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Automated Storage & Retrieval Systems – The Future of Material Handling

As a warehouse industry professional, you may have asked yourself the following question. Should you invest in automated storage & retrieval systems? If you want to make your business more flexible, accurate, and reliable, these systems can help. However, that type of efficiency and convenience often requires a substantial investment. To help you decide whether AS/RS is right for your company at this time, let’s take a deeper look at what the technology can do for you.

Human Resources

Automated storage & retrieval systems can reduce your business dependence on human resources. You’ll have the option to reduce the size of your payroll or reallocate your team members to tasks that increase their productivity and profitability.

Either way, as your business evolves, an AS/RS implementation can contain your ongoing human resources requirements. In addition to saving on compensated-related expenses, your company can benefit from reduced employee turnover, recruiting, and training costs.

By minimizing your dependence on human resources, you open new opportunities for your business. For instance, you can reduce overhead by relocating to different geographical location without worrying about the quality of that area’s labor market.

Safety

Workplace incidents can cost your business much in terms of lost productivity, insurance premiums, legal fees, and negative publicity. You can reduce the impact of human errors on your business by implementing AS/RS in your warehouse.

When you use automation to do some of the most dangerous tasks in your facility, you keep your team members out of harm’s way. Furthermore, automated systems can perform repetitive tasks without feeling the effects of boredom and fatigue.

So, by using automation to improve your business work environment, you avoid the repercussions of accidents and have more time to work. In addition to requiring less downtime than people, your automated systems can work longer with less human supervision.

Productivity

By automating your business storage and retrieval operations, you can reduce wasted time, eliminate mistakes, and increase output. Your AS/RS can do similar tasks all day, every day with a high level of accuracy and efficiency.

Personal issues such as health, financial, and relationship problems can cause a person’s productivity to fluctuate. Machines don’t have that type of problem. If you maintain them, they will perform a consistent and predictable amount of work.

Increased productivity also results in improved space utilization. For example, in your warehouse, you can store goods higher than you could before. Such a capability equips your business to accommodate sales growth without requiring a physical expansion.

Inventory Management

An AS/RS can reduce the cost of holding and managing inventory. To begin with, you can reduce the losses your business suffers from mishandling and theft. Furthermore, your system can automatically verify and update inventory locations and levels.

By improving the quality of your inventory management, you can streamline your supply chain to ensure you always have the right goods, materials, and supplies on hand. Consequently, your company can increase its fulfillment rate and speed.

Implementation

You don’t have to simultaneously implement AS/RS for your entire operation. Instead, you can start by creating a hybrid environment where you only automate your most popular product lines. Such an approach can help you and your team learn how to implement automation while mitigating its expense.

As time passes and more financial resources become available, you can implement automation in additional product lines. Such modularity can also help you mitigate the cost of expansion as your company grows.

Ultimately, automated storage & retrieval systems can reduce operating expenses. They can also make your business more efficient and productive. Although you and your team will probably need technical training and effective maintenance procedures, you can expect that AS/RS can create a sustainable competitive advantage that can drive future growth.


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