The Satellite Review Magazine 2021 Issue 7 - Page 12
W ith the buzz surrounding the broken supply chain and the immense labor shortage , it ’ s no surprise that many warehouses are scrambling to find solutions . Many of these challenges — the truck driver shortage , general labor shortage , freight idling at ports and an increase in consumer demand — are greatly impacting operations within warehousing facilities .
Designing for Disruption
A crucial element to a warehouse designed to overcome these challenges head-on is automation . For those who have embarked on automating their systems , or those who are thinking about doing so , it is imperative that the investments in time , cost , and resources are laser focused on extracting maximum value and flexibility . Too often , expectations are mismanaged , or the preparation needed to embrace automation and deal with its idiosyncrasies is lacking . Even worse , designing flexibility into the system is often overlooked , as are practical ways to grow the system , accommodate differing order characteristics , and in some cases , the absence of IT infrastructure to support new or existing software and firmware systems .
To design a warehouse that is as “ disruption-proof ” as possible requires a command of both hardware and software systems from the provider . Solutions that are resourcefully pieced together from multiple vendors or locations often become obsolete when combined as a system . This is primarily due to a lack of standardization , which leads to an insufficient long-term vision of how these pieces develop over time .