Warehouse automation is a process wherein you automate inventory movement within and outside of the warehouse. As a result of a warehouse automation project, businesses are able to eliminate or reduce labor-intensive duties. However, warehouse automation does not entirely require biological or robotic automation. In such cases, it would simply refer to the use of software to replace the manual tasks that a worker does.
Warehouse Automation Tips 3PLs Should Adopt
What is a 3PL?
3PL, also known as “Third-Party Logistics,” is the service that allows you to outsource operational logistics from warehousing through to delivery. In fact, 3PL allows you to focus on other parts of your business. Third-party logistic companies can provide any number of services that involve the logistics of the supply chain. This includes transportation, warehousing, picking and packaging, order fulfillment, packaging, and freight forwarding.
Tips for Third-Party Logistics
Adapting to New Changes
As generations pass, every business and operation goes through phases of change. That is why you should be ready to adapt to new workflow changes with the help of warehouse automation. A great example of this is when operating the inventory.
Without automation technology, warehouse teams manually operate the inventory without advance notice or expectation of the inventory to be included in the delivery. In fact, warehouse teams must count and consistently keep track of every task and process by serial number and lot number. Workers must then write it all down or type it into a spreadsheet, which requires a lot of time. Therefore, with the help of 3PL and warehouse automation software operations, these jobs are much easier. As a result of implementing automation software, workers can use a mobile scanning device that can tell the warehouse receiver the most efficient location to store items. In fact, it automatically accounts for inventory. These types of changes can bring efficiency gains to the warehouse operation.
Training is an essential component when it comes to warehouse automation systems. It is crucial to ensure that each warehouse worker has the necessary training to give them enlightenment about their roles. As a result, they will be equipped with the knowledge to accomplish each of their tasks in the most effective and efficient way. This is important, so try not to overlook it as an efficiency gain. Instead, look at it as a way to advance the workflow into a better system.
Always remember that many warehouse workers may not be fully versed or adapted to the technology leveraged in a technology-enabled warehouse environment. Because of this, you will want to make sure employees are trained with devices like tablets, laptops, mobile scanning devices, and many more. Therefore, a training program will be effective to help ensure the successful adoption of these technological devices.
Technology is supported
It is important to have IT resources available so that the technology is consistently and effectively operating. This investment can significantly help the warehouse management system through relevant technologies. In fact, living through a period of enormous change will require a successful third-party logistic warehouse to continually evolve as time passes. Therefore, having these technical resources available will help ensure that the critical systems continue to evolve as technology improves.
Additional Reading: Report identifies last-mile tech needs (automation)
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