Automation is one of the largest and most innovative by-products of the technological revolution. It has greatly optimized and enhanced operations for businesses across numerous industries: Logistics, E-Commerce, manufacturing, agriculture, food, and many others. The use and processing of data are crucial to the automation process, and it results in higher efficiency and productivity for the business and its workforce. Automation technology has also made its way into the warehousing sector. Hundreds of warehouses in the North American sector have implemented the latest tools to increase their efficiency and save time and money. It is time for e-commerce companies, logistics facilities, manufacturers, and other warehousing stakeholders to adopt warehouse automation technology or fall behind in the competition.
If you own or manage a warehouse, you might be wondering how warehouse automation will benefit their business and pay them back. We will discuss the benefits and return on investment for warehouse automation in this article and highlight how it can transform operations when it comes to picking, packing, and replenishment.
Picking and Packing
Warehouse picking refers to selecting particular products from the warehouse to complete a customer’s order. Picking is crucial to the order fulfillment process, and it is also one of the costlier and more labor-intensive operations inside a warehouse. Most reports suggest that warehouse picking takes up more than half of the operational budget. Picking is an important process, as it ultimately is key driver for on-time deliveries and customer satisfaction. Moreover, it also affects the reputation and profitability of your business indirectly. In a manual setting, this process involves the workforce receiving order details and searching for the right products all over the warehouse. There are several issues in the process.
Firstly, you need a huge workforce that can easily manage all the picking operations and fetch products quickly, which might require them to walk miles and miles every day. This can further lead to fatigue and work injuries, leading to errors in order fulfillment, labor shortage, and other long-term issues that can dampen your warehouse efficiency. The next step in the order fulfillment process is packing, which is closely integrated with picking and involves employees packing up the products they have picked from the inventory. It requires packing hundreds or thousands of boxes in a day, which can be incredibly strenuous and cause intense stress on the workforce.
You can avoid these issues, and your labor can be utilized in a much better way by including autonomous robots, which are equipped with artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies. These robots will greatly shorten the time it takes to complete and pack orders, reducing the overall order fulfillment time. As a result, you will be able to fulfill more orders in a single day, thus boosting your profitability.
Pallets are an essential component of any logistics operation. Thanks to pallets, warehouse employees can easily move heavier goods around the warehouse and ensure that they reach their destination without any damage. However, manually operating such heavy loads with pallets also leads to workplace injuries and forklift crashes, which result in heavy losses on a variety of levels. Most of the time, the employees overload the pallets, which is a recipe for disaster. Whether they use a forklift or manual equipment to move the goods, they will damage them and get injured in the process. There is a much easier way to navigate these issues, and the solution lies in autonomous warehouse robots, such as Prime Robotics’ MobilePallet. This handy robot can move up to 2000 kg of weight through pallets, much higher than any other robot or manual process.
Through warehouse automation, you can move pallets round the clock and prevent any crashes, injuries, or damage to your goods. As a result, your workforce will also be unburdened, and you can also cut down on the delivery time.
Replenishment refers to restocking warehouse shelves when you receive new products or materials from your suppliers or distributors. Since warehouses have hundreds of vertical shelves, workers have to place goods securely on pallets and use forklifts to place them where they need to go. This process can take time, especially if you have a huge warehouse with thousands of products. Similar to the processes mentioned above, this work is quite strenuous. It can lead to increased fatigue and injuries, resulting in labor shortage and an extra cost to the business.
The best way to navigate this problem is to use warehouse automation technologies to optimize the replenishment process. This would result in improved real-time inventory control and management and help maintain an optimal supply of goods that can curb any seasonal fluctuations or shortages. Moreover, you will experience savings in reduced storage costs since warehouse automation will optimize your inventory management.
How Does Warehouse Automation Boost ROI?
When it comes to automating your warehouse, there are many automation technologies at your disposal. You might think of it as a major expense, but it also has a promising return when utilizing a partner like Prime Robotics.
For starters, you will be able to accelerate the picking and packing process; experience 300 – 500 picks every hour compared to the 50-100 picks that the workforce averages manually. Moreover, the time savings will transfer through to the next process, where orders can be created and filled faster and with tighter deadlines.
And when it comes to designing and implementing efficient warehouse solutions, Prime always comes first. We provide you with a range of advanced robotics solutions that completely transform the way you handle your warehouse logistics. Get in touch with Prime Robotics and find out more about warehouse automation solutions.