The decision to automating product flow often comes with questions as to how it benefits a company. With the rise of e-commerce giants like Amazon, automation becomes a necessity to adapt to new customer standards and remain competitive for many companies. However, just following the flow of the competition isn’t enough of a reason to automate a company’s operations. Automation has to make sense at a financial standpoint of the company.
The focus of this article is to empower you to consider all the possible avenues for cost reduction when looking at the Automation. One of two ways of increasing your ROI for automation, cost reduction is integral for companies to consider when investing into material handling equipment and other forms of product-flow solutions
Whether you’re the warehouse manager or the company president, lowering costs remains as the pinnacle of most of your decisions. Safety concerns, misplaced products, huge labor forces to meet order demands – all of this can begin to stack up against your ability to reduce costs while remaining efficient, productive, and profitable. Companies that employ automated material handling equipment see a combination – if not all – of the effects below:
Increased Productivity – Automation doesn’t always mean removing manual labor entirely. Often times, automation solutions focus on enhancing the product flow, rather than changing it. Pick-to-light and Pick-to-Voice warehousing solutions can easily enhance the efficiency of workers to increase productivity. Speed of the product flow is increased with the use of sortation as workers are able to easily pick in a warehouse inventory with hundreds of SKUs – saving time and money for business operations. Productivity improvements can also be seen in using operational and storage space more effectively, thereby saving companies the cost of additional warehouse space.
Reduced Labor – As productivity improves, the laborers can be specialized into more different zones within the product fulfillment process. However, reducing the labor required for the same amount of work is still a strong cost-saving strategy. In one of McCombs-Wall’s previous cases, the A-frame dispensing units was implemented as an automation solution to low-volume packaged products and resulted in a reduction of 20 staff members picking at one zone to 2 staff members managing the A-frame unit.
Better Energy Solutions – By implementing energy-saving solutions, such as the E-24 low voltage conveyors, companies can see an overall decrease in electrical and other operational costs. With balanced and well-integrated automation solutions, energy costs can be saved even without the need of more expensive green options.
Increased Accuracy– Automation allows for greater accuracy since material handling equipment can provide precision in product flow. For example, companies using Case Packing Robots for product-sortation on pallets will see immense increase utilizing the pallet space properly. Along with time reduction, there will be less errors – fewer misplaced orders and better handled material that can reduce costs immensely for any material-handling company. In many cases, automation can increase a company’s product flow accuracy to 99.5% or higher, eliminating most manual errors from start to finish.
Looking to reduce costs in your current operation? Contact McCombs-Wall to help create your integrated solution. Visit the McCombs-Wall Inc. Website for more information.