While it can be tempting to consider warehouse automation as the automatic solution to meet demand and reduce costs as with any major change to your supply chain the adoption of any new warehouse technology needs careful consideration.
The main causes for warehouse automation project failures tend to include:
- poor planning and delegation
- inappropriate selection of technology
- unforeseen changes in the market
Successful warehouse automation projects need continuous attention throughout the whole of the project. However, where you focus this attention will change as the project develops from challenging the design and equipment to operational planning and management.
Warehouse Automation Project Pitfalls
Once an automation project has been given the go ahead often responsibility tends to be passed to the operation team. This team then needs to allocate budgets and negotiate with a host of suppliers.
It is at this point problems can start as equipment vendors all want to promote the benefits of their systems, but might be less concerned about whether their products are the right fit for your company. A critical approach coupled serious due diligence can help ensure the right systems are selected.
Having a long-term view is essential as any solutions need to still be relevant and beneficial years into the future. Be aware that unexpected changes to a business’s market, customer base, product range or demand can suddenly make a warehouse automation system ineffective.
Key Equipment Questions
- What are the limitations of the equipment/system?
- What can it deliver now – and what are the boundaries of its capabilities in the future?
- Will the adoption of this system have an impact on other elements of the supply chain?
Expert Support with Warehouse Automation Projects
Planning and implanting successful warehouse projects can be a complex and demanding process so it’s no surprise that even the largest companies realise they can benefit from the support and advice of experienced logistics and supply chain consultants with expertise in warehouse and distribution centre projects.
Total Logistics works with a wide range companies across multiple sectors to improve their logistics and supply chain operations including warehouse projects covering warehouse design, layout and automation.
Visit Total Logistics: http://www.total-logistics.com/