- To earn the greatest ROI on automation in the warehouse, it's best to choose systems that work in harmony with human staff, Industry Week reported last week.
- Warehouse Management Systems are often the best first step in moving toward further automation because it can establish faster, more organized picking systems.
- Successful methods of calculating ROI for automation involve the amount of processing to be accomplished and then the resulting levels of achievement both prior to and after automation.
Artificial intelligence and augmented reality devices are already being tested and employed in warehouse distribution systems, and they're being used in ways that allow human workers to work alongside them: prime examples are DHL and Amazon, both of which are testing or using AI robots to assist human warehouse workers.
Within any busy warehouse, AR can reduce costs by assisting with the process of picking, or selecting items ordered by a customer for purchase. Warehouse AR software can also aid in object recognition, but more importantly, it can communicate with Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), refine manual operations and speed employee effort.
Further, AR can present a view of warehouse rearrangements in advance, allowing for full-scale analysis and staff input prior to the heavy work of product storage and other semi-permanent object relocation. Another use includes independent employee training, which reduces the need for a group gathering with a more experienced leader, freeing her for more advanced endeavors.
DHL Trend Research indicates that AR will enhance the supply chain with improved accuracy and data. Manufacturing will move closer to users, engage employees and enhance sustainability within the supply chain.