Implementing robots in a warehouse has immense operational benefits, yet misconceptions about robotic automation keep many companies from considering making an investment in robots.
It’s undeniable that an operation that’s automated out-competes a manual operation. We see productivity improve by up to 8x, while at the same time costs are cut in half after implementing robots. Those warehouses that lag in adopting automation will find it hard to survive in a market where competitors are operating at maximum efficiency because their processes have been automated. Automated warehouses will rise to become market leaders.
So, to compete and thrive, the question isn’t whether you should automate, but when. Today robotic automation adoption is still in its early stages. Forward-leaning operations are the first to embrace it. As an early mover, you will have a competitive advantage over companies that are late to the game.
There are some common misconceptions when we talk to operators and ask why they hesitate when it comes to automating their operation. I’d like to debunk these myths now.
5 Common Misconceptions About Robotics
#1 Robots are complex and I need an army of engineers to keep them running.
While AMR-type robots are in less than 4% of warehouses today, the technology is proven and operating successfully in the marketplace today. These robots first automated Amazon’s warehouses more than 8 years ago, and they keep getting better and more reliable. You don’t need a robot expert on staff to have a reliable fleet of robots working in your warehouse.
At Prime Robotics, we remotely monitor every robot at our client sites, and can correct many issues before they become a problem. Our Client Support includes 24/7 access to our experts and comprehensive robot maintenance and repair.
#2 Robots are expensive.
The cost of robots has fallen dramatically due to technology innovation and competitor robot vendors entering the market. Our clients see a Payback in one to two years on their investment in robots. We offer a lease option too, which makes it possible to automate you entire warehouse for $9K a month.
#3 Employees feel threatened by robots, or fear safety problems.
Executives and workers alike can be a little intimidated by the idea of robots at first. We find that once people understand how safely they operate, how they’re able to reduce the physical burden on workers, and that they free workers from tedious picking, that they overcome their apprehension. Adding robots means their business can really grow and they can drive down expense. A growing, more profitable company is a boon for all employees.
#4 I need to upgrade my WMS before I can consider robots.
It’s not essential to have your WMS optimized in order to implement robots in your warehouse. The WMS functions needed to operate Prime Robotics’ robots are straightforward. Any WMS with a RESTFUL API or a SQL based database easily interfaces with our robot control system. Most importantly, think about how long it’s likely to take to evaluate and ultimately select a new WMS — it takes many organizations a year or more.
When you think of the immediate savings you get from a robotics implementation (Our basic $9K per month warehouse package can save an operator more than $80K a month), it’s clearly preferable to add robots now. Integrating your robots with a newly-purchased WMS down the road is not a complicated process. What you save with robots could end up paying for your new WMS!
#5 I should wait until I open my new warehouse.
When you recognize that an investment in robots starts paying for itself on Day One, you realize you shouldn’t be putting off making the decision to automate. Think of it this way; every month you delay implementing robots you’re losing money. The sooner you implement, the sooner you start accruing those savings.
One reason we frequently hear to justify holding off on automation is that there’s a new warehouse or relocation planned in the future. It might be a new greenfield warehouse that’s a long way from being complete. The fact is our MobileShelf robots actually make a move to a new warehouse location easier. If you’re moving from a manual warehouse, packing trucks with inventory, then restocking shelves at the new site is both time and labor-intensive.
If your current warehouse is automated with a solution like our MobileShelf, it’s easy to move your inventory because it’s already in moveable shelves. Robots can drive all of your shelves onto trucks, and then unload them at the new site and place them directly onto the inventory floor. And since your WMS still knows where every item is on your shelves, you can be up and running right fast with little downtime.
No matter what your operation looks like — whether its 20,000 or 500,000 square feet — adding robots is the single fastest, most cost-effective way to impact your bottom line by dramatically lower operating costs. At Prime Robotics, we’re focused on making robotic automation within reach for virtually every operation.
Robotic Automation is within your reach.
We have a lease that is $9K/mo.
We’ve created our Make 2021 the Year To Automate package to provide an end-to-end robotic solution as a $9K/mo lease. This package includes 10 of our most popular AMR robots, the MobileShelf, and everything you need to automate your warehouse’s inbounding and picking processes. A worker can make up to 300 picks/hour from a stationary pick station, and this package supports fulfillment of up to 6,000 orders/day. Everything’s included, from planning and implementation to dedicated 24/7 customer support and all robot maintenance. See all that’s included in the Make 2021 the Year to Automate package.
I also recommend you read our 2021 the Year to Automation Use Case that is an implementation of the package in an e-commerce warehouse – the numbers don’t lie. See monthly operations costs drop by $80K while order capacity increases. Read Robotic Automation Package Implementation and Cost Savings Use Case.
I invite you to plan a visit our Denver headquarters to see our fully-functional demo warehouse where our robots operating today. See for yourself how our robots enable top picking speed and higher productivity. Our robots are built here in the U.S. at our headquarters, so you can get a peek at our process.
Please get in touch if you’d like to start a conversation about what’s possible for you in 2021,
CEO and Founder of Prime Robotics