As automation and robotics continue to revolutionize industries, more and more businesses are considering robotics solutions to streamline their operations and increase efficiency. However, selecting the right robotics solution can be a daunting task with numerous factors to consider. From performance and implementation factors to risk and sustainability factors, businesses need to evaluate their unique needs and requirements before investing in a robotics solution.
- Throughput: This factor refers to the number of orders that the system can process in a given time frame, usually per hour or per day. It’s essential to consider this factor to ensure that the solution can handle the volume requirements of your business.
- SKU Mix: This factor refers to the number of different products you have, along with their size and weight. Different solutions are better suited to different types of products, so it’s essential to choose a solution that can handle your inventory and provide optimal picking and storage configurations.
- Scalability: As your business grows, you need a solution that can keep up with your expanding operations. Make sure the solution you choose can accommodate future growth and expansion, so you don’t have to replace it in a few years.
- Flexibility: A flexible solution can handle a variety of products and packaging types, adapt to changing warehouse needs and conditions, and provide better value for your investment.
- Space Constraints: Before choosing a robotics solution, you need to consider the available space in your warehouse fulfillment center. The solution should fit within the available space and optimize the use of available space.
- Integration: The robotics solution you choose must be compatible with your existing warehouse management system (WMS). Consider how easy the solution can integrate with your WMS to ensure smooth implementation and minimal disruptions.
- Cost: You need to evaluate the cost of the robotics solution, including installation, maintenance, and ongoing operational expenses, to ensure that it has your expected ROI.
- Reliability: Choose a solution that can minimize downtime and ensure maximum uptime. The system should be reliable to avoid delays and improve productivity.
- Safety: Look for a solution that prioritizes safety for workers and inventory being handled. The solution should comply with relevant safety regulations, and the provider should have a robust safety record.
- Environmental Impact: Consider the impact of the automation system on the environment, such as energy efficiency and carbon emissions. Choose a solution that has a lower environmental impact, as it can save you money on energy bills and help you meet your sustainability goals.
- Waste Reduction: Look for a system that has the potential to reduce waste and improve sustainability in the warehouse. Some solutions can help minimize packaging waste or reduce the amount of scrap material generated during operation.
Choosing the right robotics solution can be a complex process and is going to be critical to the success of any distribution operations. After considering the four factors for evaluating robotics solutions, the Bricz team can help you cut through the noise and identify the right automation solutions for your business. Ultimately, investing in the right robotics solution will help your operation stay competitive, improve the bottom line, and achieve long-term goals.
Contributor: Rahul Balasubramanian, Supply Chain Consultant at Bricz