As technology improves and advances, we are beginning to see a large increase in automation, especially in warehouses. Automation is a great way for businesses to increase efficiency, and if purchased wisely, can help cut costs too. In fact, automating your warehouse processes actually has a significant impact on your operations. Below are several ways that automation is impacting warehouses today.
For manual warehouses, inventory is usually out of date. This is because it takes time for a worker to pick the ticket, obtain the product, and manually update the inventory system. However, automation allows warehouses to be equipped with a warehouse management system (WMS) where there is no delay in inventory and information is updated in real-time. As soon as a product is picked, the system is immediately updated.
Once you’ve implemented a WSM into your warehouse, it may tell you that you can actually fit more products onto your shelves. A WMS assigns every product with a specific storage location in the warehouse, providing bin numbers and having a record of the size of bins and the amount of inventory. Additionally, it ensures that inventory that is used less often is stored on higher shelves, and more popular items are kept in easy reach. This will greatly improve your product processing time.
Less Energy Used
The WMS provides exact locations of products within a warehouse, and also arranges them by most popular item, placing these popular products closer to shipping areas. As a result, it is much easier to find items in a warehouse. This saves employees energy and reduces the amount of fuel a forklift would use. Additionally, strategic product storage can help you cut costs in lighting and temperature control. For example, if you store products that do not require excessive climate control in the same area, you can avoid cooling that area.
Less Product Damage
By implementing a WMS in your warehouse, you ensure that each product will be handled with strict procedures. This standardized and consistent handling of products will reduce product damage from improper handling. This then reduces overall waste in your warehouse.
Reduced Employee Injuries
Over time, automation will improve your warehouse’s efficiency by providing smoother processes, standardized operations, and streamlined storage. With this increase in efficiency, many warehouses see a drop in employee injuries and claims. This is due to the increased organization and standardization, which benefits both the employer and the employee.
Overall, automation and the implementation of a WMS works towards improving efficiency in a warehouse. The WMS can notify managers of warehouse drawbacks, allowing them to address them. For example, it shows how long it takes employees to pick orders. If this time is too long, you can contact employees and look at whether you need a different warehouse layout. All information that the WMS captures is very beneficial to the manager in order for them to establish continuous improvement within the warehouse.
Curley, Reid. “6 Ways Automating Warehouse Systems Makes A Huge Impact.” Info.archon-interactive.com. N. p., 2017. Web. 15 Aug. 2017.