Automated Warehouse.. The New Digital Era

Automated Warehouse or ASRS at CDC Wangnoi

The one front-and-center challenge for businesses today is certainly maintaining flexibility in the face of evolving trends that directly impact industrial and business concepts, operational structures, market complexity, and therefore, their mission statement. Let alone geopolitical-economical fluctuations and adjusting dynamics in energy sources and exchange rates around the globe, to top it all off. In other words, to be successful over the long run, it shouldn’t be an over simplification to say it must have the ability to adapt to ever changing consumption behavior, or Customer Journeys. To the flip side of consumption, though, there’s another momentum gaining problematic traction in warehousing – increasing shortages of supply from shrinking labor forces, specialized workers, and manual intensive professionals. The development is a byproduct side effect of social beliefs that labor jobs are percievably of a lessor status or less trendy in comparison, maugre discombobulated supposition premises, if any. Although now successful but once in poverty people remain proud of their blue-collar values, the manual force has been a diminishing segment of society for quite some time now.

Work forces shrink without a saving account, thus, Thai workers flee to other career fields with bigger promises, including warehouse loading staff with the necessary  experience and acquired skills to understand the nature and conditions of each product for proper handling and shipping. Given the limitations, warehouse managers are looking for work arounds with a strategic operational edge in one shot, in such a time where basic infrastructure development and IT solutions are also in need to propel the business into broader services that retain customers and gain attractiveness over competitors. Hence, supply chain requirements are becoming increasingly complicated while upgrading solusions fall on the laps of logistics decision makers that struggle to make ends meet, budgetarily.

“Spiked wages from shrinking forces” are seeing new growth opportunities for Automated Warehouse Solutions” come to brighter lights. Interesting for Thailand, though, as the mechanized tech promises to enhance productivity through maximized accuracy and limited storage space utility with staggering turnaround times, from identifying items, loading, to hauling them over weights and distances that would be considered an obstacle course for most of us. Yet, the AEC right around the corner promises the availibility of even larger work forces abling and willing to learn and work as their earnings can possibly open middle class doors back home in a single generation. Weighing two qualities against each other, obvious qualities ensuing automation are remote transparency and accountability that both reduce costs from human errors and limitations as well as the need for building new warehouses as existing facilities can be used to its fullest potential. Information Systems, a smaller but very promising investment compared to the lucrative robotics side of the game, grants management the ability to monitor, inspect, and administer inventory at the tip of the finger in a trans-continental fashion. A crucial factor for accurately analyzing, assessing, managing and planning complicated supply chains, pertaining to everything from customer orders to production lines and turnaround times that satisfy customer expectations. For example, incorrect or late inventory data updates can cause either over or under stocking of an on demand product, entailing additional expenses and opportunity costs, from current lost sales and future ones by a turned-over unsatisfied customer.

Examples of automated warehouse solutions are available, such as the “Automatic Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS)”, a robotic intelligence (Robot Arms) computerized system that can receive and store inbound items in the most accurate and timely manner  by computing best case scenarios for space management and moving items around the warehouse with minimal number of workers. ASRS systems also prevents damage from handling by measuring the size of auto-protection products over the shelves that allow more organized sorts. Other qualities include an inclusive security system designed to be on the watch against theft and lost items, along with a First-in First-out storing-retrieving capability and automated built-in information systems that make data available for immediate management.

 Companies that have adopted such systems include “KHON KAEN FISHING NET FACTORY CO., LTD, a manufacturer and distributor of fishing nets, equipment, and machinery. Other industries that need to manage multiple products, or SKU (Stock Keeping Unit), use it simply to make better use of otherwise wasted time searching and fishing from the warehouse. Large storage spaces are allocated for such digitized concepts that when combined with unique internal warehouse management insights, the adopted mechanism operates very effectively. Nowadays, several companies, domestic and international, have opted to become an Automated Warehouse Business provider. Although such solutions answer workforce shortages and warehouse performance questions as operational efficiency looks to the sky for new bars, any company that wishes to pursue this path must evaluate its own SWOTS, carefully, present and future, before jumping in, as did KHON KAEN FISHING NET FACTORY CO.,LTD Foresights must be supported and backed up with long term strategies, along with Core Competency developments in other business areas as well. Automated solutions for internal warehouse applications, however, is a good way to boost core qualities from within, also.

By conclusion, it can be assumed that business development must go hand in hand with that of Core Competencies, and in tandem with market assessments. Many businesses with strong, clear, and ongoing developments in line with clarified market directions and consumption behavior have been able to expand sustainably. A company’s Core Competency has become extensive nowadays and diversified into many other areas along the supply chain. Vertical Integration is a good key word to use when describing requirements for companies to develop on a continual basis. For example, a company that started out manufacturing fishnets eventually became an automated warehouse service provider which allowed them to further expand and invest in other business concepts as market assessment supports. How about your business? Are you developing you Core Competencies? Don’t miss out on new inspirations from available Market Opportunities out there. Success is an acquired trait. It belongs to those that act on knowledge, i.e., decisions based on data.

Compiled by BLOG.SCGLogistics
References:  supplychaindigital.com/magazine

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