Importance of Automation in Warehouses

Warehouse automation needs a hefty budget allocation. But, it is important for managing supply chain cost, efficiency, and accuracy.

Moreover, it ranges from basic Goods-to-Person (GTP) setup to advanced AI automation.

Why is Warehouse Automation Crucial? 

  1. Minimizes the Manual Labour and Human Dependency

The foremost reason why you can use warehouse automation is to reduce manual labor.

While labor costs are rising and you aren’t ready for the retention hassle, use automation.

For instance:

Even the simplest automation setup like a conveyor helps you navigate inventory efficiently. You can install mechanized warehouse automation for storing and retrieving inventory.

These are labor-intensive tasks, and warehouse automation can replace human labor. This will increase efficiency, increase accuracy and reduce human dependency.

Moreover, in peak periods, you can run the machines round the clock without extra pay.

  1. Boosts Material Handling and Operational Efficiency

Efficient warehouse management boils down to efficient material handling. You need automation to move, store, and sort material faster in your warehouse.

It will reduce your turnaround time, cycle time and curtail the shipping delays. Thus, you can expect higher customer satisfaction and lower backorders.

Many companies use automated guided vehicles (AGVs) to move inventory within the warehouse. And some have even upgraded to autonomous mobile robots (AMRs).

This automated equipment can work with the same efficiency, in repetition, on defined paths. AMRs follow laser guidance or programmed routes, which you can modify. This translates into a reduction of human labor and increased throughput.

  1. Offers Efficient Inventory Management by Leveraging WMS 

Ever felt off-putting by discovering an “out of stock” tag on your sorted product?

Well, that is what your consumers feel when they encounter the same situation.

You need to keep your inventory stocks managed to offer a better shopping experience. But, managing thousands of inventory and visualizing their locations can be daunting.

And managing tons of stocks in real-time is beyond a human brain’s capability. And so, you need automated inventory management for your warehouse.

Automation can help you with:

  • Maintaining inventory data in real-time
  • Managing the in-stock availability
  • Planning for the shopping seasons

The use of a warehouse management system in concert with automated equipment allows:

  • Inventory identification with barcode labeling
  • Storing inventory and maintaining location data
  • Visualizing inventory location in real-time
  • Automating inventory sorting
  • Inventory retrieving for the pickers

Automation will boost in-stock availability and curtail inventory misplacing errors.

  1. Maximizes Storage Capabilities

As per research, automated warehouses reduce floor space usage by 40%.

The surface area of your warehouse forms a significant part of your warehouse cost.

For instance, you are preparing for the peak season. And you need ways to maximize the limited space of your warehouse. Automation is to your rescue!

AGVs and AMRs can easily navigate in aisles where a human resource might not fit. Moreover, navigating through narrow spaces might challenge your labor safety protocol.

And so, automated MHEs help you safely squeeze inventory in tight spaces. Thus, you can utilize the warehouse spaces up to the maximum.

The use of AR/RS racks helps you leverage the vertical space without the risks of damage. Moreover, this equipment allows automated inventory storage and retrieval.

For instance:

Amazon’s ‘chaotic storage’ system allows maximizing the storage capability. The approach guides automated MHEs to store the inventory without any categorization. 

But, to keep track, Amazon uses automated barcode labeling for each inventory. And this data feeds the automation algorithm. 

Using this algorithm, the automated MHEs can track the location of the inventory. And they can retrieve an inventory whenever needed. 

This automated storage approach helps Amazon speed up the storage process. And the company can squeeze more inventory within the finite space. 

  1. Optimizes the Order Fulfilment Process

Inaccuracies in the order fulfillment process take a big toll on your operations cost. It knocks on your door as returns and adds to your order fulfillment cost.

You can curtail these inaccuracies by automating the inventory management and retrieving process.

For example:

You can install radio frequency identification (RFID) and mobile barcode scanning hardware. This digital automation speeds up inventory labeling and inventory location tracking.

Plus, the automated MHEs can find, retrieve, verify, and load orders for delivery with ease. Automation expands the order processing time and speeds up order fulfillment.

Moreover, it helps companies to leverage the just-in-time order fulfillment approach. This reduces the inventory storage costs without compromising on accuracy.

  1. Helps You Win with Better Customer Experience

As we trust the e-commerce trends, users aren’t settling for a poor shopping experience.

Shoppers prefer to track their orders in real-time as soon as they hit the buy button. And warehouse automation makes real-time tracking transparent for the shoppers.

Moreover, a trend that has gained much prominence recently is free shipping. But, manual warehouse management doesn’t offer you enough value to meet this trend.

Meanwhile, warehouse automation is the key to reduce the cost of shipping. Thus, allowing you to offer free shipping or lower order fulfillment costs.

Plus, automation does more than assisting; it accelerates order processing. So, you can put a smile on the face of your customers with faster order fulfillment.

A good customer experience blooms into higher customer loyalty. And you can expect an increase in the repeat ordering rate.

  1. Seamless Workload Management during Peak Times

Increasing headcounts, adding extra-time benefits, or assigning temporary roles. Peak seasons welcome a plethora of changes in your warehouse management process.

These changes also trigger a significant increase in operational costs. Moreover, humans are prone to experience fatigue and loss of productivity.

Upsurge in workload also welcomes inaccuracies and delays in order processing. Here automation can save the day and season for you.

You can use automated MHEs round the clock, and you can expect the same accuracy. Automation delivers you high productivity without making you wary of the operational cost.

Thus, you do not have to disappoint the shoppers with delayed order fulfillment. And you save on the cost of processing returns (due to inaccurate order processing).

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