Business is cyclical, always has been and always will be. The reasons for the cycles vary. Sometimes the reason is the overall economy, the actions of the Federal Reserve, the stock market, or the political environment. I never thought in my lifetime it would be a global pandemic!
The good news is that after this last year’s slow down, pent up and new demand are prolific. It is bouncing back so well that some sectors are experiencing labor shortages. For some companies, business remained intact or improved significantly! In many of my past blogs I have talked about using automation as a force multiplier to make your best employees even more productive and happy. In addition, automation can be used to get the most out of your existing infrastructure.
Rev up your operation
Here are a few of the more pertinent points when considering automation as a means to increasing productivity and space utilization in your operation.
- Goods to Person order picking systems save time, improve throughput, and often save space.
- Employ semi – automated and automated systems to change the way you fill customers’ orders to save labor and, many times, space at the same time. Pick to Light technology makes training new associates (if you can find them) much easier and more productive.
- Vertical storage systems save space therefor freeing up that space for more revenue generating activities.
- Move your raw material storage closer to the manufacturing process by utilizing the vertical space in your building.
- Leveraging your existing resources like buildings and people with automation can produce very nice ROIs. Look into using intralogistics software to manage your existing inventory more efficiently to free up resources.
- Retain the high value associates you have now by utilizing modern technology. Prospective employees are often looking for forward thinking companies.
The fact is that the pandemic accelerated a lot of trends in the world today, mostly positive. If you are a business that has been experiencing some of the positive effects of these accelerations, now is a time to check your approach. Make sure you have employed or are at least considering the new technologies that are readily available. They are much more affordable today than you might think.
Lastly, confirm that your future plans will allow you to be flexible for the next cyclical catalyst. Who knows what it will be the next time, a traffic jam in the Suez Canal? Oh yeah, that already happened!