Warehouse Automation: A Complete Guide
In recent years, pretty much every sector has implemented automation in their operations to improve their workflow and reduce the overall operational cost. Warehouse automation is another process that automates the operations of a warehouse with intelligent tools and machines. Various big giants of the global market have integrated robots to minimize manual labor costs, enhance productivity, and reduce errors.
Warehouse automation delivers extreme feasibility to the users by combining heavy machinery and programmable logic. The most important thing about warehouse automation services is that they minimize human intervention and are perfectly capable of running the entire process by themselves.
In current times, the systems are available at a low price as compared to previous years and are more powerful due to the amalgamation of next-gen technologies such as AI, ML, IoT, and more. If you are thinking of automating your warehouse to save labor cost, operational cost, reduce error, and more, this is a perfect time. In this blog, we will discuss the process of warehouse automation in brief.
- Warehouse automation includes various processes such as robot integration, inventory control, and more.
- As per a recent study, the valuation of warehouse automation services will cross the mark of 37.6 billion US dollars by the year 2030.
- Process Automation can definitely enhance your ROI and the productivity of the process.
- Good-to-person involves the integration of robots and other machines that bring the goods or the materials to the employees on an assembly line or a packing line.
- After implementing automation, it may be possible that you need to change the performance indicators of your business.
What is Warehouse Automation?
Introducing automation in the mundane processes of warehouse management can be described as warehouse automation. It can be implemented in various ways; one of the most popular yet expensive ways is the traditional method which involves conveyor belts, queuing systems, and automated sortation.
It includes various processes such as robot integration, inventory control, and more. Automation does not mean that it will take up the jobs from the market; instead, it is aimed to develop an error-free and seamless warehouse management process. With efficient warehouse automation software, businesses can simply optimize the workflow, enhance the order delivery system, enhance revenue generation, and more. Let’s get an idea about the working of warehouse management software.
How Does Warehouse Automation Work?
Warehouse automation can be done in multiple ways with a long list of technologies to choose from. It works by automating the tasks of the warehouse. It includes the use of sensors and barcode scanners. If implemented properly, a warehouse works like clockwork with efficient inventory management software.
If the tasks of a warehouse are done manually, it always runs the risk of delayed orders, which results in rising operational costs. With an efficient warehouse management system, businesses can easily manage their warehouse tasks and get their order delivery streamlined.
These systems are perfectly capable of alerting the business when the stocks are low, keeping an efficient count of the inventory items, keeping track of the orders sent and received, and more.
Market Views on Warehouse Automation
Despite the recent developments in technologies around the world, more than 80 percent of the warehouses are not automated and losing money on various parameters that are not necessary. As per a recent study, the valuation of warehouse automation services will cross the mark of 37.6 billion US dollars by the year 2030. Let’s take a look at the warehouse automation stats derived from the global market trends.
Warehouse Automation Stats Derived from the Global Market Trends Today, the average size of a warehouse is 180,000 square feet as compared to the average size of 65,000 square feet in the year 2000. The retail inventory is merely correct only 63 percent of the time. The average warehouse capacity utilization around the world is around 68 percent. The asking rent of warehouses across the world is increasing.
Types of Warehouse Automation
Warehouse automation has a diverse variety in terms of operations. Before starting in the domain, you should have an affirmation about the types of warehouse automation your business needs to be implemented. In the current market, there are a number of warehouse automation that can be implemented to enhance the productivity and revenue generation rate. Here are a few types of warehouse automation prevailing in the market.
1. Process Automation
Process automation can be described as a strategy to automate manual processes such as inventory management. This process can be compared to SaaS as it has similar features. It works on similar features and processes such as tracking data with the help of wireless barcodes scanners and transmitting it to the mother software of the warehouse.
2. Physical Automation
The process of this type of automation refers to the automation of all the hardware present in the warehouse. However, physical automation can be extremely expensive as it consists of installing robots and other automation devices. Despite the high price, this process can definitely enhance your ROI and the productivity of the process. It can be compared easily to RaaS (Robotics as a Service) because of the similarity.
There are various types of warehouse automation when it comes to implementation. It is important for businesses to know what kind of infrastructure they have and what type of automation can be easily implemented on the same. Here are some practical types of warehouse automation.
3. Goods-to-Person Warehouse Automation
As the name suggests, this type of automation brings the goods to the person assigned to the task of retrieving them. The process involves the integration of robots and other machines that bring the goods or the materials to the employees on an assembly line or a packing line. In short, it consists of storage automation, retrieval systems, and conveyor belts.
