Automation of the warehouse will aid in addressing issues including labor shortages, insufficient warehouse space, and ineffective inventory management. The demand for warehousing services and warehouse robotics is likely to rise as online retail sales of tangible products surpass $500 billion. More than 90% of warehouse owners and managers say that in order to successfully balance the need for more services and space with the challenge of finding and keeping a qualified personnel to fulfill demand, cost-cutting measures are essential. It can be more expensive to ignore these trends than to automate your warehouse. Modern warehouses place more of an emphasis on value-added services, order customisation, and quick flow-through procedures that stage products in accordance with just-in-time inventory principles than they do on traditional storage functions. Modern warehouse automation systems have come with inclusion of advanced technologies and digitalisation which tremendously set the dynamic trends of the following.
Robot as Service (Robotics) - In the first quarter of 2022, investments in warehouse robotics companies surged by 57% to more than $380 million. In a post-pandemic economy and in places like Japan and USA where there is a shortage of workers, the tendency will continue to gain traction.
Supply Chain as Service- To meet the demand for adaptable warehouse operations and automated technology like autonomous robots, warehouse service-based businesses are expanding. Manufacturers and service providers that sell automated equipment and systems are being challenged by businesses that provide subscription-based, full-service automated warehouse solutions.
Cobotics- Cobotics is the term for human-robot collaboration (cooperation and robotics forms cobotics). Cobots, which are robots made to collaborate with people, do not take the position of people in the workplace. AMRs are cobots used in warehouse automation that can scan their surroundings. By detecting changes in its 360-degree range of vision, this cobot AMR can prevent collisions with people and human-operated equipment and can drive backward safely when necessary.
Blockchain Technology- Blockchain technology is a safe automated network that uses cryptography to establish data transfers in blocks on a public digital ledger, however it is still in its infancy. Because of the sophisticated data authentication, validation, and transparency offered by blockchain technology, these processes have an impact on warehouse operations and inventory management. With shared data storage available to everyone within the secure network, blockchain databases could enable every stakeholder in complex supply chains to connect and exchange permanent, automatic records for every transaction done.
Autonomous Mobile Robot - Companies that use AGV and AGR-powered GTP systems. The fleets of autonomous robots can fill mobile shelving units with stock and move them to predetermined destinations. As a result, employees can pick orders with little walking and activity.
Beginning with calculating your estimated ROI in ecommerce fulfillment can help you decide if warehouse automation is appropriate for your company. Calculate the budget, taking into account any anticipated annual increases, for the current warehouse workforce and equipment. The expense of recruiting and training new personnel should also be taken into account as you determine your typical warehouse staff turnover rate. Now, calculate the cost of the new automated systems and equipment, taking into account projected labor and cost savings, implementation and training costs, and continuing maintenance costs. In order to get the expected minimum ROI for warehouse automation, compare these numbers one last time.