Now and then, everyone is talking about warehouse automation these days. Yes, this is the one subject that is gaining wide attention in recent years. Organising a warehouse for the customers and eCommerce companies is itself a much-complicated task. For improved operations, innovation in robotics and technology is collaborating to help businesses automate their warehouse processes. In general, the goal is to integrate both hardware and software components to reach the best results for warehouse management. Sounds interesting, isn’t it? This blog will discuss how to implement warehouse automation systems, their advantages, best practices, and the current automation trends.
Understanding Warehouse Automation System
In today’s environment, our primary focus is to automate every industry with a touch of technology. Especially after the severe impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is foremost important to improve the efficiency of the supply chain. Thus, one such evolution in the world of warehousing is automation systems. Furthermore, before understanding the advantages, practices, and trends of automation, let’s first understand the term warehouse automation. As you could probably guess, warehouse automation is the integration of AI and robotics into different sorts of inventory operations taking place in the warehouse. With various automation practises, businesses are advancing their labour-intensive roles that involve repetitive physical inputs and lots of data analysis work. As a result, warehouse automation involves the use of AI technology to replace human tasks.
Benefits of Warehouse Automation System
Automation is commonly attributed to higher productivity, efficient material usability, improved product quality, better safety, reduced working hours, and fewer workforce inputs. Besides all these multiple advantages of warehouse automation, here we are listing some of the key points. Next, have a quick check.
- Improved Speed: Undoubtedly, warehouse automation is accelerating the speed of entire warehouse operations. Excluding the human labour and automating the various tasks has made the overall operative functions quicker to process.
- Maximised Space: Since the robots and automation systems have stepped up into operation, the inventory and stocks are regularly checked and arranged at proper storage places. Consequently, there is no unnecessary mess and huge floor space in the warehouse. Moreover, RFID, standing for Radio Frequency Identification, is one such example of automation systems.
- Accurate Counts: Is it possible to believe manual counting over automated counting? Well, not really. With barcode/RFID products used for counting, the process has become simple, quick, and much more precise. In addition, there is less probability of filling incorrect entries in the inventory data.
- Labour Safety: Safety and security are crucial factors considered for the human workforce at warehouses. AI-operated machines are capable of doing most of the difficult and fatal tasks with much greater ease. Hence in this way, workforce automation leads to improved security and shorter work hours for the labour.
Lets Implement Warehouse Automation Systems
With time travelling, the role of warehouses has become prominent in the supply chain. Modern warehouses have built up the foundation to provide business-critical, cost-saving functions and valuable customer experiences. But are the business owners aware of the various automation practices they must follow for the best warehouse? Now, let’s head over to the next blog section that highlights the best practices to implement warehouse automation systems.
- Add WMS to your Warehouse: Owning a warehouse is not just enough. Always ensure to add WMS features to your system in order to manage inventory controls, track inventory, monitor and report on labour expense, and automate all kinds of dashboard tasks.Know what WMS is: Warehouse Management System or WMS is a central solution that manages all the day-to-day logistics operations for any business. The software keeps track of goods inventory and the various supply chain operations.
- Opt a Scalable Solution: Your business should adopt a technology that accounts for scalability in future warehouses, employees, equipment and new supply chain partnerships worldwide.
- Centralised Data Collection: In the initial phases, it is quite difficult to estimate the automation goals for your business. However, it is always recommended to choose a solution that is capable of cloud data collection, exchange and secure storage. Utilising an automated solution helps in eliminating human errors mostly involved in database operations.
- Perform Regular Cycle Counts: Cycle counts is one of the key features of WMS. Ideally, business owners should continuously monitor existing and regular additions made to the data inventory. With the help of automated data collection, it becomes easy to avoid any inventory discrepancies.
- Analysing Warehouse Design: Some of the automation systems have a strict quotation for warehouse layout and ample spaces to be successful. In actuality, one must rework the design of existing warehouses and distribution centres. This helps them to optimise their automation solution within budget.
Most of the workers fear that introduction to automated systems will replace them and kill their jobs in the future. However, the fact is somewhat different. With the addition of the warehouse automation system, the life and jobs of everyone working there will be saved. Be it labour, foreman, or the company owner; all will be equally benefited. All the stressful and repetitive tasks are handled through automated devices while the workers can freely focus on more value-added activities. As warehouse automation is growing so fast, the various automation trends are changing the face of the warehouse industry in 2021. Let’s put some light on the RFID and barcode trends in the warehouse automation industry.
Tracking inventory in and out of warehouse
Today’s evolving market is giving unlimited automation opportunities to companies. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is one of the digital automation trends for warehouses. Generally, in the first attempt, it is hard to understand RFID capabilities for any system. This is an IoT based technology that attaches an RFID tag to individual products and packages (in the form of pallets) to easily track their location at a given point in time. Once everything in your warehouse is traceable, you can achieve great visibility into your inventory.
In short words, the moving inventory products should be communicating with each other so as to keep all things on the same page. This is how automation makes inventory operations smoother and under control. Majorly, RFID is used for receiving goods, maintaining inventory, and shipping to the end-user. Additionally, an RFID reader can be easily set up to scan the individual or entire pallet of goods down to the item level. Besides that, the RFID station scans the inventory items and verifies them against the order quantity, customer order number. Thus RFID can be used to validate the item authenticity before sending it to the final customer.
Increasing the value of inventory data
Another game-changer trend in the automation industry is barcode scanning. The technology nowadays is used for fulfilling the ongoing demands of same-day shipping. However, if we talk about the primary benefit of barcode scanners, they are used throughout the warehouse processes. Each of the steps involves the use of a barcode reader or scanner from picking to shipment. Most importantly, barcode scanning saves a lot of time and helps in the accurate entry of data. Moreover, all this valuable data derived from the scanning process plays a crucial role in developing big data analytics solutions. Remember, all the valuable information from daily operations improves the quality of data-driven decisions in your warehouse system.
Final thoughts with Technowave’s solution
Practically, we are rolling digital counterparts for everything we are dealing with in day to day lives. So, why skip the warehouses then? Conventional warehouses are set out of trend because of the old and traditional practices used in executing inventory activities. Therefore, warehouse automation can guarantee huge profits and the overall growth of organisations. With the wave of mad technology, let’s renew every business process using an automated warehouse system.
Warehouse automation using easyTRACK warehouse management brings you tremendous potential and a huge evolution in modern warehouse management. It’s not just about storing goods in one place. Improving the customer buying experience is the ultimate goal of such automated systems. This easyTRACK warehouse automation software helps with the various warehouse operations in the most smooth, organised, and modest way. Gone are the days when managing a warehouse was fatigue as a whole. Now, anyone can implement warehouse automation systems and handle various business operations on tips.