STAYING ON TOP OF THE WAREHOUSE AUTOMATION

Automation in logistics used to be about reducing labor costs and saving warehouse space. Today warehouse automation is all about helping companies meet demands for ever-shorter lead times and turn logistics into a competitive advantage. And to achieve that you need WMS and WCS to support your automation solution.

Automation is all around us. From industrial robots and smart homes to chatbots and digital care solutions for the elderly. In the warehouse the advantages are obvious. Effective automation can make your warehouse activities faster and cheaper – and create a better working environment. But is an automated warehouse always better? As so often – it all depends.

AUTOMATION OR MANUAL PICKING? PROBABLY BOTH.

If a WMS is the brain of the warehouse, automation is the muscles. Automation solutions can reduce picking errors, improve ergonomics and save money. But in some cases manual picking is still the most effective solution. The level of maturity in your business, the diversity of your product range, and integration with other system are all factors to determine the best mix of automated and manual processes.

WMS AND WCS KEEP YOUR AUTOMATION GOING

Regardless of the level of automation you need a “brain” to manage the manual, automated and shared logic of your solution. Depending on the situation this is done with a WMS or a WMS and WCS in combination. To put it simple; a WMS optimizes the What, When and Where. A WCS the How.

The more different types of automation you use and the more complex the solution, the more you will need a WCS. If you know you will only use few types of and non-complex automation then WMS only is the best solution for you.

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Four round circles in green, blue, dark blue and white colours explaining why automation is the correct decision

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MAKE WHITE BOX THE RIGHT BOX

The difference between a black box and white box in warehouse automation management lies in the transparency between systems. With a white box solution with WMS and WCS from the same supplier all decision making processes are visible in the same system, whether automated or manual.

If your warehouse is over 90% automated and your focus is on capacity only, black box is enough for you. If not, a white box solution is the way to go. And with Astro WMS® and Astro WCS from Consafe Logistics you are guaranteed a system that will work with any automation vendor and be adaptable to all your future needs.

A white box explaining how warehouse automation work

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