Creating ‘Orders’ Out Of Chaos

We’re entering peak shopping season now and only time will tell whether consumers do actually spend 50%* less this year or not. What we can be sure of is that the majority of spend will be made online. The perennial question, of course, is how prepared are retailers and manufacturers to deliver on those orders, or will it be controlled chaos?

Honeywell produced a white paper(†) recently that reflected on the major forces that continue to disrupt traditional warehouse and distribution centre (DC) models including, among others, supply chain shortages and staffing issues. It claimed that even though the automation technologies and processes used across different types of warehouse and DCs had improved in the past decade, the market is still far from mature and many organisations are only just beginning their automation journey.

Now is arguably the time for them to leverage the unique opportunities facing them. Accelerated budgets, along with a pretty chaotic global market, arguably present the perfect storm for many to initiate or put in place more comprehensive plans than maybe they would have during a normal operational year. A few of the key approaches some are taking include:

  • Focusing on worker augmentation
  • Adopting a data-centric approach
  • Leveraging integrator experience

Just taking the first approach, we’re talking about augmenting human talent not task automation. Using technology to enable employees to be more productive, to upskill and refocus them on more challenging tasks and enhance their satisfaction and safety.

Voice-directed workflows allow operatives to work hands and eyes free, and are the most natural and effective way for them to carry out tasks. These solutions can improve productivity by 35%, reduce errors by up to 50% and reduce training time for new staff by at least 50%. Honeywell’s SRX3 wireless headset, for example, with standard, cupped and hard hat options, can empower your mobile workforce to excel in a variety of demanding warehouse and DC environments.

Now consider a data-centric approach. Traditionally, data has been collected manually and used as a planning or performance asset. But automation enables you to capture data across all processes. Today, some five in ten1 decision-makers are using mobility with some level of automated data capture, location solution, or predictive and adaptive data analytics. This figure is expected to rise within five years, to almost six in ten1 using mobility but with more emphasis on automating decision-making and predicting and adapting operations in real time.

Much of warehouse automation tech was developed for greenfield sites but most operators are far enough along the automation journey to require any new solutions to integrate with existing implementations. Honeywell’s white paper makes the point about leveraging integrator experience. It suggests that forward-thinking operators recognise the value in partnering established integration and technology partners that can leverage both business process and automation experience to find and implement the right technologies and solutions.

We’ve got over 25 years’ experience in the warehousing industry, bringing end-to-end solutions to create real time warehouses. Our hardware, software, wireless, networking, voice and printers solutions can help your company wrangle increasing complexities by automating processes, simplifying operations and increasing productivity. And if you’re concerned you might not be able to create ‘orders’ out of chaos as we head inexorably towards Christmas then maybe we can help you upscale your operation to meet seasonal demand.

Renovotec is the UK’s fastest growing provider of rugged mobile hardware; as well as delivering end to end managed & consultancy services, robotic solutions wireless networking, enterprise mobility, mobile data capture, printing and hardware rentals solutions. With over 25 years of industry experience, Renovotec supports customers across multiple industry verticals – including warehousing, transport & logistics, manufacturing and field mobility. For more information visit call 01924 600480.

*Source: Wunderman Thompson Commerce

† Source: Honeywell and Futurum Research’s Warehouse Automation: Future-proofing the Global Economy

1Source: Dynamic Markets Demand Warehouse Agility.



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