Warehouse Automation, it’s Benefits and the Future of Logistics
If you work in the warehouse or logistics business, then chances are you have heard of the changes that warehouse automation is already bringing to the industry.
There are two sides to the coin, however, with some people saying that warehouse automation leads to loss of jobs, and others being happy that warehouse automation will lead to a new world of increased productivity, efficiency, and accuracy.
The truth is, however, that warehouse automation will not completely take away human jobs. There are so many things that people still must do in the warehouse that machines cannot. To form an educated opinion on this topic, let’s investigate warehouse automation a bit further.
- How do warehouses work? A warehouse is basically a place where goods are stored while awaiting distribution to the customer. However, with 3PLs, warehousingnow has incorporated so many other services and solutions. It is possible for a company to outsource all of its supply chain management duties to a 3PL.
In the warehouse, goods are received, inventory movement takes place, goods are stored, and shipped. At the receiving dock, a clerk receives the entire inventory and all the documents pertaining to it are collected.
A receiving log is made to ensure that all expected inventory of the day is received. The inventory is then moved to the space it has been assigned by the warehouse’s certified and licensed movers. When the time comes, the warehouse also ships the products to the final destination.
- What is an automated warehouse? Warehouse automation can help make the warehouse processes much easier, faster and more accurate. For instance, conveyor belts can be used to move products from one part of the warehouse to another. Automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) is another commonly used automation technique. Automatic data capturing, automated vehicles, bar code scanners and readers, back office automation, and inventory automation are all processes that can be done in a warehouse to ensure that efficiency is enhanced. All of these processes also require use of specialized software for the capturing and storing of data.
- What is warehouse process? Not all warehouses are the same, but most of them have a basic process that occurs for goods that are coming in and going out. This process is as follows: Receiving, put-away, picking, packing, dispatching, returns, and value addition.
An automated warehouse is one in which part of its day-to-day processes are carried out by machines and systems. It is difficult to automate all of a warehouse’s processes, because people are better at carrying out certain processes.
Warehouse automation can bring many benefits. It improves efficiency and accuracy in the warehouse, and can also help save money by reducing the number of employees needed to carry out warehouse processes.
And, with warehouse automation, space utilization is dramatically improved, as well as shipping costs; denser pallet cubes can be created, leading to more tightly packed trucks, and efficiency in shipping. This can reduce costs by up to 10%.