If your company is involved in the shipment and delivery of a physical product, such as apparel or home decor, keeping track of inventory is vital. However, this can be challenging, especially for new or smaller businesses that don’t have the tools and resources needed to track and ship their products accurately.
That’s where warehouse automation comes into play. Simply put, warehouse automation can help companies track the flow of inventory in their warehouse to improve the speed and efficiency of receiving materials and sending finished products. No matter the stage of business you’re in, having a fully automated warehouse is a must, and our guide can help.
Learn more about warehouse automation, its benefits, and how Pietra can help manage your inventory with our order fulfillment services and warehouses.
What is Warehouse Automation?
Warehouse automation is the process of moving inventory in a warehouse with limited human assistance. This means moving and tracking inventory into and out of a warehouse and into the homes of customers with a decreased need for human labor.
Warehouse automation companies will work with businesses to streamline the movement of their inventory in a warehouse to ensure items are packed, shipped, and delivered efficiently. A new warehouse automation trend is employing AI and robots in warehouses. Here, workers can hand packages to robots to place in storage or bring to a delivery truck, for example. The software programmed in the robot will be able to update a company’s systems, so the staff knows the location and status of each piece of inventory.
However, creating a fully automated warehouse with warehouse automation doesn’t have to be as complex as using robots. Other warehouse automation trends simply require using software, such as inventory management software, warehouse management systems, and supply chain systems. With these pieces in place, companies can improve the accuracy, speed, and efficiency of moving inventory into, within, and out of a warehouse.
Which Processes Can be Automated in the Warehouse?
Running a fully automated warehouse significantly improves your supply chain and customer satisfaction, allowing for speedy shipments and reduced delays or errors. But what processes can be automated in the warehouse with warehouse automation? Several, in fact. Below are some of the manual tasks that can be automated with software to save time and boost efficiency:
- Inventory management
- Picking inventory
- Sorting inventory
- Packing products
- Processing returns & exchanges
- Tracking inventory
Why spend the bulk of your time on repetitive tasks, when you could have them automated? With warehouse automation, your precious time can be better spent elsewhere. Warehouse automation companies have found ways to streamline repetitive and low-skill tasks to increase productivity in more important areas of your business to help you grow.
What Are the Benefits of Warehouse Automation?
Now that you know what warehouse automation is and the tasks that can be automated, let’s dive into its many benefits and how automating warehouse tasks can help your organization.
- Lower operating costs: There are several ways automating warehouse tasks can lower operating costs. First, automating manual tasks doesn’t require the help of workers, which can save on payroll expenses. Additionally, warehouse automation reduces human error, which saves costs on returns, damaged goods, and other related expenses.
- Increased productivity: Because warehouse automation eliminates the need for workers to complete repetitive tasks, they can delegate time to more important business matters, such as marketing, customer service, and sales.
- Data tracking: Warehouse automation equipment makes it much easier to collect and analyze data in real-time. When an item is moved in the warehouse, automated updates will be made, which can help companies reduce lost inventory, identify items that aren’t selling, and see what items need to be restocked.
- Improved customer satisfaction: As we know, warehouse automation reduces errors and improves speed. These are two important traits customers look for in a business. By automating warehouse tasks, customers will be able to receive their orders sooner and with a reduced likelihood of a mistake.
- Reduced storage costs: Without warehouse automation equipment, it can be hard to keep track of inventory, which means you might order too much of a certain product that can take up important storage space. A fully automated warehouse means you can downsize to a smaller warehouse if needed and save on rent costs. It also maximizes your space and allows you to grow your production line to produce more goods.
- Time management: Rather than spending time shipping orders, tracking inventory, and buying shipping materials to send out your products, you can allocate time for other tasks like creating engaging content and engaging with your audience.
These are some of the many benefits of working with a warehouse automation company. Start creating a fully automated warehouse today to take your company to the next level.
When Should you Automate your Warehouse?
There are a few key questions to ask yourself to ensure automating your warehouse is the right move:
- Are customer orders getting delayed?
- Is inventory going missing?
- Do you have an overflow of inventory?
- Is customer satisfaction trending downwards?
- Do you have enough staff to keep up with demand?
- Do you want to focus your attention on another aspect of your business?
Bottom line; if you’re unable to control the movement of your inventory, it may be time to automate your warehouse. Warehouse automation allows you to leverage the power of tools and software to track data and make important business decisions.
Enjoy a Fully Automated Warehouse with Pietra
At Pietra, we can help handle every aspect of your eCommerce business, from conception to delivering your products across the world. Pietra’s Fulfillment Services give Pietra Creators access to the top rates for eCommerce services, including:
- $1 order fulfillment and 2-day shipping
- $1/mo per cubic foot of storage
- $1 kitting and assembly
- $29 eCommerce photography
In addition to our warehouse automation solutions, Pietra can pair you with freelance designers to create logos and brand guidelines, help you source packages for your products, and give you access to workshops and tools to grow your business. Learn more about how Pietra works and ways we can help you scale your online business.