With the rapid advancements in technology, the warehouse automation industry is set to experience significant growth in the next five years. This surge in adoption can be attributed to several factors such as the ongoing labor shortage, the need for a more integrated warehouse, and the development of efficient and cost-effective solutions.
If you keep up with industry news, you are surely aware that the supply chain was a hot issue in the media last year.
In the past twelve to eighteen months, at least one disruption, according to 80% of the 200 manufacturing executives in the US, had a significant influence on their supply chain.
Not to mention, 90% of respondents claimed that over the previous ten years, the frequency of these disruptions had grown.
Supply chain problems will likely continue, although the labor shortage issue is anticipated to improve. Continue reading this article to learn about the top five warehouse automation trends as well as the most common issues the warehousing sector is currently facing.
- Growth Driven by Labor Shortage
The logistics industry has experienced a persistent labor shortage for many years. Despite several efforts to fill positions, including higher compensation and more incentives, warehouses today struggle to fill the demand.
Investing in warehouse automation technologies has become increasingly challenging due to the limited labor market. However, it is important to note that using technology can lead to a larger return on investment compared to relying solely on human labor.
The shortage of workers has prompted companies to embrace automation, which is likely to drive rapid expansion in the industry.
To meet client demand, it is crucial to have the flexibility to increase output as needed. While scaling up can be a challenging task, outsourcing opportunities to companies that specialize in these highly mechanical components can provide significant help.
By doing so, warehouses can benefit from the expertise of these specialized firms and focus on other critical areas of their operations.
- Increasing Use of Robots
The use of robots in warehousing is on the rise as supply networks continually adjust to market expansion. Lowering the entry barrier for warehouse automation technologies has become the industry’s main defense strategy against competitors. This approach can be highly beneficial for those seeking rapid progress and positive results.
Renting robots to clients can be a more advantageous option than a straightforward sales contract. While it is not a new strategy, the current inflation has prompted prospective customers to reconsider their purchasing decisions and expenses. Using robots can offer the possibility of reducing costs and providing greater flexibility to attract new customers. However, there is a risk that rented equipment may not be treated with the same level of care as owned equipment.
Maintaining clients’ uptime is crucial for any business, especially in the logistics industry. Therefore, it is important to have an effective logistics program in place, along with a partner to manage the aftermarket maintenance. This will ensure that the service runs smoothly and any issues are addressed promptly.
- Wireless Fleet Management
Are you wondering what is another IoT use becoming increasingly popular? Using IoT sensors in wireless fleet management systems to monitor and control vehicles in a warehouse – it is one of the top trends in warehouse automation for 2023 and the future.
Fleet management systems assist with several tasks, such as:
- Monitoring driver performance
- Tracking of vehicle status
Improved safety and increased customer satisfaction are among the top advantages of employing fleet management systems. Given this, improving safety and increasing customer satisfaction are advantages of fleet management systems.
Moreover, reports and analytics are the strongest tools for reducing costs. Monitoring and real-time process updates are other advantages worth highlighting.
Thanks to the wireless IoT technology integrated into automobiles, these systems are able to gather critical information, including:
- Damage warnings
- Overheating threats
- Potential issue areas
- Software Integrated Warehouses
Another automation trend likely to increase this year includes the integration of technological solutions in a company’s warehouse management system (WMS). Experts predict a trend in warehouse execution technology to emerge by the end of 2023.
This means that warehouses will be able to operate on the majority of technologies, with a single piece of software able to standardize and orchestrate them.
Integrating several technologies into a unified interface makes supply chain optimization possible, and this can be achieved through a WMS connection capability.
The warehouse operators would delay or reduce the number of robots if robot maintenance takes longer than anticipated. This might result due to several factors, such as time delays or resulting disruptions.
Warehouse automation solution providers must ensure training and support for their customers in order to guarantee a market-wide adoption of this cutting-edge technology.
- Increased Safety Needs
The necessity for better safety precautions grows as a facility’s bot population grows. One way the sector addresses the labor deficit is by emphasizing leveraging technology to replace labor-intensive and pointless jobs and supplement more important employment for individuals. This indicates that the days of isolating robots from humans in cages are coming to an end.
Having a robot that is safe to work around is starting to set providers apart from one another, even though OSHA and other regulatory bodies across the world have been sluggish to adopt particular standards in this area. Because people are unpredictable, the requirement to be close to employees has boosted the demand for bots with more sensors, AI-driven learning, and better computer vision to prevent collisions and other accidents.
The warehouse automation industry is fragmented, with several sectors eager to invest in robotics, IIoT, AI, and machine learning technologies. The market is fiercely competitive, and only a few competitors hold significant market share.
It can be hard to consider and address all the trends related to warehouse automation industry technology. You can decide the trends you want to consider to offer yourself the best chance to meet your client’s needs. It can help improve your services to a great extent.