According to recent data, the average size of a company’s warehouse is 181,370 sq ft, with the trend of building larger warehouses growing year after year. In addition, 87% of industry decision-makers plan to expand their organizations’ warehouses by 2024.
Warehousing is a complex endeavor as it entails an abundance of diverse operations, inventory tasks, and goods management and distribution processes. Luckily for managers and workers alike, tech innovations offer solutions to ease, simplify, and speed up warehousing processes – from the moment the inventory enters the warehouse until it leaves.
This article will be helpful to anyone who wishes to scale their warehouse management processes and significantly upgrade their warehousing performance while saving time and resources. Read on to discover how you can use the latest automation technologies to get the most out of your warehouse management.
What is Warehouse Automation?
Automation goes beyond optimizing and streamlining manual tasks. Many organizations actually adopt automation across their operations to support and facilitate their teams’ processes.
Warehouse automation signifies replacing repetitive tasks with automated systems to eliminate laborious and time-consuming duties. By automating warehouse processes, workers can focus on more valuable, creative tasks.
Besides, warehouse automation helps minimize errors, boosts efficiency, increases inventory accuracy, lowers labor costs, and improves worker safety.
Generally, warehouse automation splits into two types – digital automation and physical automation.
Digital automation implies employing software and electronics to facilitate manual processes and thus reduce reliance on manual labor. An example of digital warehousing is a tracking inventory system.
Physical automation, on the other hand, relies on automation equipment to minimize or completely eliminate worker labor. Vehicles and machines used to transfer goods within a warehouse are an example of physical warehouse automation.
Ten Best Warehouse Automation Technologies
#1 Collaborative Robots
For most warehouse workers, robotic process automation embodies the end of work and, thus, something to fear and resist.
Yet, Logisticsmgmt‘s data reveal that 54% of businesses plan to increase investments in training to retain and boost careers for valued workers.
These include technical training in managing collaborative robots, i.e., cobots. Cobots work side-by-side with human workers and therefore minimize errors and improve operational speed and efficiency.
Cobots are found across warehouse operations, from packing to palletizing warehouse goods.
#2 Automated Storage & Retrieval Systems
AS/RS assist in storing and retrieving warehouse goods by relying on established routes. These systems consist of cranes, shuttles, vertical lift modules and other machines, all designed to get goods automatically.