This article covers the opinion of Dieter Berz-Vöge, CEO of GreyOrange in Europe, Middle East and Africa(EMEA) on Flexible Automation for Warehousing and Fulfillment.
Over the last couple of years, we see eCommerce dominate the trends within warehousing – be it same-day or next-day delivery, last-mile customization, 3D printing in warehouses, or even free-of-cost returns. All this is putting pressure on warehouses, and the significant driver now is to enable a flexible warehouse.
The rate of change of technological innovation in warehousing would not be a linear function going forward, but rather exponential. And this has a bearing on investments coming through to the warehouse environment, and as businesses change with the channel, it caters to – business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) – with the latter being the case of eCommerce.
External changes also influence the product mix. Take, for example, the cereal aisle in a supermarket. Earlier, you probably had a dozen products that you could pick from, but now, you have a whole aisle for cereal. The same is true for many other product categories, and this is changing how warehouses function.
The distribution models are changing as well and so is the material flow to the warehouse. All these factors drive changes in the scale of the warehouse, and they make demand a lot more volatile.
However, to automate warehouses, it is critical to estimate demand flows and have stability in operations, as a changing landscape and unpredictable consumer behavior could mean an unforeseen increase in the return on investment timeframe.
As your environment changes, you will not be able to realize the anticipated savings through automation ...
These are the excerpts taken from the full article that was published in Freight Waves. Read full article here