If you’ve reached the limits of what you can do with your current warehouse capacity then it could be stopping your business from growing. But is the answer to increase budgets to acquire bigger premises or more staff? Technology today offers opportunities that didn’t previously exist in terms of optimising space and increasing productivity. Warehouse automation, whether that’s a warehouse management system or automated storage and retrieval systems, have a lot of advantages, especially when combined.
The benefits of warehouse automation
- Improving operational efficiency. According to one industry report only 15% of a warehouse picker’s time is actually spent picking orders while 50% is spent walking. The use of warehouse automation can remove the more minor, manual tasks from staff and complete these via technology driven processes. It can also support employees reducing the number of manual movements required, including walking, by making items more accessible, and improving both productivity and efficiency through more effective organisation of space.
- Reducing workforce costs. Often, an increase in productivity is accompanied by a rise in wage costs as the number of employees expands to cope with additional need. However, investing in warehouse automation can help you to support a more productive business without the need to take on extra staff to do it.
- Improving visibility over stock. A warehouse management system, for example, provides real time, accurate perspective on everything that is in the warehouse at any one time. Data is automatically read and recorded providing increased transparency when it comes to stock. This can have a wide range of different advantages, from enabling automated reordering of popular items to supporting better strategic decision making with data that is accurate and available in real time.
- Optimising the floor space available. Warehouse automation ensures that you’re making the most of every inch of space within your premises. From smart storage solutions that are vertical, as opposed to horizontal, to conveyors and elevators that enable stock at heights to be safely accessed, there are a wide range of opportunities to make the most of previously unused space. This means that there is no need to expand or look for larger premises, with some investment in warehouse automation you can achieve the same increase in productivity from the existing resources that you have.
- Minimising mistakes. Human error is a part of the process of employing a workforce but can also be costly and time consuming to remedy. Machines rarely make mistakes so you can significantly reduce the rate of error by introducing some automated systems into your warehouse. Although warehouse automation won’t mean zero errors it will reduce those that occur and provide an easy way to identify where issues arose as a result of the transparency and accountability of the systems involved.
Working with warehouse automation has a wide range of benefits, from the financial to the administrative. For any business looking to improve productivity – or keen to do more with existing resources – it could be a transformative investment that facilitates essential growth.