Four Reasons Why Material Handling Automation is a Good Investment for Your Operation

(2015-05-22 18:08:28)

If you currently have a mostly manual distribution operation, you may think that material handling automation is something you couldn’t do—or more accurately, something you couldn’t afford. If you believe that automation is an ‘all in’ concept that is too expensive, or overkill for your distribution center (DC), you might be missing out on an opportunity for business gain. That’s because there is compelling return on investment (ROI) from automation.

Making the Case for Automation

Solutions such as automated storage & retrieval systems (AS/RS) carry a quicker ROI than what many DC operators might think, and can be scaled down to automate only those parts of an operation that bring the quickest and strongest paybacks. Depending on the size of your operation, even incremental levels of automation may make sense.

If you are considering automation but are unsure how to measure ROI, here is a breakdown of some key areas of payback, as well as some information that can serve as general benchmarks for justifying automation.

Four leading areas of payback to keep in mind are:

  • Labor savings
  • Space savings
  • Throughput and flexibility gains
  • Reduced maintenance and supervision

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