By: George Mathew
In the current business landscape where competition among companies is increasing and time is of the essence, it is important for organizations to follow efficient procurement practices for continued success. While traditionally procurement used to be a manual and labor-intensive process involving several stakeholders across various departments, advancements in technology are helping to bring a dramatic transformation. While the traditional methods led to delays in decision-making and execution due to miscommunication or bottlenecks in the workflow, technologies such as warehouse automation robots that are equipped with cutting-edge features like artificial intelligence, machine learning, computer vision systems, and robotic arms can perform complex tasks autonomously.
Warehouse automation robots eliminate several traditional challenges associated with procuring products and services. They excel at repetitive tasks such as inventory management, order fulfillment, picking items from shelves accurately and efficiently, and more so, reduces human error significantly while doing all this. The integration of warehouse automation robots into existing supply chain management systems can help companies gain real-time insights related to inventory levels, reduce stockouts, and improve demand forecasting accuracy. By streamlining procurement processes using these innovative technologies, companies not only save time but also reduce costs associated with manual labor and minimize errors caused by human intervention.
Benefits of warehouse automation:
Reduced lead times
One of the important benefits of warehouse automation is the speed at which tasks can be completed. Warehouse automation robots can quickly navigate through warehouses, picking up and delivering items with utmost precision, thereby leading to faster order fulfillment, reduced lead times and higher customer satisfaction. By automating processes, not only can companies significantly reduce their turnaround time for procurement activities such as getting products into their warehouses faster and responding more quickly to customer demands, but they can also take advantage of market opportunities before competitors do so.
Better accuracy in inventory management
Another benefit of implementing warehouse automation solutions is improved accuracy in inventory management. Automated scanning of barcodes and real-time tracking of product locations minimizes the errors associated with manual data entry. Not only does this save time but it also ensures that inventory levels are always optimal and accurately measured, thereby preventing issues such as overstocking or understocking.
Cost saving opportunities
Warehouse automation can also help companies achieve cost savings. Automating repetitive tasks such as sorting, packaging, and labeling products can help companies reduce labor costs significantly. In addition, these solutions can operate 24/7 without fatigue or breaks (except during scheduled maintenance period or one-off downtime) while maintaining a high level of productivity, which further helps the company avoid costs arising from human errors.
Improved workplace safety
Yet another benefit of using warehouse automation in procurement is improved safety in the workplace. By automating physically demanding tasks such as lifting heavy objects or navigating hazardous areas within a warehouse environment, warehouse automation robots reduce the risk of injuries to humans.
How SpendEdge can help with warehouse automation initiatives
Analyze the capabilities of warehouse automation solution providers
SpendEdge’s team of analysts have several years of experience assisting companies with their warehouse automation initiatives which makes them experts at providing guidance and recommendation to businesses looking to partner with the solution providers. Our specialist advisors help clients to stay updated on new offerings in the market and how suppliers are developing their capabilities and coming up with innovative solutions.
Identify best practices while engaging with service providers
When it comes implementing warehouse automation solutions, choosing the right vendor and product is the most important consideration. SpendEdge’s team of experts help in identifying the best approach on vendor selection, engagement models, contract negotiation, and cost management. With a clear view of the best practices, our experts help clients achieve cost savings and minimize the risk in the procurement process. Adhering to preset guidelines as defined in the best practices helps companies ensure they are procuring high-quality service and minimize risks and errors.
Understand how the market for warehouse automation solutions is evolving
Through SpendEdge’s category updates service, companies can gain insights on the most important developments in the warehouse automation solutions market. Advanced notifications provided by our experts help companies understand the new features being implemented in the latest solutions available in the market and the benefits of implementing such solutions.
Success story: How SpendEdge helped a specialty chemicals manufacturer with warehouse automation
SpendEdge recently helped a personal care company improve their marketing efforts. The US-based client increased their marketing spend over the last three quarters but was witnessing a decline in their MROI. They were unsure whether to continue increasing spend on current marketing activities. They reached out to SpendEdge to conduct a thorough analysis and determine whether the current marketing strategy was the most optimal approach, whether their current agency was a good fit, and what would be the key parameters on the basis of which they could analyze the performance of their agency partner)
SpendEdge recently helped a Europe-based specialty chemicals manufacturer with their warehouse automation initiative. The client wanted SpendEdge to help them select the most optimal warehouse automation solution based on their requirements. The client had effectively managed inventories at most of its warehouses. However, it was witnessing increased cases of human errors related to data entry which was resulting in costly mistakes such as stockouts for certain raw materials and overstocking of other raw materials with low shelf life. The company wanted to check if implementing warehouse automation could give better results and which vendors would be best fit based on their requirements.
SpendEdge’s team of experts did a thorough analysis of the capabilities of various warehouse automation solutions available in the market. The features, cost and support provided for each of the systems were benchmarked. In addition, the most important SLAs to be included in the contract along with KPIs to determine the effectiveness of the solutions were provided to the client. Our insights helped the client to narrow down on a small set of suppliers who were invited to the RFx stage. In addition, the SLAs provided by SpendEdge was used by the client to develop a favorable agreement.
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Associate Vice President, Sourcing and Procurement Intelligence
George is a procurement specialist at Infiniti Research and provides advisory services to clients across the pharmaceutical, CPG & FMCG, energy, and automotive sectors. He specializes in the procurement areas of industry benchmarking, cost modeling, rate card benchmarking, negotiation advisory, and supplier intelligence.