Updated: Jan 25, 2021
DCwise.eu shares in this post ideas on how you can prepare for the future ➟
Question is what will become of all the Robot, Cobot, AMR, AVG, & many more technological developments within the warehousing industry? In this post we give some insights on where the evolution in warehouse "Mechanization" is moving towards to; allowing you to prepare for the future.
What we are experiencing at the moment is that there is a huge boom in companies developing all kinds of "Mechanization" solutions. Its at the moment even hard to keep track of all possibilities on the market as every day new ideas are being added. Adding to this all other developments within among others "information sharing & collaboration" (from RPA over IA up to highly adaptive WMS and so one & one) you could say that there is a real surge of technology changes. But we already have mechanization in all kinds for many years (AVG's, ARS, etc). So question is will this surge actually have an impact?
⭐ We believe its not just a small change, but its even going to change the entire industry. As we are facing more & more challenges in the field (work-force availability, market flexibility needs & customer requirements tightening incl lead-time reduction, just to mention some) many operations are under pressure to drastically reshape in depth their plan of attack. And that is where the "Mechanization" will be part of the solution or you could even say that warehousing will become a "technology industry".
⭐ Similar to so many technologies before e.g. the PC, the cell-phone, etc the breakthrough is a matter of different factors coming together such as cost, familiarity & acceptance, right functionalities incl clear benefits and so one. With all the competition going on these elements are rapidly coming to levels bringing us to the potential break-through of the mechanization.
⭐ One driver in all of this to high-light is "safety"; and by extension also ergonomics. A notable large difference is the impact of accidents with humans involved or not involved. So once trusted the "mechanization" technologies will rapidly become standard especially in dangerous environments, but by expansion this opens doors to all warehousing operations. You can now already see this trend in for example the heavy equipment industry such as mining where Mechanization is in higher demand then ever.
⭐ One consequence is that there will be a large need for capital investments (as these "mechanization" requires higher upfront spend) making that its easier to support &/or adopt first for "larger" operations - as we already now can see in the operations setting up the new technologies -. Eg Amazon & Alibaba. This "Capital need" (& also technology familiarity) will drive towards larger operations up to even the so called "mega-DC's".
⭐ Another trend will be related to the already existing move of many logistics suppliers working towards providing not just products but actual "solutions" e.g. rack suppliers also supplying WMS software, consulting, etc. So with all the new firms & initiatives you can also expect in the long run there to be a consolidation move.
⭐ Other impact is situated in that for these Robot's or Mechanization solutions the "training" time is often highly reduced... especially for the additional resources. There is just a delivery, update & maybe some config (for new processes) and the trial period can begin. In this there are huge benefits of reduction in time if the resources are available. So one of the questions that come at hand is if there will be a RAAS (Robot As A Service) - or "Robot's for rent" available. One can assume that once there is enough market for sure there will be.
⭐ Easiest area to typically implement these "smart" technologies is in the field with the most repetition. Additionally one main advantage of adding technology is the potential removal of the "human error". So large positive impacts for many operations can lie in different elements of the operation...
So in summary its going to become a more & more complex ride, for which you better prepare.
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