Tomorrow’s Warehouse: Partner Opinion
Towards a balanced warehouse
The events of the last few years, including Brexit and COVID-19, have forced senior
management to think very deeply about how best to develop their operations to cope with
Productivity, process efficiency, speed of delivery,
and last-mile delivery costs are the crucial factors
that influence the growth and profit margins
within the logistics industry.
“The last six months in particular have been a wakeup
call for us all,” enthuses Robert Brand-Smith, managing
director at BS Handling Systems. “One of the keys to
having a robust organisation that can handle these
‘black swan’ events is a more balanced, flexible
warehouse or distribution centre operation.
“Automation is clearly a major factor, but it isn’t the be-all
and end-all. When we design systems for our clients
we look to have the right balance. As we move towards
more ecommerce, the decision as to what to include in a
logistics operation are often driven by throughput.
“Our work with clients such as ASOS, BMW, Boohoo,
Clipper, PrettyLittleThing and Ted Baker has taught us
the importance of having balanced operations. These
include first-class manual systems, well-planned and
accessible racking and shelving storage facilities, all
supported by conveyors, automation and robots.”
“A feature of the internet economy is the speed at which
growth can happen. As an integrator, one of our strengths
is being able to deliver solutions which assist with growth
and are flexible to the rapid ever-changing situations,
whether that is regarding labour or supply and demand.
“Recently there has been an explosion of new
technology available for our industry and where
appropriate, it is important to include this technology
into warehouse systems.
“Last year saw us enter a partnership with
automation and robotic solutions provider, GreyOrange.
This strategic alliance enables us to help clients achieve
greater performance and profitability whilst meeting
evermore exacting delivery demands.
“In the right environment, these solutions will help
achieve faster fulfilment, increased volumes and higher
levels of accuracy, all while lowering costs. Our decision
to partner with GreyOrange was influenced by their
technology and philosophy. The GreyOrange robots are
engineered to last and learn. As you devise new
applications and expectations, AI, machine learning and
data analytics teach the robots to execute new or
improved behaviours which continuously optimise
performance. This perfectly supports our own philosophy
of providing flexible solutions that can handle growth.”
“There’s no doubt that the logistics industry is facing
unprecedented challenges that require new thinking
and balanced solutions. Brexit has the potential to
severely impact the movement of goods into and out of
the UK across all modes of transportation, and COVID-
19 has had, and will continue to have, a major impact.
“Both challenge the industry to keep the UK economy
supplied with all the goods it needs to function, and
both impact the increased disruption to staffing levels,
not to mention the ongoing concerns about the
viability of businesses.
“Careful planning of warehouse and distribution
centre operations will help mitigate against these and
other challenges that lie ahead. The important point is
to make sure you have a balanced system that
maximises your throughput and minimises your cost,”
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