In Supply Chain, automation generally means “creating technology and its applicants to control and monitor the production & distribution of various goods and services.” In Warehouse Management, automation is widely touted as one of the most effective ways used to reduce labor demand, enhance accuracy, efficiency, and speed. With the increasing numbers of manufacturers/buyers trying to minimize their carbon footprint, automation is providing them a way of being cost-efficient and also making them go paperless.
With an arising boom in online retailing, many of the world’s biggest online retailers are using automated warehouses to handle their work ranging from storage, pick & pack to the delivery of goods. To understand where automation can be best applied, let’s look at some of the key aspects.
Benefits of Warehouse Automation
Warehouse automation provides you with a plethora of benefits like:
1. Reduction of Costs
Warehouse automation is the need of the hour, as it does not provide you with a single solution only. Its technology is adaptable as per the demand of your organization so making your warehouse cost-efficient. With the help of warehouse automation, you can dramatically reduce manual labor and also reduce the overtime work of your employees. And also, the machines can work day and night if needed without any human guidance because of which the cost will be further reduced.
Secondly, the mistakes in the warehouse can lead to waste and inefficiency so leads to high cost payment. Many times, the mistakes which take place in warehousing is related to a selection of the wrong product which can be solved via “Barcode labels and scanning automation”. It helps in right product packing and also helps in tracking of the product.
2. Greater efficiency and accuracy
It can be time taking process to identify a particular SKU among hundreds or thousands of SKUs inside a warehouse. However, the automated systems instantaneously identify the product which can minimize your time and speeds up order fulfillment.
In addition to this, you can get all the data in your centralized computer system which will minimize the use of spreadsheets and clipboards. When you place automation for inventory control, you can count items automatically so saves a lot of time.
3. Maximise Your Inventory Space
Inventory space is one of the biggest constraints which can be averted with the help of automation. The robots or other machines can handle product retrieval and storage with ease. It is difficult for people to go into shorter aisles however it is easy for customized movable robots which can use small spaces to place the pallet in the right destination. It means even if you have small aisles, robots can make sure that the products are kept safe which can help you to expand your storage capacity.
Examples of usage of Warehouse Automation Technology:
There are various companies which have started spending lots of money in deploying automated robotics for the storage and retrieval of goods within their warehouse because of automation perceived benefits.
- Amazon: Amazon’s robotics have designed “Chuck” a warehouse robot which looks a bit like a treadmill with sensors and navigation systems.
- CommonSense Robotics: They are an Israeli company which has designed robots which can pick and pack the goods.
- Exotec Solutions: They are a French start-up who designed Skypod which can climb five times higher to the traditional shelf mover and do the task on time.
There are various other companies which are designing automated robots which can effectively pick and move the goods faster.
Warehouse Management System (WMS)
A warehouse management suite can map any warehouse structure which increases the speed and efficiency of distribution processes, and optimizes the internal goods movement.
With WMS, you can
> Save time and run your warehouse operations smoothly
> Get real-time data and spot inefficiencies that happen.
> Get rid of asking your employees to provide you with the data in a spreadsheet, as WMS can give all the data
Along with logistics services, 20Cube also provides pan India warehousing services and have own WMS system. You will get high visibility, better inventory control, perimeter monitoring, and more.
With benefits like reduction of costs, high efficiency, and more, it looks prominent that more companies will engage in warehouse automation in coming time.