Distribution and fulfillment operations often struggle with their transitions to automation. Many are challenged when deciding when is the right time to change and how to choose the appropriate technologies for their respective business. The good news is that usually your business’ day-to-day operations will tell you.
Let your inventory guide you
One of the first things to consider when making the decision to automate processes is the kind of inventory that you handle. For instance, apparel is easily placed on conveyor systems for picking, packing and shipping. Obviously, larger items like dishwashers and dryers aren’t ideal for that type of system. It helps to start by asking yourself what type of automation technologies might work best with your particular inventory.
Volume of orders
It’s no secret that online shopping is at an all-time high. In 2018, Amazon alone made up 5 percent of all retail sales. Manual pick, pack and ship processes simply can’t keep up with the speed of online sales. If your business is seeing a drastic uptick in the number of daily order volume and picking requirements, automation can help you deliver products to your customers in a timely and accurate manner. The quicker those orders are released for delivery, the happier your customers will be.
Order picking technology
Most of the costs in fulfillment operations are in labor-intensive order picking processes. In fact, 60 percent are associated with the tasks of walking around the facility to find and pick the correct items. Another significant cost is incurred when the wrong item is picked and shipped. Reverse logistics and return shipping costs can end up being very costly. Automating aspects of the order picking process can improve accuracy and significantly lower these costs. There are many technologies on the market that can help and it’s important to understand which combination of technologies is the best solution for the entire operation.
Choosing a solution
If you’ve evaluated the key factors in the decision-making process and decided to look at automated warehouse solutions to improve throughput, accuracy, speed and efficiency, you’ve taken an important step. So, how do you decide which warehouse automation technologies are the best for your operations?
We approach automated warehouse solutions with a “one size does NOT fit all” mentality, and we want to make sure that you invest in the best-fit solutions to meet your business goals. We combine decades of expertise with a wide range of warehouse automation solutions to recommend a personalized set of technologies and processes for each client. Our abilities to conceive an overall automation system and provide technology integration allow our clients to increase efficiency and accuracy and achieve more success.
To learn more and get started, contact us now to request a consultation with an AbeTech Solution Expert.