Automation is quickly becoming the norm for many businesses around the world. Decision-makers are starting to see the value that these solutions can provide, and they are interested in bringing these benefits home to their companies. Automation has the potential to fundamentally improve the operations of many different industries, both large and small.
Learn more about the benefits that warehouse automation can offer and the different types of solutions that are available today.
Why Should Businesses Consider Warehouse Automation?
When thinking about automating the warehouse, it’s important to think about all of the potential ways that it could help improve the operations.
Automation has the potential to greatly increase the warehouse throughput, which means getting orders out faster. It can help to improve resource utilization while reducing the costs of labor and other operational expenses. It’s possible to reduce manual labor, too, which reduces human error.
Employee morale is also impacted. Workers are happier because it’s easier to handle all the other aspects of their jobs. They no longer have to worry about repetitive tasks such as placing labels in exactly the right place. The use of automation can reduce stock shortages, help optimize the warehouse space, improve workplace safety, and ensure that orders are filled accurately.
These are just some of the many benefits that can be found with warehouse automation. It’s a good solution for all manner of businesses.
What Types of Industries Could Benefit?
Ecommerce stores will find that automation can help monitor the inventory in the warehouse, manage the receipt of returned items, and ensure that labels are properly printed for shipments. Retail stores that have warehouses or storage areas will benefit for many of the same reasons that online retailers are using warehouse automation.
The tools can help in transportation and distribution industries, the food industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and more. The use of tools like automation software, scanning, and label print and apply can help to streamline their businesses.
Warehouse Automation Solutions to Consider
Plenty of options are available for different types of warehouse automation solutions. Some businesses may only need one or two of the solutions below, while others might want to utilize all of them.
Print and Apply
Any business that has to print labels, whether it’s for product packaging or shipping, needs to have a solid printing solution in-house. When those labels need to be placed on the items, having a tool that not only prints the labels but also applies them is a major advantage. This technology can often be customized for different types of labels and provides accurate placement.
Automating the sorting of products can help to eliminate picking errors while providing a smoother product flow. It ensures the items are sent to the correct locations in the warehouse, whether they are being shipped or shelved. It works for many industries, and there are options available for different sizes and shapes of products.
Options are available for different capacities, as well. Some companies, for example, may have greater demand and need to have a solution that can sort more products.
Dimension Weigh and Scan
These tools weigh and determine the dimensions and weight of the items they scan. This information can be transferred to analytical systems that help make loading the trucks easier and ensure they are not overloaded. It can even adjust the transportation charges in real-time if needed.
Businesses need to identify what’s in different packages quickly and accurately. A scanning system makes this possible. Scanning can provide information about what’s in the package, as well as all of the relevant data, making sure that the items reach the proper location in the warehouse.
Automated Manifest Systems
This tool assists with processing manifests from various shipments, whether they are ground, air, rail, or sea shipments. It can identify the risk level of shipments, which helps get the items through customs faster.
These are some of the top tools used in warehouse automation today. They can make a big difference in the success of companies, both large and small. One or more of the solutions could make a world of difference for the business.
When Should a Business Start Using Automation Solutions in the Warehouse?
Automation can be a good option for businesses of various sizes in a host of industries. However, many companies struggle to figure out the right time to automate the warehouse. Consider the following when trying to determine whether automation is the right next step for the operation.
- Are customer orders getting lost because of improper labeling?
- Are the customer orders being delayed because there aren’t enough people to process them?
- Are the inventory counts incorrect?
- Are legacy software or manual tools being used where modern automation would make things faster, simpler, and more accurate?
- Is customer satisfaction decreasing?
If the answer to one or more of these questions is yes, it’s probably time to consider warehouse automation solutions.
This doesn’t mean the company needs to go all-in on all of the different warehouse automation technology that’s currently available. Instead, owners and managers may want to look at the range of available solutions to determine whether they would be a good fit for the business at this time or not.
What to Look for When Choosing a Provider for Warehouse Automation Solutions
There are a lot of warehouse technology providers out there. When searching out automated solutions for the warehouse, decision-makers first need to have a good understanding of their current operation and where the gaps are. Once those have been identified, they can start looking for a vendor with the technology they need to fill the gaps in their warehouse operation.
Warehouse technology companies with a good reputation for service and delivery should be at the top of the list. They’ve probably earned that reputation by delivering on what they promised. Give them a call to discuss their capabilities and go from there. The warehouse will soon be humming again with fewer errors and better employee morale.