The iPhone Health application, location-based advertisements, autonomous cars, automatic car controls—these are all automated product trends
that today’s generations have come to expect and can’t
imagine living without. Similarly, leaders in the material
handling industry are wondering if automation will
continue to revolutionize the way warehouses work now
and for years to come.
Many companies think that without automation,
their company might fall behind their competitors. It’s
no secret that regardless of what kind of products your
warehouse services, the application of automation can
likely make production and distribution processes quicker,
easily repeatable, consistent, and cost-effective. But,
should it always be the next investment?
As technology evolves, the advantages of using
semi- and fully automated solutions to increase
productivity and address the labor shortage are clear.
But, before getting too invested in the latest material
handling trend, there’s a crucial step that must happen
first: optimization. An optimized warehouse creates
more space for product, increases workforce productivity,
and leverages lift trucks for the best suitable task—all of
which ultimately drives cost savings that then can be used
to eventually invest in automation.
Here are a few ways to first optimize your warehouse
and then determine if automation is the best next step
Use Data and Technology
to Establish Baseline Efficiencies
You can’t optimize what you don’t measure. Even the
most advanced technologies can’t make your warehouse
more efficient if you don’t know how to measure,
Optimize Then Automate: Maximizing
Productivity in Your Warehouse
Chris Merta &