dynamic-solutions-labor-costs

With wages projected to rise nationwide, along with costs associated with employee safety, warehouse managers are experiencing an uncomfortable environment of increasing labor costs. Labor cost issues are not unique to those in the material handling industry. The cost of labor in this industry is especially affected by variance when it comes to maintaining the high levels of service expected by customers today.

No one can predict the future. Accidents are avoidable but happen. Weather delays are not unavoidable. Production delays, changes in regulations, and “the human element” all factor into these variances in labor costs. So, how does one accurately forecast? Can you avoid any of these variances with the addition of automation?

Thankfully, the answer is yes. Our experts know how to solve these issues by introducing dynamic solutions to your operations.

Dynamic solutions like vertical lift machines, conveyors, or any of Fetch Robotics’ On-Demand Automation Solutions supplement your current labor force. These solutions allow for growth for your employees. Rather than having your team carrying items back and forth, dynamic solutions assist with the mundane, repetitive aspects of picking. With dynamic solutions in place, your team can focus its attention on more rewarding – and profitable – tasks and initiatives.

How Dynamic Solutions Help Your Business:

  • Cost Certainty: Adding dynamic solutions can help add cost certainty to your budgeting process. We create efficiencies by automating processes that typically are done by manual labor. With investments into automated solutions, you can streamline variable costs that come with human labor – salary, vacation, benefits, insurance, and more.
  • Right-Sized Investments: When it comes to investing in automated solutions, there is a typical misconception around the size of investment a business needs to make. When you work with a Storage Solutions expert, we will work with your team to address your needs and find the right solution, with an investment that matches your budget and fits within your current operation. Every client has unique challenges. However, we solve these challenges by eliminating unnecessary costs.
  • The “Human Element”: Let’s face it. There is a “human element” that comes with labor that often goes understated and underreported. For example, managers account for sick days, underperformance, and other indirect factors that come with employment. By introducing dynamic solutions, you can account for those lost costs and remove some overhead in the process, adding to your overall efficiency.
  • Maximize Potential – While the “human element” is real, your co-workers are still your co-workers. Now that mundane tasks are automated, what kind of work will your employees do next? How will additional attention toward safety, execution, and optimization improve your warehouse and workflow?

What is Next?

Dynamic Solutions are available to help you run your operations smoother. With a higher level of certainty and quality, where can you see your business in just a few months?

Our experts often see returns on our dynamic solutions within two years or less, because we put the right solution in front of our clients. We pay attention to the details so we can customize a solution to satisfy the exact needs of your operations.

Contact us today to learn more about our Dynamic Solutions and how these solutions can support your bottom line.

Fetch Robotics Webinar CartConnect

We would love for you to join us next Tuesday, August 27th for our latest Fetch Robotics webinar on CartConnect. This dynamic solution can speed up your facility, therefore, increasing ROI in the long-run.

Many leaders in the manufacturing and supply chain industry agree that robotics and automation are the most effective ways to stay competitive in a dynamic marketplace. However, not all automation mediums are created equal. This technology can transform the way you go about your material handling solutions and can double productivity within your facility.

This new technology is called CartConnect. CartConnect is an autonomous material handling solution that picks up, transports, and drops off warehouse carts to any location, within any warehouse, factory, or distribution center. During the webinar, we will show how CartConnect can be used for multiple picking strategies and other applications such as put away, replenishment & retail stocking. In short, this Fetch AMR solution can give you a competitive edge in your operation.

Want to learn more? Join us on Tuesday, August 27th at 2:00 PM EST to learn how to launch your facility into the future. Sign up for the webinar today!

Workplace Productivity Increase with Ergonomics

We often examine the positive effects an efficient warehouse design can have on your operation, but what does it mean for your employees? When it comes to warehouse productivity, one of the main components of keeping your facility moving is keeping employees safe. Taking small adjustments into account when setting up your warehouse can be huge for your employees in the long run.

Warehouse Ergonomics

Part of keeping your employees safe is keeping them comfortable. One way to do this is by storing items at the optimal level to reduce strain on pickers. Along with keeping items at a certain level, another aspect of warehouse ergonomics is keeping highly selected items around the same area to lower foot traffic in the facility.

Another way to keep your employees in good health is to integrate some type of automation within your facility. Automation will help you decrease the foot traffic needed to transport goods to all parts of your warehouse. Less exertion means fewer ergonomic issues down the line, helping you keep your staff healthy and comfortable. This will also assist with your overall warehouse productivity as well, which makes it an all-around win.

How We Can Help?

When it comes to keeping high pick volume items in the same area, we offer our newest service, Smart Slotting. This inventory slotting tool takes all of the data provided, such as picking and replenishment rates for different SKUs, and will give you the blueprint to optimize your space and help cut down on unnecessary movement around your facility.

Another way to support ergonomics is through automation. We offer a variety of dynamic solutions that can help with cutting down strenuous movement and wasted time. This includes powered conveyor to move items with ease throughout the facility, and Vertical Lift Machines (VLMs) to allow for fast and ergonomic picking with almost no walking being required.

Another dynamic solution we offer is Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs). AMRs give your employees the ability to stay in one area to work as opposed to moving around the facility. This keeps employees out of the way off forklifts and other machinery moving throughout the warehouse.

Want to learn more about how we can help you keep your facility safe and productive? Click here for more information on our Dynamic Solutions.

AMR vs. AGV

Due to market conditions such as labor challenges and increasing customer service demands, warehouse automation is a hot topic lately. Companies both large and small are looking into resources to move items throughout their operation more efficiently. If you’ve been following this trend, you’ve most likely heard the buzz around using AMR vs. AGV.

