Many businesses are struggling with finding and retaining people. Yet most do not fully understand the benefits toward that end from automating their facility and processes. The overall goal every business aims to achieve is to increase their efficiency and profits. Asking certain questions can help determine how beneficial automation can be.
1) How much labor is required for your picking and replenishment operation?
2) What is the value of reclaiming floor space?
3) Are current picking rates fast enough to meet customer demands?
4) How much does a picking mistake cost your business?
5) What if a worker gets ill or injured? How does this slow your operation?
Better Labor Utilization
As far as labor goes, search and travel time is greatly reduced when using an automated storage and picking solution, now known as ‘Goods to Picker’. Having several workers manually picking through racking or shelving can be avoided by requiring only one or two workers handle the same volume by delivering product directly to the operator. When labor is scarce or social distancing requirements are needed, automated storage and picking solutions are a great option.
Reclaim Floor Space
Floor space is extremely pricey. Compared to standard shelving, automated storage solutions can save up to 85% of floor space. Reclaiming this space to expand manufacturing, re-thinking material flow, etc., or increasing storage density will surely lead to an increase in revenue generating activities.
Productivity Using Goods to Person
Picking one order at a time can lead to a worker walking multiple miles a day, wasting most of their shift traveling. With automation, a single worker can pick multiple orders at a time with a process called batching. Using a goods to person delivery wastes no time walking around the facility. Picking speeds can be increased up to 800%.
Avoiding the cost of incorrectly picking an order saves time and money. With light directed picking technology, businesses can achieve extreme pick accuracy rates, up to 99.9%. Keeping up with customer demand by reducing human error and maintaining better inventory control is a win-win.
Safe and Ergonomic Environment
In today’s environment, labor can be scarce in many areas. Finding a reliable replacement is not an easy task. An automated system can reduce needed labor by two-thirds while maintaining pick volume. From an ergonomic and safety perspective, having workers bend or climb ladders to pick product is dangerous. An automated storage solution completely eliminates these issues.
Put Automation to Work
If any of these five points are an issue for your operation, it makes good dollars and sense to consider automating your facility. Consult with an experienced company like Abel Womack to see how you can reduce labor requirements, increase orders fulfillment and accuracy, and improve the bottom line with customized automated solutions.
For more information on this topic, view this report: MMH Report-Making the case for overcoming labor challenges with ASRS solutions