Warehouse automation offers multiple benefits from a more productive workforce to potentially faster service delivery. The right warehouse management solutions can transform your warehouse into a well-oiled machine, allowing you to improve the quality of your customer service without adding personnel and resources. An automated warehouse can increase productivity by up to 50%. Consider how warehouse automation technology can help you.
Key Components of Warehouse Automation
What is warehouse automation? It involves using technology to improve the process of moving inventory into and out of a warehouse. Some warehouses have replaced many of their human workers with robots and other machines, while others use warehouse automation technologies to take repetitive tasks away from their human team members.
To better understand how automation bolsters warehouse operations and makes your team more effective, we have broken automation down into its core components.
Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS)
Also known as AS/RS or ASRS, automated storage and retrieval systems are mechanical systems set up to automatically place and retrieve loads. Since these machines are controlled by computers, you can program them to automatically store or retrieve any materials within your warehouse.
Save time and wear and tear on your employees by using AS/RS on large, heavy loads. Or improve the manufacturing process by using these tools for kitting to achieve faster assembly.
Warehouses have long used conveyor systems to move the manufacturing process along more quickly. Modern conveyor systems are more flexible, and some even use smart technology to quickly distribute materials throughout the warehouse.
Some modern warehouses are using mobile robots to replace conveyor systems since they can move freely throughout the building. These tools aren’t bound by the space limitations of a full conveyor system.
Warehouse Management Systems (WMS)
To make the whole warehouse more efficient, use a warehouse management system to automate processes throughout. An effective warehouse management system lets you collect data to track inventory levels, orders, and deliveries. Instead of relying on employees to count and enter this data into a spreadsheet, a WMS does it automatically.
Like other warehouse technology, a WMS might be cloud-based and integrated with other automation systems.
Roles and Impacts of Warehouse Automation in Management
Various types of warehouse automation can greatly improve how your warehouse is managed and operated. Automation in a warehouse helps eliminate manual processes that may lead to mistakes and delay deliveries. Here are some of its benefits.
Because warehouse automation systems are faster and more accurate, they enable your human team to complete their tasks faster and with greater efficiency. Your AS/RS system can move higher volumes of heavy goods, eliminating the need for manual labor while allowing your team to access the goods they need more quickly.
Modern warehouses include management systems and other tools to constantly monitor inventory levels and alert someone when supplies are running low. Your team does not have to maneuver around the delays that arise when parts are missing.
Inventory Accuracy and Control
When your warehouse manager is no longer responsible for manual counting and data entry, your inventory numbers will likely be more accurate. Repetitive tasks such as counting and logging inventory numbers can make it difficult for your human personnel to concentrate, increasing their chance of making a mistake.
Warehouse automation technologies routinely track inventory levels at distribution centers and communicate with other systems, preventing customers from ordering items that are out of stock.
Order Fulfillment Speed and Accuracy
Warehouse automation software speeds up the fulfillment process because AI-powered systems can take the order and communicate it to the inventory management system. If the item is in the distribution center, fulfillment tools can pack the order and prepare it for shipping pending payment.
If your product requires assembly, warehouse automation software can improve the process by making sure every component of the final product is in the warehouse. You might program an AS/RS system to prepare kits, allowing your assembly team to quickly access every part they need to prepare the final product.
Instead of having to look around the warehouse floor for different parts, fasteners, and assembly tools, each worker receives a kit with all the necessary parts and tools so they can start on the job immediately.
Workforce Productivity and Safety
Since warehouse automation solutions help eliminate repetitive tasks, they allow members of your team to focus on the complex parts of their jobs. Repetitive tasks can cause your employees’ attention to shift from the task at hand, which may lead to errors or other safety issues.
Human errors are also caused by exhaustion. By automating processes, your warehouse manager can reduce the number of hours in which your human team members need to work. By better shifting the workload, your human team members are able to balance their work and personal lives and come to work rested and ready to tackle their jobs.
Additionally, warehouse automation solutions can relieve human workers of tasks that may lead to injury. Along with moving and managing heavy loads, machines can also do repetitive motion tasks such as fixing screws and others that may lead to overuse injuries long-term.
Elevate Performance with a Sensor-Based Solution
There are many different warehouse automation companies to help guide your automation solutions. Surgere’s decades of experience offer just what you need to automate your warehouse. We use IoT sensor-based hardware technology to help you automate your workflows. Our solutions allow your warehouse manager to see streamlined and accurate status reports with real-time data to help you fulfill customer orders.
We can work with you to eliminate redundant processes and streamline your warehouse. Create a map of your warehouse to maximize your warehouse space and identify potential bottlenecks in your process. Gain insights into each part of your workflow so you can address inefficiencies.
Automating your warehouse can boost your team’s productivity and accuracy. It can help you fulfill orders quickly with minimal errors, improving your reputation for service delivery.
Take the next step to modernize your warehouse by contacting Surgere today.