How Robotic Friendly Shelving Can Benefit Distribution Centers

March 29, 2020 9:54 am

Running a supply chain has many expenses. Among them are rent, cost of goods, various storage shelving solutions and more. But there is one that has always been a challenge to reduce and that is labor, or payroll.

Labor cost has always been one of the major items in the expense column for any business, large supply chains included.

It was always a struggle finding the balance between qualified workers and keeping wages at a level that doesn’t harm the bottom line too much.

This is all the more critical for large retail operations where order fulfillment and item picking can be a very large expense due to the mammoth sizes of the warehouses.

Among the increasingly popular means to mitigate this problem are AMRs, or automated mobile robots, and of course industrial steel shelving that is compatible with them.

While the initial cost of implementing this solution may seem considerable, the return on investment it brings is more significant still. AMRs have proven themselves to be capable of reducing operational costs dramatically by making a company less dependent on labor.

A point to consider is that operational costs includes labor in general as well as the availability of qualified labor in a specific area. This serves to untie or at least loosen the problematic knot between a warehouse or distribution center from large population centers. The implications for the bottom line based on warehouse space costs alone are difficult to overstate from this effect.

But let us be thorough and list the specific benefits of having a warehouse equipped with AMRs and the industrial steel shelving that supports this upgrade.

Key Benefits of AMRs Include:

  • Higher flexibility of operations. It is hard to move a warehouse that relies on hundreds of local workers. Not so much with AMRs. They are part of the hardware and will follow the operations to any new place.
  • Higher accuracy and precision. Not having to rely on human eyes means being safe from human error. A human worker may misread a label on a product. An AMR scans labels and cannot make a mistake. Reducing the amount of returned orders and the loss of revenue that goes with them is a big win.

There is a lot more that can be said in favor of robot friendly storage shelving solutions and the AMRs they accommodate, and if you’d like to know more, please feel free to visit us.

And finally, even if a warehouse is not deploying AMRs yet, installing robot friendly storage shelving solutions is a good way of preparing for this upgrade of the future–today.

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