Automation in Warehouses

Automation in the warehouse can help in the movement of inventory into, within, and out of warehouses to customers with minimal human assistance. By implementing automation, a business can eliminate labour-intensive duties that involve repetitive physical work and manual data entry and analysis.

We can explain the above with a simple example as given below.

In the laborious way a warehouse worker may load heavy packages using heavy machinery and operate it manually to move from one corner to other for system entry and loading them in required consignments. This would be a hard task, as he should safely navigate without hitting any other package and workers while doing so.

But on the other hand, when he loads the same heavy package in an autonomous mobile robot. The robot moves the inventory from one end of the warehouse to the shipping zone and software records the movement of that inventory, keeping all records current. These robots improve the efficiency, speed, reliability, and accuracy of this task.

Does warehouse automation mean only physical or robotic automation? It does not have to be the same, in many cases automation simply refers to the use of software to replace strenuous manual tasks. While warehouse automation has significant upfront costs, there are many benefits, ranging from improving operations to minimising human error.

Warehouse automation works by using software and technology like robotics and sensors to automate tasks. It ensures that business-critical operations in your facilities meet customer demand. Automation is of Two Types

  1. Digital Automation
  2. Physical Automation
  • Digital Automation
    Digital automation uses data and software to reduce manual workflows. Automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) technology, like mobile barcoding, is an example of digital automation in the warehouse.
  • Physical Automation
    Physical automation is a way to use technology to minimise employee movement and build more efficient workflows. Robots are one example of how it works in the warehouse.
Advantages of physical automation
  1. Increased warehouse capacity and efficiency
  2. Enhanced reliability and scalability of services and improved performance.

Significant upfront expenses are one of the downsides of physical automation. The scarcity of a skilled workforce to manage and maintain the system, high maintenance costs and equipment that is meant for highly-specific functions.

Why is Automation needed?
An inefficient warehouse negatively impacts the customer experience. Automated warehouses do more with less and thrive under increased customer demand.

Benefits of Warehouse Automation
  • Increased warehouse throughput
  • Better resource utilisation
  • Reduced labour and operational costs
  • Improved customer service
  • Reduced handling and storage costs
  • Reduced human error
  • Minimised manual labour
  • Increased productivity and efficiency
  • Improved employee satisfaction
  • Enhanced data accuracy and analysis
  • Reduced stockout events
  • Optimised warehouse space
  • Greater inventory control
  • Improved workplace safety
  • Fewer shipping errors
  • Reduced inventory loss
  • Enhanced material handling coordination

Automation though being a cost heavy investment, a progress towards it would help our warehouses in providing the best efficiency to our customers. A happy customer induces automatic repeat purchase of services and goods from us. Hence migration towards it is very important. While doing this migration, we would also require human interventions to oversee the process and handle these operations in a smooth flow. Train them to handle these new coming tech solutions and provide the best to our customers.

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