How AutoStore can help small businesses embrace warehouse automation

How AutoStore can help small businesses embrace warehouse automation

Automation is undeniably reshaping industries on a global scale, from automotive manufacturing and construction to healthcare, food processing and many others. This surge in automation has yielded remarkable results in recent years. Warehouses, as essential hubs for various businesses, have not been exempt from this transformative trend.

However, a common misconception lingers – that warehouse automation is intended for large-scale organisations with big budgets and that its implementation would be too expensive for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

This misconception couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, warehouse automation can enhance operational efficiency and provide an excellent return on investment (ROI) for businesses, regardless of their size.

In this article, we’ll explain why SMEs should embrace automation in their warehouse operations and how doing so results in cost savings, efficient space utilisation, improved customer service, and numerous other benefits.

Why SMEs should embrace warehouse automation

Embracing automation offers several advantages for SMEs, including redirecting employee focus toward other critical aspects of their operations, such as customer service.

Here are some of the key advantages of warehouse automation for SMEs:

  • Increase warehouse throughput, efficiency and productivity.
  • Optimise resource and space utilisation to its fullest potential.
  • Enhance customer service quality while promoting staff satisfaction and reducing turnover.
  • Significantly reduce manual labour, minimise human errors and enhance workplace safety.
  • Eliminate the risk of stockouts, inventory losses and shipping errors.
  • Maintain precise inventory control, ensuring order fulfilment accuracy and efficient material handling.
  • Access more precise data and in-depth analytical insights.

To enhance warehouse performance and efficiency, SMEs need to carefully select the right warehouse automation solutions. Adopting solutions like AutoStore and specialised warehouse software, as well as taking advantage of options like automation-as-a-service and micro fulfilment centres can be the key to achieving these desired results.

How small businesses can benefit from AutoStore

AutoStore empowered by Element Logic is an innovative goods-to-person automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) that offers the market’s fastest order fulfilment solution per square metre. With the highest density of any ASRS, AutoStore gives customers the speed, precision, and reliability they need in today’s fast-paced, omnichannel economy.

Small to medium-sized warehouses can leverage AutoStore solutions to maximise storage space and improve efficiency. Depending on the size of your business, you can install any number of bins, robots and ports to help you meet your needs. Instead of paying for new warehouse space, you can use your existing space intelligently. In fact, AutoStore’s flexible and modular robotics solution typically increases warehouse floor space utilisation by 400% compared to static shelving.

So why choose AutoStore?

  • Scale with your business: AutoStore’s modular design allows SMEs to start with a smaller footprint and expand as their business grows, making it cost-effective and adaptable to changing needs.
  • Space efficiency: AutoStore’s compact, high-density storage system maximises the utilisation of available warehouse space, enabling smaller companies to make the most of their limited storage area efficiently, including in the form of micro fulfilment centres.
  • Reduce labour costs: With its automation capabilities, AutoStore minimises the need for a large workforce, making it an ideal choice for companies looking to save on labour expenses while increasing operational efficiency.
  • Set up quickly: We know that for any business, disruption and downtime can have a major impact on productivity and cash flow. Fortunately, AutoStore is relatively quick to install and set up without prolonged disruptions to your operations.
  • Get a competitive advantage: Implementing AutoStore allows SMEs to compete with larger players in the market by improving order accuracy, reducing picking errors, and enhancing overall warehouse productivity.

Get in touch with our experts to learn more about AutoStore

Warehouse software solutions for SMEs

If you want to boost accuracy and productivity in your warehouse processes, you must consider using a fully connected, data-driven software ecosystem.

At Element Logic, we’ve developed warehouse software solutions that are perfect for SMEs:

  • eLogiq: A data platform that seamlessly consolidates and analyses diverse data sources, offering valuable insights, analysis, and predictions to enhance warehouse performance. It empowers you to detect and mitigate negative trends, benchmark, and optimise your warehouse for competitiveness.
  • eManager: The brain of AutoStore, eManager, is a comprehensive system for warehouse execution, management, and control. It optimises AutoStore warehouse performance from goods receival to outbound processes, maximising efficiency, productivity, cost savings, and customer satisfaction.
  • eController: This is your software toolbox for simulating and integrating automated warehouse workflows, including conveyor systems, box erectors, and more. It helps you achieve extended control over the movement of goods and orders in your warehouse.
  • eOperator: Our robotic piece-picking technology runs on eOperator. The robotic arm integrates with AutoStore and automates order handling, ensuring secure and accurate picking, cost-effective labour, and a streamlined supply chain with high profitability and a fast ROI.

How small businesses can get started with warehouse automation

There are many ways small and medium-sized businesses can get started with warehouse automation – without a significant upfront investment.

Take warehouse automation-as-a-service, for example, which makes advanced automation accessible to SMEs without hefty upfront costs. This all-encompassing service doesn’t stop at simply delivering cutting-edge equipment. It also includes meticulous upkeep and maintenance, thus saving clients from the hassle of operational disruptions. Moreover, the automation-as-a-service model enables clients to access continual updates and improvements in warehouse automation technology. So, they not only meet the ever-evolving demands of their industry but also have the edge to stay competitive and ahead of the curve. There’s also a growing trend for micro fulfilment centres (MFCs), especially for SMEs with limited space. These are small warehouses that can be installed nearly anywhere, from inside a physical store to an adjacent building or a ‘dark store’, where inventory and products are staged, but only employees have access. These provide flexibility, predictability and fast deliveries to customers, as well as better inventory control and easier returns.

Unlock the benefits of warehouse automation with Element Logic

At Element Logic, we offer a range of tailored automation solutions that will bolster your operations in whichever way works best for you – and whatever the size of your operation. If you want to improve warehouse performance and efficiency for your small business, get in touch with us today.

Written by Gavin Harrison, UK Sales Director, Element Logic

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