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Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS) automate the handling, storing, and retrieving of inventory within a warehouse with minimal human intervention. By automating storage, businesses can eliminate labor-intensive tasks involving repetitive physical work, along with the manual data entry and analysis that go with it.
Moving items in a traditional warehouse with storage racking is not easy, offering plenty of challenges that include minimal efficiency, high safety risks, low productivity, and high labor costs.
ASRS takes advantage of software and computers to streamline tasks within the warehouse. As a result, the operation becomes more efficient, reliable, accurate, and much faster. And with today’s worker shortages, another benefit is you will need fewer of them.
However, how do you decide when to move on from regular storage racking systems to an automated storage and retrieval system? Here are nine questions you need to answer and points to consider:
1. Are Your Existing Warehouse Processes and Procedures Labor-Intensive?
Wages and benefits are a large and costly portion of your budget. Implementing an automated storage and retrieval system in your operation can eliminate some workers and reduce your ongoing labor costs.
2. Are Your Customer’s Orders Delayed because of a Limited Workforce?
Labor shortages are a sign of the times, and finding reliable workers has become more and more of a challenge. An ASRS will keep your orders flowing and your customers happy.
3. Are Worker Injuries Frequent?
Incorporating automation into your operation will eliminate most of the bending, lifting, stretching, and walking required in a manual system. In turn, you will remove the injuries associated with them.
4. Are You Noticing Lower Productivity and Efficiency?
By letting an ASRS system manage any elements that can be automated in your operation, you will remove the inefficiencies that have plagued you. You can reduce waste, increase productivity, and add to your bottom line.
5. Are Your Inventory Counts Often Incorrect?
No matter how well you train your workers, there will be human errors. These mistakes can lead to inaccuracies in your inventory counts. ASRS automatically adjusts your totals whenever items are added or retrieved from inventory, meaning you always have accurate counts in real-time.
6. Is Customer Satisfaction Data Showing Issues in the Supply Chain?
Your customers are the lifeblood of your business. When they are not satisfied, they have the option to move to a competitor. An ASRS system will improve your efficiencies, productivity, and accuracy, allowing your company to deliver the correct product on the date your customers need it.
7. Do You need to Adjust Your Workforce Numbers to Meet Fluctuating Demand?
Automated systems adjust to your specific business conditions without affecting human labor. No one has to tell you how unpredictable business can be (manufacturers often refer to it as “feast or famine”). Bringing in or laying off employees during these fluctuations is expensive and hurtful in various ways.
8. Are the Number of Completed Work Orders Declining?
By eliminating the productivity issues and any inefficiencies with ASRS, the number of work orders completed should rise considerably.
9. Are You Using Your Vertical Storage Space Efficiently?
ASRS can make better use of the available space in your facility, removing the need for a costly expansion or redesign. The system reclaims vertical space and allows for narrower aisles than those required for forklifts. The systems also allow for higher density storage than traditional rack systems.
If you need help deciding how a vertical storage system will be best used, or for any other questions, contact Kardex Storage Systems. Our experts will be happy to work with you to make your automated storage and retrieval system perform its best.