An automated warehouse system has multiple benefits for any warehouse business. From improving productivity to streamlining cost efficiency there are many advantages that can be integrated to make a business better. If you’re looking to add automation to your premises this year or next there are 8 essential steps to take before you install.
1. Identify if your warehouse ready for the technology
There are a number of different factors to bear in mind here, including any skills gaps with technology that might make it difficult for staff to adapt and whether you’re likely to need third party support to help fill those gaps in. Self-assessment of technical and cultural readiness is an essential part of smooth integration of automated systems.
2. Establish how automation will support your business goals
Avoid automation for automation’s sake and instead look at how an automated warehouse system could help drive the enterprise towards its goals. It’s important to build a strong business case before investing and to work out what goals should be impacted so that you have more than just ROI as a way to measure success.
3. Make one person responsible for the change
Finding the right person to manage the installation of an automated warehouse system is key. This not only ensures that there is a single point of responsibility for meeting implementation deadlines but also provides accountability too. Where there is one person responsible for implementation it’s unlikely that anything will fall between the cracks, whether that’s making the right choice of system or ensuring that there is training in place.
4. Find a system that can handle the pressure
It’s essential to choose an automated warehouse system that is able to cope with the demand generated by your business in order to reach performance goals. The best way to ensure this is to study the specifications – and also to be clear that you’re able to test-drive whatever system you’re considering.
5. Create a support infrastructure
There are a number of key elements here, including ensuring that you have the right support in place to minimise downtime, for example by sticking to a regular maintenance schedule. Other factors may include networking, training and vendor support.
6. Work out what to do with the data
Data migration is going to be an essential part of the process of switching to an automated warehouse system. Working out how you’re going to do this from legacy systems, especially if they are a mix of manual and semi-automatic will be key. In particular, ensure that the data migration process is correctly understood and that there are clear steps to follow to make sure it takes place.
7. Create a team who can cope with issues
Even the best systems run into problems sometimes. Part of the process of preparing for an automated warehouse system is assembling a team who can cope with whatever arises.
8. Do your research
It’s essential to find the right automated warehouse system for you, not just in terms of one that can meet performance needs but also a system that fits with the company and culture.
Automated warehouse systems can be transformative – as long as you’re prepared for installation.