As consumer demand increases for products, warehousing and logistics operations need to speed up their processes while meeting the quality that customers expect. Automation has helped a variety of industries through labor shortages and has provided tremendous support to companies facing huge product demand with a need to ramp up production efforts.
Automation, while still expanding and evolving in the logistics industry, has shaped, and forever changed warehouse environments and logistics planning. Read on to discover the advantages of automation in logistics and warehousing.
How Automation Has Changed and Advanced the Logistics Industry
Tackling Labor Shortages and Employee Safety
Automation has stepped up in a big way to deal with labor shortages companies have increasingly struggled with the past few years. As consumer demand continues to increase, and there are fewer people able to take on work, automation has made it possible for many companies to keep moving forward. Using robots and other automated solutions has taken over repetitive and mundane jobs that people have historically done.
With automation taking over these tasks, warehouse environments have become a safer space for all involved. Robots can do hazardous and repetitive jobs that are prone to human error, which results in fewer injuries or accidents. While accidents can still happen, automation makes an environment safer, can save a company money from costly and potentially avoidable injuries, as well as down time.
Automation is expected to continue to reduce or eliminate certain manual labor positions. By bringing in automation to take over certain manual roles, it is opening doors for higher-skilled labor positions.
Movement and Transportation of Goods
Automated equipment can help with the loading, unloading, and movement of goods through a warehouse. While loading and unloading can take several people a fair amount of time, automation can improve throughput and reduces the number of person-hours it takes to load and move goods. Not only does this save human time and money, but it also makes the load/unload process easier, safer, and more accurate and consistent.
Order fulfillment is a major area where automation can help move products/orders accurately through the stages of pick, pack, and send much quicker than human hands.
Providing Helpful and Necessary Data
Data plays a key role in why automation is so beneficial to many organizations. Data helps with looking at patterns and trends. It is useful for forecasting the supply and demand of items, managing inventory throughout the warehouse or warehouses, how pricing has changed over time, potential supplier risks, etc.
Pen and paper scheduling may have worked 40 years ago, but using software programs can show the whole picture and find inconsistencies in planning, especially with the substantial amounts of product that must be moved quickly. Freight movement is expensive. Automation has improved efficiency within logistics by better scheduling routes to make the most of having a vehicle on the road.
Automating repetitive and monotonous tasks can increase efficiency to improve cost savings.
Automation and robots help streamline processes to become more efficient which reduces the time and costs around movement, storage, and retrieval of products.
Automation has advanced logistics by limiting errors and improving product quality. It standardizes processes, reduces manual entry/work, and requires fewer touch points between a person and inventory item during picking, packing, and moving, which helps eliminate confusion and easy mistakes due to monotonous tasks.
Since automation can provide real-time data, it helps your staff to monitor and identify areas for improvement on a daily or regular basis.
From reducing costs and making fewer errors, to making the throughput of goods higher and more efficient, automation has changed how logistics and warehouses operate now and into the future. If your company works in logistics, supply chain movement, or warehousing, now is a crucial time to consider automating your processes. Contact us
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