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Warehouse automation benefits businesses that are looking to increase efficiency, reduce labor costs, improve productivity and cost-effectively extend their hours of operation. In short, warehouse automation helps facilities streamline and future-proof their businesses.

Automation in warehousing leverages the use of automated technologies—such as automated guided vehicles (AGVs), autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), and more—to power more efficient, accurate, and productive warehouses. Faced with continued challenges like labor shortages and supply chain disruptions, more industries are turning to warehouse automation to improve their operations.

Thinking of bringing automation to your facility? Here are the top 10 benefits of warehouse automation.

  1. Increased efficiency: Automated systems can help increase the speed and accuracy of warehouse operations, reducing the time it takes to pick and pack orders and decreasing the likelihood of errors.
  2. Reduced labor costs: Automation can help reduce the need for manual labor, which can help to lower labor costs and increase productivity.
  3. Improved inventory management: Automated systems can help improve inventory management by providing real-time data on inventory levels, helping reduce the risk of stockouts and overstocking.
  4. Increased safety: Warehouse automation can improve safety in the warehouse by reducing the need for manual labor and minimizing the risk of injuries from human error.
  5. Scalability: Automated systems can be easily scaled to accommodate increases in warehouse volume and can handle more inventory than a manual system.
  6. 24/7 operation: Since automated systems have the ability to operate 24/7, automated warehouses experience increased productivity and improved customer service by providing faster order fulfillment.
  7. Data analysis: Automation can provide real-time data and analytics on warehouse operations, empowering businesses to make informed decisions to improve their operations.A photo of someone holding a tablet showing an analytic dashboard
  8. Improved accuracy: Automated warehouses have more accurate warehouse operations, reduced risk of errors, and better customer satisfaction.
  9. Reduced labor & operational costs: Automated systems can help reduce costs by reducing the need for manual labor, improving inventory management, and increasing efficiency.
  10. Increased productivity: Automation can increase productivity by allowing warehouses to handle more inventory, reducing the need for manual labor, and improving operational efficiency.

The automation journey 

Recognizing the benefits of warehouse automation is easy, but understanding your automation needs—and knowing where to start—can feel overwhelming. That’s where Vecna’s “No Bot to Robot” approach can help get you up and running with automation in five easy steps.

Assess: Our first step is to pinpoint the issues within your supply chain network and match them with solutions on the market, focusing on things like inventory levels, where most of your labor is allocated, and so on. Then we identify a scalable segment of your network where automation would be most beneficial, develop a specific use case, and select a solution that shows a solid return on investment. 

Plan: After identifying the appropriate mobile robot type for your workflows, we assess how the robots integrate with your team, facility, and systems. We collect data such as CAD drawings, customer routes, travel distances, and throughputs. We then establish success criteria among stakeholders and test the robots in real-world environments to ensure they meet expectations. 

Deploy: During deployment, we install the robots and train and onboard staff to ensure they feel confident using them, which promotes the adoption and successful operation of the robots. Our deployment process follows a six-step approach that covers planning, mapping, configuration, installation, staff preparation, and ongoing 24/7/365 support. 

Learn: The deployment phase is also when we schedule multiple training sessions to ensure all staff are adequately trained and comfortable with the robots and system. Finally, once the robots are in production and go-live has been achieved, we transition to our customer success manager.  They conduct regular check-in meetings to review robot performance metrics, address any outstanding issues or topics of discussion, and work closely with our 24/7 PivotalTM Command Center to monitor system performance and ensure it meets expectations.

Scale: We suggest developing a centralized automation strategy from the beginning to plan the initial rollout and help determine which use cases to prioritize next. Additionally, utilizing the pilot site can allow all stakeholders to see the robots and their functionality to see them in action. This helps reduce their wariness while increasing adoption and allowing these plant managers and executives to observe the successful deployment.

For a more in-depth review and discussion of Vecna’s approach to deploying warehouse automation, watch our multi-part “From No bot to Robot” webinar series posted to our resource page here:

If you are ready to get started with an initial assessment, contact us today to set up an appointment with a Vecna Robotics automation expert.