For those of us old enough to remember the BBC programme “Tomorrow’s World” the dangers of predicting what will happen in Tomorrow’s Warehouse are clear. There are however specific events and trends which can be identified as catalysts for change.
Stating the obvious, the pandemic leading to a huge increase in the demand for eCommerce has probably been the most significant of these, causing massive change from bulk storage and despatch to single item picking and end customer delivery for the markets affected. In the short to mid-term, Tomorrow’s Warehouse will continue to play catch up with ever increasing demand for goods to be delivered for free and as quickly after they’ve been clicked as physically possible. To facilitate this, the rush to develop robotic item picking and final mile delivery systems has been dramatic and with vastly differing levels of success. A robust set of solutions will surely soon be found and will then rapidly proliferate.
We are also seeing significant development in the field of autonomous robotic vehicles (ARV) for use within conventional warehouses and without doubt these devices will reduce the travelling time spent by both human and robotic pickers. This should lead to increased pick efficiency in Tomorrow’s Warehouse without the need to make wholesale changes to the warehouse infrastructure.
Whilst we could discuss the development of more and more types of technology designed to improve efficiency, what Tomorrow’s Warehouse really needs is adaptability, because who really knows what the next dramatic change will be or when it will happen?
To achieve an adaptable warehouse means designing the most appropriate solution for the customer’s business. As an independent integrator Logistex is not tied to any specific manufacturer, but instead continues to develop strategic relationships with innovative technology providers worldwide.
An adaptable design needs to consider many factors including material flow, future growth, availability of resource and overall throughput requirements. The Logistex design team use their skill and experience to analyse these requirements, design the solution and prove its effectiveness through 3D simulation prior to implementation.
That said there is no sense in deploying islands of automation in a warehouse if the flow between them is not co-ordinated by a sophisticated warehouse execution system. Logistex’s LWS Reflex software seamlessly integrates point automation into an integrated solution whilst providing the management team clear real time visibility of the overall operation and comprehensive management information through its complementary Business Intelligence system Analytex.
A successful warehouse implementation doesn’t end at Take Over though and Tomorrow’s Warehouse needs to be able to rely on whole life support from their integrator. That can mean anything from regular preventative maintenance visits by field service engineers to full on site 24/7 residential support. Logistex’s Total Asset Care programme can combine this with regular solution audits as part of a continuous improvement programme, ensuring Tomorrow’s Warehouse remains the answer to supply chain problems, rather than the cause.
To ensure Tomorrow’s Warehouse meets the day after tomorrow’s needs, businesses must embrace adaptability, agility and innovation with an integration and service partner, not just an automation supplier.