house design . Implementing an Automated Storage / Retrieval System ( AS / RS ) controlled by a state-ofthe-art Warehouse Execution System ( WES ) allows you to increase inventory accuracy , scale for growth , and meet customer and consumer demands .
These various types of equipment and technology incorporated into an AS / RS all work together to automate the entire warehouse , which in turn , helps scale order fulfillment . AS / RS can do this in several ways :
# 1 . Increasing Inventory Accuracy
When it comes to maintaining an accurate record of your inventory , there ’ s no better way than to use the technology behind today ’ s leading automated warehouses . The conveyor system works to deliver product to the right pickup location , from which the S / RM accurately and safely picks the product and places it in the designated storage location .
Automating this storage and retrieval process reduces the need for excess material handling , and therefore mitigates human error or damage to product . Not only does this improve productivity , but it allows for greater accuracy throughout the order fulfillment journey — in product volume , location within the warehouse and timely distribution to the customer .
# 2 . Optimizing Warehouse Efficiency
A one-size-fits-all solution to order fulfillment is simply not an efficient way to manage the storage and retrieval of products in and out of your warehouse . High-density AS / RS allows warehouses to hold more product in the same location , instead of products being spread out across a network of several warehouses . Whether you ’ re scaling for high or low order volumes , holding inventory within a single location gives you the ability to combine or customize processes as these changes occur . For example , a manufacturer ’ s product demand might increase dramatically during the holiday season but slow down heavily in the summertime . With a high-density , automated warehouse , they can stay within the same warehouse throughout the year , using only the space required , without needing to coordinate extra warehouse space or reconfigure manual storage and retrieval processes .
Plus , inventory consolidation allows quicker access to inventory , thus requiring less time to retrieve and deliver it when needed . Simply put , AS / RS allows for a more flexible , consistent and efficient warehouse .
# 4 . Using Data to Transform Order Fulfillment
Today ’ s modern warehouses can have up to tens of thousands of SKUs , millions of delivery locations and a complex supply chain that can be nearly impossible to manage effectively without the right system to back it up .
With a plethora of warehouse software to choose from , the two typically considered are Warehouse Management Systems ( WMS ) and Warehouse Control Systems ( WCS ). Usually , the WMS manages the warehouse operations , including inventory tracking and lot management , while the WCS manages the operation of the automation equipment .
A Warehouse Execution System ( WES ) marries the WCS and WMS functionality together — bringing order fulfillment into a single system . From pick path and order planning to receiving and inventory tracking , WES is key in managing this complex information accurately and efficiently . Additionally , a WES has built-in order planning capabilities , which helps warehouse personnel to determine inventory , logistics availability and order demand . A WES provides all of the tools needed to track your product and manage your inventory , manage and direct your equipment , and manage staff workload within a single application .
A state-of-the-art WES can create a more efficient , accurate and flexible warehouse . Coupled with AS / RS technology , businesses can have a competitive edge to accommodate customer needs and supply chain demands .
Staying Proactive Amid Disruption
Scalability and order fulfillment really come down to the robustness and flexibility of your software and technology within your warehouse . To manage the many unknown disruptions ahead , a high-density AS / RS and WES are critical in maintaining a proactive business model . From labor shortages to fluctuating demand , there are many challenges ahead that will force companies to think differently . As we emerge and learn from the pandemic , it ’ s critical for businesses to implement efficient and creative ways to scale order fulfillment before the next disruption hits .
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