Warehouse automation might seem like a fairly mundane subject, but the fact is that it has revolutionized many aspects of our daily life. None of the companies that do instant, on-demand deliveries could function effectively without it, so let’s take a deeper dive into what the advantages of warehouse automation are and why they’re so vital.
First, though, we’ll do a simple definition: what is warehouse automation, exactly?
Simply put, it’s the process of automating everything that happens in a warehouse so that basic tasks are performed without human intervention.
These tasks include loading boxes, tracking inventory, monitoring assembly lines, and so on. It involves using both robots and software, and it’s become vital to the smooth operation of most warehouses. The advantages of warehouse automationare essential, so let’s continue by breaking them down a bit.
Of all the advantages of warehouse automation, this is perhaps the biggest one. The proper use of warehouse automation can often whittle down basic operations that take hours to minutes. These time savings are vital to warehouse owners, the businesses they serve, and the customers who buy their products on the back end.
If time savings is at the top of the advantage list, cost control comes in a close second. Every operation in a warehouse that you streamline saves dollars in production, the packaging process, and deliveries. For warehouses in businesses with a small margin, these cost savings can mean the difference between making a profit and not having a business at all.
Eliminating the Paper Trail
Most people conjure up images of robots and machines when they think of warehouse automation, but the software is just as important for many and even more significant for specialized warehouses.
The ability to track inventory, deliveries, packaging, and processing via software saves time and money, and it allows a level of efficiency that simply wouldn’t be possible with paper tracking and monitoring. In fact, inventory management systems were one of the top warehouse automation trends of the past year. There’s no denying just how useful this type of software can be.
Fatigue and Injuries
It’s safe to say that most warehouse tasks are repetitive, and anyone who’s ever worked in a warehouse environment knows how quickly mind-numbing fatigue can set in.
That fatigue often leads to injuries, and injuries are expensive. They take vital workers out of action, and the medical costs associated with treating and healing these injuries can put a warehouse out of business.
Automation can prevent most of those injuries from happening, and they also minimize the fatigue that often leads to mistakes on the assembly line or at the loading docks. A lot of planning goes into this, not to mention some serious costs. But most warehouse owners would agree that automation that keeps workers safe is worth every penny they spend.