Saving on labour costs while improving efficiency and accuracy are what makes warehouse automation a powerful tool. Labour costs make up for 65% of the operating budget in most warehouses, which means for a warehouse with 100 employees, the annual labour costs will be at least $3.7 million. An automated warehouse can run day and night without these labour costs.
Understanding how much it costs to automate your warehouse and how it will help you remain competitive and profitable is what this article is all about.
What is Warehouse Automation?
A warehouse is full of tasks that are fulfilled by following a process. These processes can be repetitive and a victim of human error, such as documentation, shipping and receiving, and packaging. This can mean, in order to prevent these errors, warehouses need to identify these problems in the process chain so they can employ automation robotics to take over these processes.
The use of robotics such as goods-to-person technology, automated guided vehicles, and autonomous mobile robots, are known as physical automation.
What Are The Benefits of Warehouse Robotic Automation?
Companies have seen many clear benefits when they choose to invest in robotic automation for their business. Warehouses will find that they will profit from automation in less obvious ways, however, cutting expenses like packaging costs and increasing the efficiency of the warehouse are more obvious.
Lower Rates in Error
A costly part of business is human errors. If work ever has to be done again it can result in a significant loss in profit. By doing the work right every time, automation robotics can significantly reduce warehouse costs.
An increase in capacity demands can be met quickly by warehouse automation robotics. In order to keep up with demand, it can be hard to hire and train new employees quickly, for example during the holiday season. Because of their ability to work all day and night without any decrease in performance, warehouse robotics makes it easier to handle demand increase.
Increase in Warehouse Safety
Robotics can take over any dangerous jobs that can cause harm to any employee. Getting inventory from high areas and carrying a heavy load can be a dangerous task that can be taken over by robotics, also these robotics can work side-by-side with a human worker.
Increase in Customer Satisfaction
A company can see an increase in customer satisfaction, this is a direct result in the increase of delivery speed and a decrease in errors. In order to maintain and grow any business, customer satisfaction is very important. More and more customers will come back when a company can perfectly perform operations. Automation robotics can turn any warehouse operations into a competitive edge.
Automation can help a company present itself to the public as better and faster than ever. This will signal to potential customers that they are an innovative and cutting edge brand.
How Much Does Warehouse Robotics Cost?
The level of complexity and how far-reaching the robotic needs to be will determine the cost of automation robotics for a warehouse. More and integration with an already in place warehouse control system will require a more sophisticated solution. This will provide a better utilisation in space and an increase in order efficiency and accuracy, a solution that provides this will come at a higher cost. We can see an overview of the costs will include:
- Conventional picking system could cost anywhere between £350,000 to £700,000
- A mechanized solution can cost £700,000 to £3,500,000
- Installation of a semi-automatic system could cost between £3,500,000 to £10,500,000
- A company looking for a fully automated system might pay at least £17,500,000
Should Warehouse Robotics Be a Part of Your Company?
Warehouses should seriously consider the use of autonomous robotics within their facilities because of the increase in technology use by their competition. Every warehouse can benefit the robotics ability to increase productivity, accuracy, and improve operations and customer satisfaction.