AGVs, or Automated Guided Vehicles, have been familiar in warehouses for quite some time now. AMRs (Autonomous Mobile Robots) on the other hand are a little newer to the scene. It’s important to understand what you’re getting with each of these solutions.

AMR vs. AGV: What’s the Difference?

While on the surface the two may seem very similar, there are several key factors that set an AGV and an AMR apart. The most fundamental difference between the two comes down to how they move through a facility. A guided vehicle is just what the name implies, a vehicle that operates on a fixed and guided route. Usually AGVs run along some sort of path, such as embedded magnets or wires. With this set path, an AGV does not have the ability to make quick changes on the fly, and does not always have the intelligence to stop when something comes in its path. This can lead to expensive upgrades down the road as your operational needs change. It could also put you at risk for more work-related accidents to occur.

An AMR is an autonomously navigating robot designed to work collaboratively with humans. Therefore it offers a much smarter solution. With an AMR, you get a flexible solution that offers easy adjustments as your operational needs change. In addition, the implementation for an AMR is much simpler. There is no need to make costly facility adjustments to get started. Finally, another key point that sets an AMR apart is the safety factors. AMRs use vision systems and laser sensors to ensure that accidents are avoided in any environment.

Cost Standpoint When Addressing AMRs vs AGVs

When you hear the value that an AMR can bring your operation you probably assume that the cost must be much higher than an AGV, but that is not the case. Since AMRs help you avoid costly modifications, getting started with one is fast and relatively inexpensive.

Storage Solutions is proud to partner with Fetch Robotics as a Fetch Certified Solutions Provider. Through this partnership we offer a variety of AMR solutions that can be customized to meet your needs. Want to find out how a Fetch AMR solution can assist you in achieving optimal efficiency in your facility? Click here to learn more about the products or to schedule a free consultation with one of our Fetch experts today.

Fetch Robotics Shelf

In case you missed it, we recently announced our latest partnership with Fetch Robotics. Now let’s learn how can you benefit from it. With this new collaboration comes a wide array of products and services, and we are ready to pass that along to you! Whether you face staffing issues, increased shipping volume or flexibility challenges within your operation, we will find you the right robot solution to remedy those problems.

As the leader in the Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) industry, Fetch brings numerous products to the table that can fit multiple ways in your solution. While most robotics companies specialize in a single type of robot and application, Fetch created smaller robots that can handle totes all the way up to larger robots that can move full pallets. With all varying in max capacity, we will work in collaboration with you to find the robot that works best in your solution.

Available Product Line

Fetch Robotics Products

Fetch Robotics also has their own cloud-based operating system called FetchCore. Fetch created this operating system to be as user-friendly and flexible as possible, from launch through operation. You can easily set the operation workflow for robots on the system and even pair it with your WMS software for complex solutions. However, having WMS software integration is not necessary, and therefore allows for a quick and seamless setup in any facility.

Of course, safety is of paramount importance when it comes to choosing a partner. Fetch products have received countless safety certifications. All robots are built with numerous protection features, making them extremely secure to work collaboratively with warehouse staff.

Above all, we strive to be your service partner. Therefore, we will ensure that we provide the best products and services possible for all your AMR needs.

Want to learn more? You can read more about our partner and contact us for more information here!

Fetch Robotics SSI Partnership

To round out a great 2018, we are excited to announce that Storage Solutions has completed the requirements to become a Fetch Certified Solutions Provider! This partnership will provide us with a wide variety of solutions that we feel will be able to help our customers work efficiently while saving them money.

Who Is Fetch Robotics?

Founded in 2014, Fetch Robotics is one of the leaders in robotics and innovation in the supply chain industry. Located in San Jose, CA, they benefit from the abundance of technological resources the Silicon Valley has to offer.

Fetch is the leading technology partner when it comes to Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs). With a wide variety of options, we are able to find you the robot that fits perfectly with your solution.  Together, we will work as your one-stop-shop for robotic automation from small parts to large pallets.

We are beyond excited to start working with Fetch Robotics. This partnership allows us to provide you with an even bigger solutions catalog, thus optimizing your facility to its highest point. Want to learn more about our new partner? Contact us today and we’ll give you the full breakdown on what the partnership means for you!

The Fetch team was on-site this week for a training session, so stay tuned for more details. Until then, be sure to check out the pictures below of our site visit to Fetch’s headquarters recently.

 

 

Vertical Lift Machines

Vertical Lift Machines (VLMs) are the automation solution that could bring your operation to the next level. Automation is, of course, becoming necessary in modern facilities, making VLMs the perfect solution to add to your operation.

VLMs are a “goods to man” picking solution that allows users to pick orders efficiently while optimizing space utilization within a facility. Its internal software allows this seemingly complex machine to be one of the most user-friendly tools in your warehouse.

As an extremely customizable machine, VLMs can be catered to your every need. Their location sizes can be easily adjusted “on the fly”, and their functionality takes all the guesswork out of it, maximizing pick accuracy. In addition, the extremely high pick rates and space utilization will lead to labor savings and increased revenue. With its ability to move up to 120 trays per hour, multiple machines can be grouped for maximum efficiency.

Finally, VLMs can be an integral part in decreasing your footprint in your facility. For example, in a recent project, adding VLMs to the facility decreased our customer’s footprint from 5,000 square feet to 150. That’s over a 90% increase in space for other necessary equipment.

Want to learn more about Vertical Lift Machines? Click here for more information!