Warehouse automation is automating the movement of inventory into, within, and out of warehouses to customers with minimal human assistance. As part of an automation project, a business can eliminate labor-intensive duties that involve repetitive physical work and manual data entry and analysis by incorporating industrial packaging equipment into their warehouse processes.
Warehouse automation does not require physical or robotic automation, and in many cases, refers to the use of software to replace manual tasks. However, this scenario illustrates how robots and humans work together to accomplish repetitive tasks while minimizing fatigue and injury.
Are you wanting to get started with warehouse automation but don’t know where to start? Follow this simple five-step plan:
1) Create an Implementation Team
To begin with, create a committee of internal stakeholders who have expertise on current warehouse performance, capabilities and challenges, and understand existing technology gaps. Consider adding third-party automation experts who know about supply chain automation and have experience relative to your industry and warehouse operations.
2) Start to Collect Critical Data
Successful warehouse automation relies on data about your existing supply chain and business-critical warehouse operations. Before implementing new automation technology, evaluate your current data collection process and infrastructure. You’ll want to assign ownership of data migration to skilled IT stakeholders.
3) Evaluate Your Inventory Controls
Inventory control is at the core of warehouse operations. Before implementing a warehouse automation solution, determine or refine your standard operating procedures for inventory control. Include SOPs for purchasing, shipping, receiving, customer satisfaction, and inventory loss. Define the key performance indicators to measure the success of automated inventory control processes and procedures.
4) Implement a Warehouse Management System
Warehouse Management System (WMS) platforms feature software modules that help control and track inventory, manage warehouse operations, reduce labor costs associated with manual tasks, and improve customer service. A modern WMS supports mobile devices and should be able to work with your existing enterprise software.
5) Determine Which Warehouse Automation Suits You Best
Determining the type of warehouse automation that aligns with goals and customer demand is essential. Finding out your purpose is the first step before deciding which type of warehouse operations that you’ll be tapping into. Whether if your goal is to use automation to streamline manual data entry and reduce labor costs associated with back-office accounting, or if you’re expanding your warehouse footprint, it’s always a good idea.
There are numerous benefits to warehouse automation, and if you have been thinking about automating your warehouses for some time, this is your sign to start! Warehouse automation can help you cut down some steps in handling goods, which translates to saving on labor and saving money.
Companies should recognize that automating their warehouses will bring the best bang for the buck. If you are on the lookout for good automated packaging equipment, such as open mouth bag filler, bulk bag filling machine, or wrapping pallets that fulfill your manufacturing needs, feel free to reach out to Aurora Process and book a free, on-site consultation today.