Blog Posts How Automation & Robotics Can Help Your Operations Scale

Your business is growing and evolving, but are you prepared to accommodate sudden shifts in demand? Advanced fulfillment technologies can help to improve operational agility.

Today, robotics can offer considerable flexibility for warehousing and fulfillment operations, says Saddle Creek’s vice president of operations, Brian Mattingly, in his latest blog for Multichannel Merchant.

Many are relatively quick to deploy and can scale based on order volume, adjusting to handle temporary fluctuations or long-term growth, he explains. Infrastructure can be added gradually to support velocity. And much of the technology is relocatable, so you can simply move the robots to a larger facility if you outgrow your space.

One general rule applies across the board: start with the simplest solution that can meet your needs and layer in technology that allows you to scale and flex quickly.

Following is an excerpt from the blog…

Warehouse Automation: Improving Agility

When adding warehouse automation or robotics, start by laying the proper groundwork: defining current and future needs based on your order profile, and investing in the right systems (WMS, OMS, WES) to support them.

Anticipate factors that may increase your need for operational flexibility: growth forecasts, potential spikes in order volume due to promotions or peak selling periods, expansion into new markets or sales channels, etc. Then, research your options.

While the optimal automation or robotics solution design will be different for every fulfillment operation, one general rule applies across the board. Start with the simplest solution that can meet your needs and layer in technology that allows you to scale and flex quickly.

The possible applications are endless. Here are just a few scenarios:

  • Do you need to process orders faster to meet SLAs?  Print and apply shipping labels during the pick process using mobile printing technology.
  • Is your product heavy or cumbersome?  Equip associates with voice picking headsets for faster, hands-free picking.
  • Do you anticipate a high volume of holiday orders?  Make plans to rent AMRs for peak season.
  • Is your warehouse bursting at the seams year-round?  Install a goods-to-person solution to maximize storage density.
  • Have thousands of outbound packages?  Utilize a mechanized sorting system to automatically sort by carrier and level of service.

To learn more about adding warehouse automation or robotics, read the full article on Multichannel Merchant.

Related to: Automation & Robotics, Fulfillment Technology, Managing Growth, Selling Online