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A key part of our process – from the initial call through to implementation – is ensuring that the RoI is clearly outlined, the solution is the right one for your goals, and that everyone in your team is excited about using the system.
Warehouse automation isn’t new – from the time the industrial revolution sprung into life in the 1830s, we’ve been looking at ever more ingenious ways to speed up processes, increase efficiency, remove risks and make more profit.
Essentially, almost any technology that takes some of the strain off human employees falls under warehouse automation, and this runs the gamut from finding and sending out purchases through to keeping track on stock levels as it comes in and leaves the facility.
Many warehouse managers who believe they are taking their first steps into automation are instead simply taking the next step on a long and proven journey. This is important to note because one of the things that many warehouse managers are wary of when making their initial enquiries is the fear they’re stepping into the unknown. They raise fears about how the automation will impact their operation, whether it’s worth doing from a cost perspective and how their staff will respond.
All very valid questions of course – but we now have nearly 200 years of experience in streamlining warehouse operations, and we know how to get the most out of the benefits they bring, and how to mitigate any potential drawbacks. Here at RAWview, we specialise in two key elements of the warehousing workflow – inventAIRy XL and summAIRy for stock management, and Cary and Sharko for moving and lifting product and pallets.
So how do these work, and how can it help?
Benefits of warehouse automation
Regardless of the solution being looked at, and the task it’s looking to complete, the benefits are largely the same:
- Increasing efficiency
- Reducing or removing health & safety risks
- Improving your sustainability credentials
- Freeing up staff to focus on more productive tasks
- Improving business critical tasks
Taking our inventAIRy XL solution as an example, we know that the key benefits are:
- Increase of stock take accuracy from around 75% to 99%
- Ability to scan 2000 rack locations in one mission, and perform weeks’ worth of inventory counts in a few days
- Return on investment in under 12 months
- Removal of the need for staff to work at height
- Removal of the need to hire in scissor-lifts
So how does it work?
That depends entirely on the automation you’re looking to implement, but if you’re talking about inventAIRy XL the answer is – easily!
One of the reasons we chose it as our preferred solution is the speed of setup and lack of disruption involved with the implementation. We’ve had systems up and running within one month of the initial phone call, and from there the system will run inventory counts as frequently as you need. The more counts you perform, the more accurate the data you collect, but how often your unit runs its missions will depend on factors such as the size of your warehouse, the speed with which your inventory fluctuates, and – in the case of 3PLS – the demands placed on them by their customers.
It is system agnostic, so it’ll work with any WMS – one more thing you don’t need to worry about.
Other warehouse automation solutions that we offer do require a bit more implementation time, but everything weighs up the initial effort against the end benefits to your operation – and we only offer solutions that deliver value.
It’s about the process, not the technology
When asking ‘how does warehouse automation work’, it’s vital that we ask that from a process perspective as well as a technical one. All the automation in the world won’t fix your problems if it’s not properly planned out, with clear goals, KPIs and buy-in from the team.
A key part of our process – from the initial call through to implementation – is ensuring that the RoI is clearly outlined, the solution is the right one for your goals, and that everyone in your team is excited about using the system. One thing we notice at every install is how many people from other departments come over and comment positively on the solution and how it will change their daily work lives.
By ensuring everyone, at every stage of the operation, sees the benefit of the automation, you’ll increase the chances of success. It also ensures that everyone is aligned on what the automation is looking to achieve, what issues it’s there to solve, and what they can expect the outcome to be.
By highlighting the automation as an investment in solving a key pain point and making everyone’s working lives better, rather than some sort of fix-all or replacement for all your team, you can help make that next step on the automation journey a successful one.
If you want to see what automation in your warehouse could look like, email us or give us a call on 0203 488 4071.
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