6 big benefits of automation in the warehouse
Called "the future of warehousing" by Forbes, automation is clearly the next big step in the evolution of warehouses — but for many, it's still not an everyday tool. There are plenty of reasons for this, like questions about how exactly to implement automation, uncertainty as to whether automation replaces human workers and more.
If you've been hesitating to jump on the automation bandwagon, here are six big benefits that might just change your mind:
1: Empowering older workers
Older employees represent an important part of the workforce. Skilled and experienced, they're often eager to remain on the job and guide younger colleagues through their own work journeys — and automation can make that happen. By upskilling minds instead of bodies, automation allows older workers to keep contributing to the warehouse without physically taxing themselves. This, in turn, gives employees the chance to stay on the job for longer periods of time.
2: Supporting human work
Automation doesn't exist to replace your workforce; instead, its goal is to take human skills to the next level. For example, according to McKinsey and Company, some companies are implementing autonomous mobile robots to retrieve products and materials for their human counterparts, reducing walk time and allowing workers to focus on their tasks.
3: Increasing retention
When workplaces are smooth, efficient and high-tech, employees may be less likely to consider accepting a position with the competition. This is increasingly important as "The Great Resignation" continues to sweep through the warehousing industry, leading to record-breaking worker turnover rates.
4: Attracting tech-savvy applicants
Looking to attract young, future-minded applicants? Automation is a step in the right direction. When younger workers see that your warehouse is utilizing tech in smart, effective ways, they'll likely take a more serious look at your open positions and consider how they could flourish in this automated environment. However, it's important not to implement automation tools just to stay "trendy" or look attractive to a certain group; younger applicants want to know you truly understand the capability and potential of technology and that you're willing to listen to their ideas regarding its implementation.
5: Improving efficiency
Automation is famous for improving efficiency — for example, by cutting down on the number of manual tasks each employee is responsible for. As your warehouse becomes more comfortable using automated tools, you may even be able to put one worker in charge of multiple machines, allowing them to develop new skills and continue saving time, money and effort for your organization.
6: Enabling consistency
Although human employees try their best, they are, by definition, only human — which means they're prone to small errors here and there. Automation eliminates this risk by allowing you to create consistent patterns without locking you into any one way of doing things; there's always room to adapt and evolve with new processes your workers may discover.