Warehouse automation first became known in 1953, with the first automated storage and retrieval system saw the light of day in the 1960s. Today, with the expanse of e-commerce, warehouse automation is more and more important. It is one of the ways you can grow your business to new heights. Almost all top packers and movers in Saudi Arabia have transferred to automated warehousing solutions, to great effects. The benefits of warehouse automation are numerous, and you need to take a look at them. Simple as that. Automation is now readily accessible to small businesses, with lower purchase prices, and variable scaling options. But you are here to find out how exactly it can enhance your business operations. Let’s get into it.
Three main benefits of warehouse automation
While the benefits are largely dependant on the type and nature of your business, there are several important ones that can benefit every business, no matter the type. They are:
- Reduced warehousing costs
- Much greater efficiency, as well as accuracy
- Maximizing your storage space
When it comes to automation, there are two main things that it applies to. The decision-making process and the goods moving process. You have several options to choose from. There’s picking automation which transforms a process that is repetitive, time-consuming, and error-prone into a system with much greater accuracy and efficiency. Then there is the scanning automation which will keep tabs on your inventory for you. Needless to say, this is one of the most efficient automation you can acquire. After that, you can go with automated guided vehicles, inventory automation, as well as back-office automation. Alternatively, you can find a warehouse for rent in Jeddah that combines some of these already. It all depends on your current situation, after all.
If you choose to go the automation route, the main benefits will be yours for the taking. You will be able to benefit from:
Reduced warehousing costs
One of the most important benefits of warehouse automation is reducing the cost of your warehouse operations. This automation can drastically reduce the need for manual labor, optimizing your business processes. For example, a smart warehouse that deploys around 60 robots reduces human labor by as much as 70%. Now, before you think that all those robots are extremely expensive, realize that they can work overtime without any additional cost. Therefore, if you have a high volume of goods going in and out of your warehouse, this is definitely something to consider. While you can always rent a warehouse in Saudi Arabia and not have to worry about automation, having your own storage space is always preferable. And if you augment it with automation, it can bring you quite a lot of money.
But this is just one of the benefits that automation brings. We have two more main ones for you to check out. Next up, you will be able to enjoy:
Much greater efficiency, as well as accuracy
To be perfectly honest, the human mind is far from ideal. People tend to forget things, where they are located, etc. The situation is exacerbated when you have thousands of items to locate. Furthermore, finding the optimal route for these items can be difficult, even for a trained professional. The fact of the matter is that machines do this job better. Not in every case, mind you, but in most warehousing tasks machines are optimal. That is simply how it all works.
According to The Essentials of Supply Chain Management, by Hokey Min, most companies increase their productivity by as much as 25% by using automation. Furthermore, their space utilization (more on that soon) increases by 10-20%. Lastly, these companies enjoy a 15-30% reduction in safety stock due to the transfer from a paper system to an automated one. In fact, most relocation services now use automated methods to bring the best ratio of price and quality to their customers. Every industry can benefit from warehouse automation, after all.
An example of a warehouse automation
The main example here is Amazon. They have a “chaotic” storage system, where their products are stored wherever there is space. There is no categorization whatsoever. But this is only possible due to their heavy use of warehouse automation. They utilize intelligent algorithms and barcode labels, alongside robots, to retrieve the products and put them into the picker’s hands. This maximizes the warehouse space, reduces picking errors, and optimizes the routes, while also maintaining flexibility.
One of the most important benefits of warehouse automation – Maximizing your storage space
Speaking of maximizing warehouse space, this is one of the most important aspects of automation, closely tied with cost reduction. Space is a finite resource, after all, and you need to be mindful when using it. Automation helps you in this process and makes sure that you are making the most out of the space you have available. You will be able to all but eliminate the need for wide aisles for people and vehicles if you are using robots to go through the warehouse for you.
Now, this is generally optimal in the case of large-volume shipments. But you can use automation to move your inventory up, utilizing all the vertical space in your warehouse. The benefit of machines doing the work is that they can be a lot safer and faster than humans. In fact, according to some research data, the facilities that utilize automation use up about 40% less space than traditional warehouses.
And the last one of the benefits of warehouse automation is that is friendlier for the environment. By reducing the physical footprint, energy consumption, as well as waste, your warehouse can be a lot more eco-friendly. An example of this is that machines do not need bright light to do their work, which means that there is less warehouse lighting required. You may think that this is inconsequential. But if you multiply that by the number of warehouses that exist, it soon becomes readily apparent.