Automated systems have become essential to protect your competitiveness and profit margins, and to adapt to the constant pressure to maintain your service level. For warehouses, the benefits of automation, when properly implemented, are undeniable: operational efficiency, cost optimization, labor management and customer satisfaction.
The global warehouse automation market is expected to be worth $30 billion by 2026, which is nearly the double of what it is today. This means that in addition to the benefits of automation, there is also the necessity to keep up with your competitors who are automating to adapt to ever-changing and increasingly competitive markets.
However, the decision to invest is a difficult one. Warehouse automation investments are significant, require the implementation of complex projects and require technical and technological capabilities. It is therefore necessary to find a satisfactory balance between profit expectations and capital risk.
Warehouse automation has certainly become a hot topic, but how do you find the right automation mix for your needs in a market where there’s no such thing as a standard configuration?
To find out more, read three great reasons to enhance your warehouse with robots
There are hundreds of different automation solutions for warehousing, but in order to provide you with a summarized overview, here are the top 10 technologies as defined by McKinsey:
The automation level of your warehouse will depend on your trade, your needs, and your investment capacity. Indeed, depending on the type of goods you sell, you can go for a dark warehouse (100% automatic, so it doesn't need lights, which allows energy savings) or efficiency tools to make operators’ tasks easier. There are an infinite number of combinations that will allow you to optimize your current and future organization with the right balance of profitability and investment.
Once you have defined your needs, the key to choosing the right automation levelis to make a business case for the different combinations. For this, there are some key factors to focus on.
Before investing in automation, you will need to make a business case. There are several strategic factors that need to be considered:
These factors often compete against each other, as well as with overall strategic imperatives and spending priorities within the company. Many businesses opt to consult with an innovative third-party logistics provider to minimize risk and upfront costs while benefitting from the many advantages of automation.
GEODIS offers comprehensive logistics services. With us, you get a proven, reliable and forward-looking logistics partner who will adapt to your needs and use its expertise to invest in the automation that makes things happen.