Many companies make their earnings from how many products they are able to sell and ship to customers. It is a straightforward business model, but when warehouse inefficiencies get in the way, it can seriously affect a business’s ability to make money.
Implementing warehouse automation solutions is the first step to realizing better warehouse operations and higher income.
The benefits of automation also include using labor resources in a different way. Instead of subjecting employees to repetitive movement injuries or potential accidents on the warehouse floor with heavy machinery, put their minds to work where computers aren’t as effective: with problem-solving, human resources, customer services, management, and so on.
Warehouse automation solutions can also increase the perception of how much storage there is available with better storing and sorting abilities. By maximizing warehouse storage, there is also more accuracy in inventory which can help to avoid back orders and can also keep customers updated in real-time if items are selling out.
With automation, there are fewer opportunities for human error and a better ability to track shipments and get orders out faster. Because all items are sorted with barcodes, it is much easier for machines to keep complex operations sorted and in order than it is for a person who may have to check and recheck.
So with all of these benefits, what kinds of automation are possible?
Print and Apply Labels
One of the most onerous, repetitive tasks in a warehouse is printing and applying labels. It requires creating then printing out sheets of labels, finding the right packages, and correctly affixing the labels.
Labels are important because they allow packages to be tracked both inside of the warehouse for storage and outside when the order is out for delivery. Without these labels, the products are basically lost.
Automated labeling machines and software come in an array of different solutions for different needs. Custom software and applicators will drive up efficiency and reduce reliance on human labor to get the work done quickly and profitably.
Automated sortation has been around for many years as an automated warehouse solution, but many find the upfront costs prohibitive. But especially for larger-scale facilities, it is a cost that will produce massive savings in the long run, far outweighing the initial investment.
Automated sortation helps by:
- Creating a smooth flow of products
- Eliminating picking errors and rework
- Decreasing energy expenditures
- Doubling up processes by processing orders simultaneously
- Ensuring better facility organization and tracking
- Time savings
Sortation technology saves money and time by keeping the warehouse organized and streamlining inventory management.
Like sorting, automated scanning makes a big difference in upholding and streamlining the flow of operations in the warehouse.
With inventory moving in and out of the warehouse, it can be so easy to lose track of products resulting in big losses. With automated scanning equipment, products can be located with barcodes to reduce errors and inaccuracies, which also leads to higher levels of customer satisfaction.
This also reduces the need for excessive staff hours to be spent manually locating and tracking packages.
A lot of energy is put into decreasing the time spent on shipping and delivery, but receiving products can be just as important, especially when there are shortages and delays along the supply chain.
One of the biggest advantages of automated receiving is being able to cross-dock shipments by relabelling individual packages to move directly into the shipment. This cuts down on warehouse storage space, delivery delays, and time spent on the turn-around.
What’s more, this process can be entirely automated and unmanned so that the process need not be restricted by staff work schedules and can also save on labor costs.
Automated receiving relies on automation software and a system of conveyors that are dynamic and flexible to all different kinds of operations, which can also be adapted to include ergonomic loading systems, lifting devices, hoists, and much more.
Automated Manifest Systems
With shipments arriving and departing by air, rail, ground, and sea, automated manifest systems (AMS) can help to relay information and transference from one supplier to the next so that shipping carriers have all of the necessary information on storage needs and destinations.
Most importantly, automated manifest systems can demonstrate the complete chain of custody on shipments, decreasing border wait times and delays. This circumvents unnecessary paperwork and makes it so that officials can identify threats and documents can be easily transferred.
This software solution is important for the government as well as for B2B transactions.
Good help is hard to find these days, and it is becoming more and more difficult with labor shortages. With automated logistics, dependency on staff can be reduced so that operations can run optimally without as many massive staffing requirements.
Automated logistics makes room for savings on labor costs as well as handling and storage costs. It seriously decreases risks of human error and streamlines shipping and storage for better customer relations.
Most automated logistics solutions are also highly customizable, so businesses can find exactly what they need at a price point they can be comfortable with.
Warehouse Automation Solutions
Warehouse automated solutions improve workflow accuracy, reduce processing time, and reduce reliance on a diminishing workforce.
For those looking for full warehouse automation, they will be relieved to reap some serious benefits. More products can move through the warehouse at an increased rate, and the resources available to management and staff can be better applied.
There will be reduced operational costs as well as storage and handling costs with warehouse automation solutions too, meaning more resources for where they matter most.