The Evolution of Warehouse Automation Technology

With new warehouse automation technology emerging all the time today’s working environment has quickly evolved from what it once was. Complex systems requiring extensive training are now becoming much more user friendly both to operate and maintain making the technology fairly commonplace throughout the industry.

Trends

For years the trends in almost all sectors have been to move towards a system that operates with minimal human intervention. This trend is only set to continue with rapid advancements in warehouse automation technology. With bespoke packages now available businesses are increasingly finding that an option can be tailored to fit their business model.

The rush to move to warehouse automation technology has largely been triggered by the price reduction that has taken place across the board. This has made the technology available to a wider consumer base that previously may have seen it as out of their reach.

In order to keep up with growing customer demands and increasingly complex distribution logistics more and more companies are evaluating operational processes to determine which areas can be streamlined with the use of automated technology.  Minimizing the steps in these processes is the most effective way of ensuring that movement throughout the warehouse is as responsive as possible. Health and safety has also become real priority throughout the industry, particularly in warehouse environments. Warehouse automation technology will remove the need for some of the old processes and with it some of the risks involved in them.

Factors

The primary factor that brings about the need for automation is the requirement to accommodate growth. Businesses can no longer stand still and if they are to achieve success in the current market expansion will be a key part of this.

Cost of course is a factor in any business decision. Both implementation and operating costs are major considerations when looking to move to warehouse automation technology. As these have reduced with the market becoming more competitive and a wider range of products becoming available increasing numbers of businesses are viewing the technology as a financially viable option to meet their needs.

Service is also important, not just the level that the automated technology can provide the user but the level that the user can provide their customers with. If by moving to automated technology productivity, speed and efficiency are improved then the customer is going to see the benefits too.

The recent trend in online shopping also has to be taken into account; despatches are becoming smaller and more frequent. Driven by the consumers increasing desire for convenience, this results in a greater number of transactions taking place within the warehouse.  More transactions would usually mean more employees but by looking at the technology involved and ensuring that you have the best system in place to suit your businesses needs you can be confident that the whole operation is running as cost effectively as possible.

With technology in our daily lives evolving at an astonishing rate what was once alien is now commonplace. The workforce no longer feels out of place when presented with new technology, they expect the same experience they have on their phone or in their car and can adapt to these new ideas perhaps more easily than older generations. The ease at which new technology can be implemented is certainly a factor in the reason as to why warehouse automation is being taken on so widely.

Whilst growth in automation is occurring, there is also a need for supply chains to become more flexible in order to cater to rapidly changing markets. Many market places are becoming increasingly volatile and any future demand is difficult to predict. Automation can offer flexibility with regards to variation of tasks and the handling of peak periods where productivity might otherwise be slowed.

 

 

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