4. Automated Sortation Systems
These are the systems that are used to automate the organization process of a warehouse. The machines integrated into the system allow your business to automatically sort the items as per their type, priority, and more. Automated sortation system solutions help businesses to get the right product at the right place at the right time within a warehouse, making the process easier for your business.
5. Pack-to-Light Systems
A big warehouse has its own challenges in locating a particular item. Pack to light systems use LED lights and barcode scanners to easily guide the person to the item’s location or the item to the person. In eCommerce businesses, the pack to light system is extremely beneficial as it reduces the walking downtime to the product and makes the process of shipping seamlessly.
6. Mobile Robots
This type of warehouse automation is extremely beneficial but expensive. It consists of setting up mobile robots in the warehouse for various purposes such as picking, shelving, sorting, etc. These systems are pretty efficient in doing certain tasks that are important from the warehouse management point of view, such as alerting staff for restocking, conducting inventory counts, and more.
7. Voice Tasking
Voice tasking is an efficient kind of warehouse automation solution as it allows the employees of the warehouse to communicate efficiently while they are on the job. It effectively enhances the communication between the team and results in extreme productivity.
How can You Automate Your Warehouse?
Warehouse automation requires strategic planning and a lot of preparation to get the perfect results. The first step is to lay out a plan about the process, the goals to be achieved, and the stakeholders to be involved. The next step is to find a perfect development partner that helps you in creating the perfect warehouse management system and optimizing your workflow. To make the process easier, we have divided the process into simple steps. Let’s take a look at the steps to automate your warehouse.
1. Gather a Team
You may be operating in any business, but not everyone is an expert in automating a warehouse. Decide the number of people you will need to include in the planning process, such as your stakeholders, investors, and more. The next step in gathering a team is to find the right experts for the job. It may be possible that you may be experiencing a technology skill gap; in order to fill that gap, you can decide on hiring experts from a development company. Once you have gathered the perfect team, you are ready for the next step.
2. Collect Key Data Sets
Developing a plan requires critical sets of data about the process. Collect as much data as you can about your warehouse and the fields it is lacking, such as order delivery, inventory management, and more. Once you find a development partner for your warehouse automation software, discuss these data sets in detail to derive an efficient solution. These data sets will also help in keeping track of the progress of the business before and after the automation.
3. Examine Your Inventory Control
Inventory plays an important role in the success and overall business operations of an enterprise. Define your inventory controls and find out the fields where automation will contribute towards its growth. List down all the things about your current inventory process, such as purchasing, stocking, inventory loss, customer satisfaction rate, and more. After implementing automation, it may be possible that you need to change the performance indicators of your business. Evaluate these parameters, and the effect automation will bring to the process.
4. Know the Type of Warehouse Automation Software Your Business Needs
Every warehouse or any business needs a different type of solution that is designed perfectly as per the needs. Determine the type of warehouse automation your business needs as per the data sets that have been collected in the previous steps, whether you want to automate the inventory management, the communication between employees, robotic automation, or more. Keeping a clear goal helps in simplifying the development process further.
5. Develop and Implement a Warehouse Management System
A warehouse automation software helps in developing a strategic process that simplifies the working flow of that business and reduces human intervention, which ultimately reduces errors. Ask your development partner to develop a mobile application for your warehouse automation that can be easily accessible and enhance the reach of your business. An efficient warehouse automation software will help your business in developing new ways to enhance productivity and the customer satisfaction rate. Once the warehouse automation software has been developed, implement it perfectly to make the process work like clockwork.
Ready to Develop Your Warehouse Automation Software With Matellio?
Warehouse automation is taking the global market by storm as it easily enhances the productivity and workflow of businesses. Any business with a supply chain would require an efficient inventory management system to deliver the order on time and enhance the brand value through a great customer satisfaction rate. In this fast-moving world, everyone needs their product delivered to them as soon as possible. With warehouse automation software, your business can claim your customer’s heart and enhance the revenue stream.
Matellio has been developing efficient software and mobile applications for more than a decade. Our team of experts and dedicated developers have a wide experience of next-technologies and are ready to develop the perfect solutions for your business. Our flexible hiring models keep your budget in check and allow you to develop custom solutions. Discuss your unique idea of warehouse automation software over a 30-min free consultation call today!