More and more, warehousing leaders are investigating how to use automation and robotics to improve operations, but it can be tough navigating the array of emerging technologies available. Members of the Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC) examined this from a variety of angles during a thought leader session at their 46th Annual Conference, taking place this week in Orlando.
Panelists from SVT Robotics, Locus Robotics, and logistics automation company AVRL discussed the ins and outs of managing technology in the warehouse, offering advice on managing digital transformation. The session was moderated by Kristi Montgomery, vice president of innovation, research, and development for Tennessee-based Kenco Logistics Services.
The panelists offered advice on managing the implementation of automation and robotic solutions, including the use of robots to handle actual warehouse tasks as well as robotic process automation for automating logistics and warehousing processes. Among their advice: the most successful companies embrace automation as an “all-in” rather than piecemeal approach; understand that warehouse automation is a journey and not a one-time project; and that it's important to choose a solution that is flexible and scalable for your company’s needs. Above all, the panelists said it’s important for companies to focus on change management and communication when implementing robotics solutions that will affect employees’ daily work.
WERC 2023 takes place June 4-7 at the Hilton Orlando.
Victoria Kickham started her career as a newspaper reporter in the Boston area before moving into B2B journalism. She has covered manufacturing, distribution and supply chain issues for a variety of publications in the industrial and electronics sectors, and now writes about everything from forklift batteries to omnichannel business trends for DC Velocity.