Warehouse owners are always looking for ways to improve manual handling and storage systems. Automation is often seen as a solution to this issue, but is it right for every warehouse?
Ryan Thompson and Brad Prizer, warehouse experts, recently discussed this issue on the Food Industry Executive website. They agree that automation is not suitable for every warehouse. Ryan Thompson says,
“Depending on the throughput of the factory, sometimes the right level of automation might be none.”
Brad Prizer advises warehouses to perform an analysis of warehouse operations to determine whether automation is feasible. Some warehouse layouts are more suitable for automation. For example, if goods travel long distances, automated movement systems can be beneficial.
If full automation is not the best solution to improve warehouse efficiency, partial automation could be the answer. For instance, if floor space is limited, install taller racks, and reduce the space between aisles. Goods can still be picked and stored manually, but warehouse management systems can guide warehouse staff to precise item locations.
According to Ryan Thompson, one mistake that warehouses make is isolating automated systems in one area that is not integrated into the rest of the operations.
Rather than investing in expensive automated systems, it may be better to consult a warehouse equipment supplier about new racking systems that optimize storage space. If the business is forecast to grow, order more picking trolleys and add packing stations. Look at how the efficiency of existing staff can be improved before recruiting more workers.Get a free quote