Can your automation survive peak seasonal demand?
If you are lucky enough to be in a position to be planning for peak sales at the end of November and December, we salute you. During 2020 businesses have been subject to constant, unexpected change and those which have survived have demonstrated an ability to adapt in very difficult and demanding circumstances.
Customer expectation continues to rise as the general population has become more technically savvy than ever before with online purchases fast becoming the default option. With Black Friday and Christmas on the horizon, this means that logistics companies will be under enormous pressure to pick, pack, sort and dispatch on time, every time. This situation seems set to continue into 2021 and beyond. For those distribution companies able to meet the expected demand, opportunities to expand are there for the taking.
Identify threats and opportunities
Making a performance assessment of your current materials handling equipment and existing process methods is a prudent step. It will ensure that you have the most appropriate equipment for your specific needs in the months and years ahead.
A thorough check of machinery will identify any potential bottle-necks, problems or high risk elements that require rectification. An evaluation of your materials handling procedures will determine whether you are making the most of your automation or if a new system would be beneficial. Calling in a specialist company to assist with your appraisal makes sense. They will provide a realistic view and, if additions are needed, help you to find the most effective solution.
Selecting a partner with a first-class reputation in the materials handling and automation industry, such as Axiom GB, will give you the best opportunity to achieve your goals.
Understanding your warehouse automation options
A well-designed automated solution has multiple benefits. It will efficiently manage the flow of goods around the warehouse/distribution centre to maximise productivity, especially during peak periods. In addition, it will reduce costs and help increase service levels.
Understanding your automation options will streamline process activities and help to increase efficiency. These options can range from simple transportation to a more complex system of sortation and dispatch.
Axiom has engineered a fully automated ‘click n collect’ system which handles single order items. Products are scanned in at the start of the fulfilment process, married up with any related paperwork and other accessories, bagged or boxed, labelled and then automatically sorted. This type of system enables customers to place orders late in the day for next day delivery.
Advanced technology also provides for the automatic sortation of irregular sized and shaped packages, a real bonus for many online businesses. At the Lynas food distribution centre in Ireland, Axiom’s innovative sortation system has been a game-changer. The installation sorts up to 45 diverse food products a minute to 11 destination lanes. The new sorter is capable of handling different shapes of product up to 500mm long. This enables the Lusk facility to process up to 20,000 products in one shift.
Adapting to a new climate of change
There is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way many UK businesses are run. Unfortunately, many of those unwilling or unable to change have not survived. Those with a convincing online offering and the distribution capabilities to offer excellent service, however, have not only survived, but also emerged stronger.
It makes sense to prepare now for the inevitable challenges that 2021 will bring. There’s little doubt that e-fulfilment facilities will be busier than ever. It takes time to design and install a system so you need to act now to be sure you have the right automation in place next year to meet the growing demand.
If you would like to talk to an experienced team you can trust to guide you through the automation process, contact Axiom for a consultation on 01827 61212 or email email@example.com