Warehouses looking to improve efficiency and reduce costs should look to automation to achieve their goals. In this area, most businesses have room for improvement. Only about 10 percent of warehouses possess more than the most basic automation capabilities.
Implementing processes that do not require manual effort has the potential to transform how warehouses do business. The right systems can improve organization, efficiency, finances, and more. Here is a look at some of the biggest reasons to adopt automation within the warehouse, and some of the ways in which it can be implemented.
Warehouse automation can maximize storage.
Storing more material within the same amount of space allows warehouses to reduce costs. With more efficient storage, warehouses can maximize the use of their space while improving their profit-generating abilities. Automated warehouse processes save space in two primary ways.
● Denser Storage
● Fewer Aisles
Traditional pallet racking requires the use of aisles. These aisles take up space. Traditional racking systems also require forklifts to be able to access the entirety of the racking shelves. Otherwise, forklifts will not be able to reach all of the pallets. This means that the shelving is only one or two pallets deep.
Thanks to the need for forklift access and aisles, traditional shelving limits the amount of inventory that the shelves can hold. Automation, however, allows for denser storage. Some racking systems, for example, move pallets automatically along conveyor belts. These belts allow pallets to sit within a cube-like arrangement.
When pallets are needed, the same system of automation moves pallets from the back of the shelving to the front, where forklifts can access them. As a result, automation allows warehouses to adopt denser storage systems that maximize available space.
These same automated systems can also reduce the need for aisles. For example, certain types of racking systems form a bay. Forklifts move in and out of the bay to drop off and pick up inventory. These systems require fewer aisles because forklifts do not need to access every pallet. Instead, as mentioned above, automation can move pallets forward when one pallet is removed from the front. Denser storage and a bay design allow for fewer aisles. Warehouse can then devote that space to storage.
Warehouse automation can reduce costs.
Reducing costs can contribute to the financial health of warehouses. Automated processes can reduce costs in a number of ways:
● Fewer Manual Labor Costs
● Greater Efficiency
● Maximized Storage
● Inventory Control
Automated processes require fewer people to operate them, and they can operate around the clock if necessary. As a result, automation within the warehouse means you spend less money on manual labor costs, including hiring and training employees, as well as managing shifts and downtime.
Automation allows for the receipt, storage, and shipping of goods to occur with greater efficiency and fewer mistakes. This means you can move more inventory more quickly, reducing costs and maximizing your resources.
As mentioned above, automated pallet racking can improve storage capabilities. As a result, you can store more inventory, leading to better profit margins and reduced costs related to the use of your space.
Automated logistics processes provide greater inventory control. Knowing what inventory you have, where it is, how to access it, where it is going, and so forth, allows you to spend more time focusing on actually moving the inventory rather than accounting for it. A reduction in lost inventory also allows for more efficient operations that cost less and make you more money over the long run.
Warehouse automation saves time.
Storage and costs are not the only savings you can achieve with warehouse automation. You can also save time. Being able to transform manual processes into automatic ones often means you can complete the same tasks faster.
For example, conveyor belts that link different areas of the warehouse together can allow faster movement of inventory. Automated pallet racking can reduce the amount of time it takes to load or unload pallets. You can even purchase automated tools to pick orders, and automated warehouse management systems to track and manage inventory.
By saving you time, automation allows you to complete more tasks in a day. As a result, you enjoy the ability to move more inventory, pick more orders, and therefore earn more money than would have been possible otherwise. Time saved means money earned and capabilities expanded.
Warehouse automation reduces errors.
Finally, warehouse automation can reduce errors. Mistakes, such as picking the wrong orders or storing pallets in the wrong location, can cost you time and money over the long run. Eliminating these errors with more accurate processes can, therefore, benefit your business.
Automation can improve accuracy by reducing some of the human components that lead to mistakes. For example, an automated warehouse management system can accurately track the location and distribution of inventory. Automated pickers can accurately select the correct orders, and so on. As a result, automation can improve speed and reduce errors for greater efficiency overall.
Automation offers warehouses the opportunity to improve their operations in a number of areas. Tools such as automated pallet racking, automated warehouse management systems, and more, can maximize storage, reduce costs, save time, and reduce errors.
If you would like to add automation to your warehouse solutions, reach out to Darr Equipment. We offer pallet racking and other systems that can help your warehouse achieve the efficiency and profitability it needs to thrive.