Automation is transforming industries around the globe, and the use of automation in the warehouse holds great potential for small and mid-sized businesses(SMBs). While different levels of automation exist, today’s smaller companies do not necessarily understand how automation could benefit their organizations. In addition, automation has been made synonymous with robotic operations and a complete loss of the human workforce. That is simply not true, and supply chain managers, especially in the SMB space, need to understand how automation truly levels the playing field.
A core problem with automation is the relative infancy of the technology. Compared to the existing warehouse management system (WMS) functions, warehouse automation is a supply chain bomb. It’s completely changing how basic operations continue, and as explained by Engineering.com, automation is valuable across every industry. Take manufacturing. A machine performs up to 10% of all manufacturing activities, and that statistic is expected to grow to 25% by 2025.
Additional challenges and barriers to implementation of automation still exist for small businesses, including:
The characteristics of automation in modern supply chain management are surrounded by myth and perception. Yes, a hasty implementation could wipe out your data stores, put customers information at risk, result in excessive downtime, and dramatically increase time to return on investment. However, automation through modern technologies, such as cloud-based micro-services, can allow supply chain leaders in the SMB sector to develop, test, and launch new automated capabilities, reducing risk of data loss or breach.
The benefits and key features of modern, automated systems are easy to understand. They include:
Automation can effectively level the playing field for SMBs. According to HighJump, the global logistics and warehousing automation market were once limited to the largest corporations. Now, advancements have given rise to new systems that are designed to serve businesses of any size. This unmatched level of scalability is why automation is the most critical factor in modern warehouse management.
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