As an LA based distributor or manufacturer, you’re well aware that yours is an industry that is constantly changing, evolving into something almost unrecognizable. While reinvention and development are both integral to keeping things moving efficiently and ensuring your customers are constantly satisfied, it can be exhausting attempting to keep up with such demands; just how can you ensure your working environment is supporting your endeavors to keep up?
As I’m sure you know, technology plays a huge role in the type of ship you’re running and how effectively your business operates. So it should come as no surprise that leveraging automation to its fullest is the way forward for the high performing, “best in class” distribution businesses.
Here are five areas in which automation can truly make all the difference for the ongoing success of your business:
In distribution, it all starts with logistics: that is, the detailed organization behind everything that you do and the implementation of such processes. The term also refers to the very core of what you do, from receiving, handling and storing materials, to shipping them out again. Imagine the efficiencies gained by continually looking to improve processes through additional automation. Distribution centers around the country are already mobilizing their fixed equipment, utilizing mobile technology for tasks such as data handling as well as installing software that monitors everything as it happens.
Storage is a big part of what you do as a distributor, but surely that cannot be automated? Actually it can; goods can be transported along conveyor belts and sorted, automatically, onto pallets, boxes, crates and cartons, ensuring that you save time and money when it comes to one of the most important, yet cumbersome tasks that you must complete on a daily basis. Leveraging hand held devices to assist with sorting, picking, and packing is a must these days to be competitive.
3. Picking and packing
Again, a vital and yet incredibly time-consuming task, picking and packing can take a handful of staff all day to complete. However, automation is on hand to streamline proceedings, enabling goods to be brought to, and sorted at a picking table to cut that time by up to 70%. Such a solution is ideal, regardless of the goods you’re sorting, and saves on paper as well as your staff’s time and company’s money.
Taking goods from one end of the warehouse to the other, visiting loading bays and flitting between storage units takes time and costs money, when we know that your staff’s time could be put to better use elsewhere. Imagine, then, that you’re in possession of conveyor belts that will distribute those goods for you, and assist in the loading and unloading processes. Shuttles, conveyor belts, turntables and chain conveyors can all be automated, will speed up your working day and improve efficiency and productivity.
5. Warehouse management
It’s little good automating every aspect of your warehouse if you’re not able to keep on top of your shiny new systems. But, computerizing your warehouse management system will ensure that everything runs smoothly. Such a move will give you modular control over every aspect of your business, as well as enabling you to control and streamline operations with less effort.
There are, of course, other areas of your warehouse that would benefit from automation, but such processes can’t be achieved overnight, or all at once.
In what ways have you automated your warehouse? Perhaps you have already switched to automation across your warehouse floor – what differences has such a move made? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the Comment field below.
If you own or manage a distribution or manufacturing company in Los Angeles, and you’re looking to stay up to date on the latest technology, be sure to download your free guide, How COOs at Los Angeles Distributors and Manufacturers Get More Done: A Guide to Productivity, Data, Staffing, Delegation, and Making It Home for Dinner Most Nights.