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Navigating Automation in Distribution Centers August 10th, 2021

Navigating Automation in Distribution Centers

The warehousing environment is growing stronger and more complex on a daily basis, especially with the supply chain fulfilling more orders due to the surge in retail sales that took place because of the global pandemic’s stay-at-home mandates. More people were stuck at home quarantining, while still needing the essentials to stay afloat. As regions were forced to shut down, to slow and stop the spread of the virus, many workforces were forced to continue operating on a skeleton crew. In order to provide aide to that relief, many organizations are choosing to adopt automation-based to pick up the slack from the labor loss and setbacks.

Some of the most human-populated tasks within the warehouse are picking/packing and transporting items from dock to dock. Picking is probably one of the most time-consuming to-dos and it requires countless hours and fine attention to detail to ensure that there is no error and sometimes with human employees, that can happen. Automated picker robots can provide their precise level of expertise to ensure that orders are processed and completed with 100% accuracy. Autonomous machines have greatly improved the way warehouses operate with a better sense of efficiency and quality.

The state of cleaning forces has improved vastly within the warehouse as well. Many have volunteered robots to manage and monitor the status of the center’s floors, to ensure that there are no spills, liquids, or roadblocks that could prohibit automated vehicles and their human counterparts from completing their jobs. AI can enable robots to navigate more complex warehouse layouts, helping employees to operate in safer and more efficiently run workplaces, that are also spotless of course.

Following up on the types of robotic machines operating throughout the workday, forklifts aren’t strangers to the scene, for they’ve been utilized by warehouse employees since the dawn of the warehouse, so it seems. But to upgrade the process, telematics is entering the equation to develop an advanced smart technology system that uses sensors to track every truck in a fleet through online software accurately. In doing this, a company can collect valuable information that provides new insights into various aspects of warehouse management and the operations that take place. Managers can receive alerts in real-time notifying them of any vehicle damage or even if a driver were to be injured in a collision or break-down. This access to data can help warehouse workers to be better with how they manage and monitor their staff, going forward.

As the year progresses forward automation will continue to trend upwards in the warehouse and it’s been predicted that that constant will only further improve the lives and jobs of everyone within the industry. With this set in mind, productivity levels are known to surge upwards, while giving human employees the time and focus to handle more value-added tasks, boosting their morale and drive in the long run.

SAMANTHA KALANY

Samantha is BlueStar's Digital Media Specialist, and the primary contributing writer for VartechNation. Previously, she has worked as a Public Relations Associate and a Social Media Manager.

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