We are in the future we have been watching in movies. Slowly, robotics is becoming an integral part of our lives and affects how we conduct business. Robotics has made a breakthrough in education, transportation, agriculture, medicine, etc. It has also made significant progress in the logistics sector vis a vis automatic warehousing.
Automatic warehousing is one of the hottest topics in the robotics industry. The majorly human-directed warehousing process is at the brink of being phased out through robotics and automation.
Why not conventional warehousing?
This development could not have come at a better time. We now live in an era where there are more consumers, and trading has become more international. Thus, warehouses are currently overloaded with more products that they can easily catalog due to human limitations.
Fortunately, through the material handling equipment, warehousing has become a seamless process. As a result, operations in the warehouse are more streamlined, and human accidents and negligence will dwindle. This would pave the way for increased productivity and, later, an increase in income.
Admittedly, automating your warehouse using material handling equipment and warehouse management software is a significant investment. So, small businesses might feel overwhelmed at first and would not want to invest in it. But, they would be wrong to do so as the automation of their warehouses would save them costs from human errors, cost from too much staff, increased productivity, and improved bottom line. Also, your small business stands to lose out to its competitors if it refuses to automate. You won’t be able to improve your warehouse operations radically. However, the benefits you stand to gain by automating are a lot, and in this post, you would learn how advantageous automating your warehouse is.
What is warehouse automation?
Warehouse Automation uses robotics, particularly material handling equipment, to handle materials in the warehouse without too much reliance on human input, just like a dishwasher in a kitchen.
There are different types of material handling software, and it’s best to get the hardware and warehouse management system from the same place. This is because this material handling equipment might not work well if you don’t pair them with the same software. With the perfect integration of material handling equipment, you will get excellent inventory tracking, data collection, easy system maintenance, etc.
Note that a warehouse management system must be paired with a warehouse control system, enabling the warehouse system to work across the material handling equipment. In addition, the warehouse control system is a vital link for an adequate data flow between the warehouse management and equipment controllers. This allows commands to be effectively given to machines and lets real-time data from the warehouse management system be of use. For instance, problems in the handling of material are easily discovered and fixed.
Contrary to what people think, warehouse automating doesn’t mean you would completely replace human input. Instead, it is more of a collaboration between humans and the material handling equipment. For instance, a warehouse worker can load the material on a conveyor, and the material would be transported and sorted by technology. In addition, automation doesn’t have to be with robots, as automation involves tech to make things easier.
Benefits of warehouse automation
1. Increase efficiency in the warehouse
As a small business with an inventory of products, you need to store and keep track of where it is in the warehouse and the number of left products. Automating your warehouse will let you know where these products are in real-time and plan to move these products within schedule.
Sure, you can do this by preparing spreadsheets and using clipboards, but as you must have experienced, you can’t rule out human error. Also, no real-time monitoring tasks are challenging. With a warehouse management system, your warehouse efficiency will improve as you can manage the products in your warehouse in real-time. In addition, you can ascertain their logistics Information and quickly act on it.
2. Reduced employee mistakes
Employee mistake is a constant in warehousing. When it occurs all time, it could reduce revenue as it reduces warehouse efficiency. These mistakes vary, but they are costly. When you cannot ship products because your employees have misplaced them, you begin to get a reputation for failure. Usually, the offending employee has to deal with the situation by covering for the losses they cause. This doesn’t make them more careful as you would think. On the contrary, it puts them under pressure and makes them make more mistakes.
Using a warehouse managing system allows you to track products and reduce incidents of delays and other forms of human mistakes.
3. Improve employee efficiency
When your employees make fewer mistakes, what follows is a spike in their levels of efficiency. This happens through the warehouse management system, allowing employees to keep track of orders, where products are, and complete the shipping process timeously. The employee would be able to do all this without pressure as they get real-time data from the system, which helps them plan and act accordingly.
Due to lack of pressure in keeping track of products and the unnecessarily poring through spreadsheets and clipboards to know where products are, employees would have a singular focus. They would be able to put all their efforts into what they are supposed to do as the warehouse management system will help them track products quickly. As a result, the process of cataloging products for shipping becomes more accessible, and employees would commit less time to each task.
4. Saves labour cost
The integration of technology in the business allows the business owner to generate more revenue without necessarily acquiring a larger workforce. Thus, instead of adding new employees to the business automating your warehouse can help you do more with fewer employees. Another advantage of an automaton when it comes to cost is that you are not incurring extra costs on employees during slow business periods.
5. Smarter planning
As a small business, it is essential to know where your goods are and precisely know the number of products you have. Automating your warehouse would allow you to see the stock you have when you consider the orders you have fulfilled or the ones you are processing. This way, you would be able to keep and stock the number of products you need precisely. As a result, you wouldn’t overstock, which could later lead to losses. In addition, you would be able to plan sales and seasonal sales before the season even nears.
6. Order precision
Order Precision is necessary when you are running a small warehouse business. You can’t afford to misjudge orders. Otherwise, you would lose customers due to the mistake you have made. There would be a rise in the number of goods that customers return. Asides from that, there would also be damage to your reputation, which can take a longer time to fix. The problem of orders can arise due to the negligence of your employees. It could also arise due to the way you conduct your operations.
To attain order precision, it would be better to automate your warehouse as it would give you a larger timeframe to process your orders. You will be able to plan ahead of time. In addition to that, you would know where each product is as well as their availability. Your staging area would also be neat and not be subject to the disarray that comes with trying to process different shipment packages simultaneously.
7. Best customer experience
UX will improve when you automate your warehouse. The reason is that your warehouse operations will not be subject to the failings of a regular warehouse. You would be able to plan better and always be on schedule. This would give you an advantage with customers who would rather deal with you than any other business.
About the author
Leon Collier is an experienced blogger and also an academic writer from the UK. He has vast experience working with the UK essay writing service. His love for the challenge made Leon coordinate the writers at the essay writing service. He also can deliver outstanding work, which is why writers at custom coursework writing love him. When he’s not busy writing, he reads books or plays tabletop games with his friends. Follow him on Twitter @LeonCollier12.