9 Signs That You Need Warehouse Automation

Warehouse automation is on the rise as supply chain managers are discovering its benefits. If you want to keep up, you should know how to automate your warehouse.

How to Automate Your Warehouseand Improve Your Operations

UsingWarehouse Automation Technologyto Boost Your Productivity

It can be difficult to tell whether you should invest in warehouse automationor not. However, there are various issues caused by manual management that automation would instantly fix, such as human error and labor costs. If you experience these issues and more, it’s probably time to use technological solutions.

What is warehouse automation?

In essence, warehouse automation is the process of moving inventory with little to no human interaction. It allows technological and human counterparts to collaborate and complete repetitive duties without risking injury or burnout. A full automation system includes various parts that work together to improve their delegated task’s efficiency, accuracy, and reliability.

Some examples of automation solutions include:

  • Warehouse management systems
  • AS/RS equipment
  • Smart shelving
  • IoT sensors
  • RFID
  • Autonomous mobile robots
  • Data analytics platforms

Why is warehouse automation necessary in 2021?

Many companies use warehouse automation to cut back on labor costs for repetitive tasks and manual data entry. While it may be expensive upfront, there are numerous benefits, such as improving product movement and minimizing human error. If you don’t automate your warehouse, you miss out on saving the time and resources you waste on menial tasks.

9 signs that you should integrate warehouse automation

There are many factors to consider before you invest in automation. When deciding whether or not you need warehouse automation,you should look at the effectiveness of your current supply chain practices. Chances are, there are going to be more than a couple of areas that fall short of your goal.

Here are some of the most obvious signs that you need to automate your warehouse:

1. Your customer orders are delayed due to a limited workforce

The pandemic has impacted supply chain organizations with social distancing rules and a significant increase in online shopping. This means that customer orders are often pushed back because there are not enough employees to keep up with the hefty workload. However, when you integrate technology-driven solutions, your facility will be able to meet customer demands quickly.

2. You need to reduce labor costs

One of the most expensive aspects of running a business is the cost of labor. Investing in warehouse automation allows you to save money because you won’t need to delegate labor resources to non-essential tasks as you can let technology take care of it for you.

3. Your order fulfillment capacity is declining

If you want to optimize your facility, you must dedicate time to ensuring that your warehouse is organized correctly. Without proper organization, your order fulfillment capacity will decrease. Automated solutions such as intelligent shelving, RFID, and IoT will help you to ensure that all of your inventory and materials are accounted for and in the right spot.

4. Your inventory counts become inaccurate

Manually keeping track of inventory often causes human error and inaccurate inventory counts. Whether items get misplaced or unaccounted for, an incorrect stock count will throw off your budget and lead to shortages of essential materials. Once you integrate an intelligent management system into your facility, you can ensure that your inventory record is accurate.

5. You are still using outdated manual inventory management tools

Warehouse automation tools are the future of supply chain management. Using manual inventory management tools that are outdated will leave you struggling to keep up with your competitors who have already switched to an intelligent warehouse.

6. Your human error rates are unacceptable

Human error is the cause of a lot of wasted time and money. Whether an employee misplaced an item or input an incorrect data entry, these mistakes could cost your company big time in the long run. Using automated systems allows you to reduce your overall human error rates so that you can stop spending time and resources fixing minor mistakes.

7. Your sales team and customers complain about backorders and slow ASNs

When you try to juggle each warehouse element manually, there are bound to be backorders and slow advanced shipping notices. Once your sales department and clients begin to complain about these order holdups, you know it’s time to switch to warehouse automation.Clients will often take their business to a different supplier if these recurring problems, so you want to make sure you minimize them before it’s too late.

8. You need more space for inventory or room for social distancing

Not every company can afford to uproot its operations and move into a larger building. Not to mention how much moving stunts your productivity levels. A WMS will help you to free up space by utilizing vertical space and innovative organization methods giving you more room for inventory and social distancing.

9. Your staff doesn’t keep up with their work

Employees who work in warehouses without automation often can’t finish their tasks. The reason is that many of their assignments are time-consuming and repetitive, leading to fatigue and injuries. Warehouse automationlets you delegate repetitive tasks to robots, saving your human laborers for things that require brainpower.

How to automate your warehouse

If you are ready to make the switch but don’t know how to automate your warehouse, you should look into material systems integrators and warehouse automation technologyoptions. An integrator will provide you with the best technology and design to fit your operation’s unique needs. With the help of these experts, you can quickly achieve your business goals by integrating the perfect system for your warehouse.

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