Warehouse automation in your distribution centre operation can hold a wide range of benefits including (but not limited to) lower building costs, better productivity, lower staff numbers, a smaller inventory, lower running costs and any number of other advantages. To help you understand how you can benefit from automating your warehouse, we’ve put together a list of things for you to consider.
By automating your warehouse, you can often reduce the space required by operations by somewhere between 75 and 90 per cent. This will allow you to store the same amount of goods in a space just 10-25 per cent of the size of those required by unautomated operations – space you can use to increase your inventory, grow your business or simply relocate to a smaller, less expensive warehouse.
Lower Building Costs
Saving space will also allow you to save money on that space by keeping your building costs to the absolute minimum. You can save a lot of money by investing in a lower amount of land and a smaller building, which will house your operations just as comfortably as a large warehouse houses unautomated operations. Subtract from this price the amount of money you’d normally have to spend on in-aisle guidance systems and special floors, because you don’t need those either. Then subtract even more money for special construction requirements that need no longer worry you: automated storage and retrieval machines weigh much less than narrow aisle trucks.
Increase your productivity, and you increase your profit. And there are few better ways of improving productivity than through automation. Without even mentioning the fact that your automated system will work much faster than narrow aisle trucks and forklifts, your productivity will be increased by the fact that without the need to look after human staff, your warehouse will be able to operate 24/7 to keep your business running at all times. Say goodbye to the waiting time that comes with having to locate and manually retrieve or put away a pallet. No matter where the pallet you need is stored, your automated system can get it to you in no time at all.
Lower Staff Numbers
Unsurprisingly, when you automate your warehouse, the number of workers you require will go way down, not only saving you money but also saving the planet (well, sort of) by reducing your carbon footprint. Another key aspect to take into account is that the few workers you do need will be far less likely to sustain an injury at work, saving you even more money as well as creating a much safer working environment. Since much of the heavy lifting and repetitive work will be carried out by machines, your staff will be at a much lower risk of accidental and repetitive strain injuries.
Reductions in Inventory
Automated warehousing offers possibly the best opportunity for improving your inventory management. Software is available that will make it possible to check your stock every single time a space is emptied, meaning you can always keep your stock levels sensible and well-balanced. This will reduce the risk of over-ordering new stock, improve your purchase management and eradicate the task of the annual stocktake.
Reduced Running Cost
Although obviously an automated warehouse will require a certain amount of capital to set up initially, this cost is justified by the reduction of ongoing operating costs. Standard warehousing costs such as refueling, maintenance, lighting and staffing will all be reduced, saving you a great deal more money in the long run.
For more tips on improving your productivity, check out our blog post on the 5 Best Practices To Improve Your Warehouse Productivity!