Automation is everywhere. From the now ubiquitous self-service supermarket checkouts to the almost- but- not- quite-there -yet presence on our streets of driverless cars, it’s fast becoming part of our everyday lives.
When it comes to the warehouse, automation has been heralded as the Next Big Thing. But is it for everyone? Whilst some companies will undoubtedly benefit from full automation, others who have jumped on the automation bandwagon find they have wasted their money.
These are some of the findings that Dexion, a market leader in storage solutions, revealed in their recently published White Paper. Warehouse automation: Who needs it?
The paper examines the challenges faced by our industry and how to decide whether automation is right for you. It identifies the key factors that have contributed to the perception that automation is the answer which include the move towards using technology to counter labour issues such as skills shortages and how the rise in retirement ages has affected the aging workforce. It also explores the effect of the introduction of a minimum wage across Europe, and gives examples of how much – or how little - this has driven interest in automation in a number of countries. The paper goes on to explain the pros and cons of full automation, the barriers to it and suggests an alternative: semi-automation.
Dexion discovered that there are a variety of different reasons why companies are choosing semi- or partial automation. Whilst the financial aspect cannot be ignored- it can cost up to £8m to implement a fully-automated warehouse, other factors come into play not least of which is that it can be the perfect solution- using technology to make the physical aspect of the human job easier.
The White Paper is free to download on the link below.