What is Logistics Automation?

Header_WEB-2Automation has become increasingly relied upon and is reshaping the way industries operate.  Currently, with the emergence of self-sufficient machinery, automation has impacted both efficiency and reliability for the better. Logistics automation is an emerging sector that is being highly focused on. Essentially, logistics is a comprehensive framework that manages complex systems in a seamless operation. This type of automation aids logics processes through computer software and other automated applications.  

AutomationWarehouse_WEBLogistics automation comes in a variety of software systems and machinery. One that is being utilized frequently is Integrated software, which combines different productivity systems into one application. This software allows different areas of a facility to be connected in conjunction with each other. In addition, operational control software can be used in less complicated systems such as placing or storing shipments. Another way logistics automation is used is with business control software, which is for more intricate tasks like scheduling order fulfillment and identifying incoming shipments.

One of the systems is storage and retrieval handling, which expands storage space and increases retrieval speed.  Companies like Swisslog AutoStore and Amazon Robotics (formally Kiva Systems) manufactured these types of  systems for various operations. These components also function with equipment, like conveyor belts within facilities that can be automated to travel to a given destination. Like conveyors, sortation systems are used to identify and place large volumes of products quickly to a particular location. An example of a sortation system is in a post office with a mail sorting line. This system is automated to handle high volumes of incoming mail that is then sorted to its destination.

Logistics_WEBThe main advantage of automation logistics is the integration among various systems, which eliminates inputting the wrong manual data entry. The complications of logistics can easily be run off course when not handled properly. Making sure an operation is running smoothly and efficiently is vital for maintaining a business.

An example of an advantage regarding this technology is with Transportation Management System (TMS). Logistics automation works in compliance with a TMS. With the ever-rising cost of transportation, this system can compare policies for the best shipping cost available. This system can crawl through various live carrier rates and then place the package with its optimal carrier to maximize speed and cost savings potential. Alongside this, technology is also able to process real-time freight tracking. These benefits allow the customer to know the exact date of arrival and the precise cost of their packages. This then collects valuable data for your that you will be able to use to make informed business decisions. Not only will you see which carrier that has the best rate, but also which carrier delivers late. Then you will be able to cross-analysis and see what option makes the most business sense to continue following.  This leads to a direct correlation in increased customer satisfaction as well as cost savings for a company.

Swisslog_WEBToday, industries are looking for ways to expand their distribution centers as well as optimize their productivity. Warehouses and other distribution centers can use logistics automation to store and retrieve stock as needed.  With these systems in place, a new type of workforce can run a warehouse. This can reduce the need for human involvement because humans are only required for a few specialized tasks. This automated system may accomplish a task like automated labeling when an incoming good has arrived. These goods are labeled and then processed to the corresponding storage location. When these goods are needed for shipment, a retrieval system can easily find the part instantly. Examples of automated retrieval systems such as Swisslog AutoStore immediately locate goods and automatically pick orders. This enhancement has made the distribution process more efficient, saving time and money.

Automation in unison with logistics improves production wherever it is applied. Automation systems are the future of industrial operations practices. These control systems can operate machinery throughout a facility with high dependability and create a reduction in the commonality of human error. Applying logistics automation reduces expenses attributed to a company’s operations while enhancing customer service in the process. With the ever-evolving intricacy of supply chain logistics, the need for proper and efficient management is critical. In this era of growing technological advancements, automated logistics systems are needed to maintain a competitive edge for industries.

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