What is WMS Paralysis?
Believing you can’t even consider implementing automated warehouse robots until you’ve updated your outdated Warehouse Management System (WMS).
Waiting to initiate automated warehouse robots is a mistake. Many warehouse operators lament that although they know they need to get started down the path to automating their warehouse. However, they first need to complete the tedious and often lengthy process of updating their WMS. This process may include evaluating multiple WMS vendors. Often this can take six months to a year (or more).
It may seem logical to think that a robotics implementation will be most effective when integrated with the latest and greatest WMS, but the fact is your success in adding robots in your warehouse isn’t dependent on your WMS. Prime Robotics integrates easily with virtually any WMS (however, if yours hasn’t been updated since the eighties, it may prove more challenging).
The sooner you can implement robots, the better for your bottom line. Robots will save tens of thousands of dollars every month by drastically reducing operational costs. So, it follows that delaying adding robots comes at a high cost.
The costs incurred by waiting are real
Consider that our $9K per month lease package that includes 10 robots and all the accessories and customer support you need can save a warehouse $80K every month the system is in place. You can read more about our $9K Robot Lease Use Case and see the math detailing how warehouse labor costs are nearly cut in half.
It can take an organization a year or more to select a new WMS. Then, perhaps another year to roll it out, if there are multiple sites. Considering this, for even a small to a midsize operator, the opportunity cost of delaying a robotics implementation can exceed $1M if they end up waiting a year or more. The opportunity costs climb even higher when you add in the inherent costs of recruiting and retaining a warehouse workforce.
Often operators are surprised when I tell them it’s pretty straightforward to add robots no matter their WMS. If your WMS can set up separate storage locations, then you can handle the basic logic needed to set up some of your inventory in manual racks and some in the robot shelving.
You can also take a phased approach to adding robots. For example, if your warehouse is A-B-C stratified, you can start with your highest-turnover inventory first by assigning those SKUs to the storage area that will be serviced by the robots. Then you can continue rolling robots out across the different areas of your warehouse. You can learn more about our MobileShelf robot implementation here.
Automated warehouse robot implementation for single warehouses
Operators currently using a simple online WMS, like Tradegecko or Quickbooks to manage their inventory, can use Prime Robotics’ own built-in WMS as their only WMS. For a single warehouse that only keeps track of inventory coming in and orders going out, our included WMS can handle your needs. Furthermore, our packing station software integrates with carrier software like ShipStation. Our Robot Control System can receive orders directly from your Magento instance.
Implementation in a new greenfield warehouse site
If you’re setting up a new greenfield site, it’s typically preferable to implement warehouse robots at the same time. This clean implementation approach allows you to apply best business practices at the new site from Day One.
Add Automated Warehouse Robots Now to Boost Your Profitability Fast
It’s clear that robots impact your bottom line more than adding a new WMS. While a new WMS may streamline your operations and deliver the new functionality you want, it’s unlikely to create the immediate cost savings and massive organizational benefits that robots can provide.
I’m often telling warehouse operators that an automated warehouse robotics system can quickly start generating a cost savings that can fund your new WMS purchase. From start to finish, this process can be implemented in about three months, My advice is to add warehouse robots now to increase your profits. Out compete those in the market that haven’t yet leveraged the power of automation!
CEO and Founder of Prime Robotics