported to be 70%.  Most warehouses do manual cycle counting. Our drone-powered inventory monitoring solution is 15 times faster and one customer has measured that it costs 70% less per scan than traditional cycle counting.

The traditional way to count inventory

Today most warehouses monitor their inventory today by cycle counting. Cycle counting is when warehouses perpetually count a section of their inventory on a regular basis. Today, cycle counting is typically done with people going through the aisles with barcode readers, scanning, and comparing the results to what's in their Warehouse Management System (WMS). Team members often have to climb into expensive MHE (material handling equipment) like order pickers, scissor lifts, or turret trucks to be able to count the inventory that’s high up.

Based on our research, we estimate that team members can count a maximum of 60 bins per hour, including travel time. Manual cycle counting is also prone to errors and doesn’t have the traceability that warehouse managers require. There’s no way for them to confirm for themselves or their customers that what the cycle counter reported is accurate.

How warehouse inventory drones count 15x faster

With drone inventory management, warehouses can scan their entire facility with greater speed, efficiency, and accuracy. One operator with 3 drones can scan 900 bins/hour, making the inventory monitoring process fifteen times faster and more efficient. Here's how it works:

  • The operator sets drone flights and selects the locations to scan..
  • The drone flies for 20 minutes on one battery.
  • While the drone is flying by itself, the operator launches a second and then a third drone.
  • When the drone battery is depleted, the drone lands and the operator swaps the battery.
  • This process continues until all of the scanning is complete.

Watch Jim Rapoza, from Barrett Distribution, describe how this works at their warehouses.

Warehouse drones are faster, more accurate, and more efficient

Using drones, businesses can scan their entire warehouse in a fraction of the time it takes today. One of our customers went from scanning their entire warehouse in 90 days to 2.5 days. This increased speed helped them to find any inventory inaccuracies more quickly, reducing mis-ships, inventory fire drills, and shrinkage.

Another customer has said that they can scan 1800-2000 LPs per flight hour, saying they just couldn’t do it with people. They also reported that using our solution has lowered their cost per scan by 70%.

Reallocate resources and MHE

Beyond increasing the speed and lowering inventory accuracy, a customer shared that using inventory monitoring drones has allowed them to reallocate people and MHE.  Their team can now do more value-added activities including researching variances, doing process method observations, and much more. They can focus their energy on fixing inventory problems rather than counting all of the inventory.

With drones flying up to the tops of the racks, MHE is no longer needed to take people up high in the warehouse. Every piece of MHE used for cycle counting and costs $50,000 or more can be redeployed or not purchased or leased.

Overall, drone inventory management offers a more efficient, accurate, and cost-effective solution. By streamlining the inventory process, warehouses can reduce shrinkage, improve their supply chain management, and increase profitability. Additionally, as one customer shared, using drone inventory management can improve worker safety by reducing the need for manual labor to go up to high areas to scan inventory.


Drone inventory management is a game-changer for businesses looking to streamline their warehouse management processes. With faster scanning speeds, higher accuracy, and greater efficiency, businesses can gain a significant competitive advantage. In fact, one of our 3PL customers was able to win a new account with complex inventory challenges with the help of Gather AI’s inventory monitoring solution.

Talk to us to learn more.