The Benefits of an Automated Storage and Retrieval System (AS/RS)
In recent decades, warehouses and other bulk storage facilities have grown to become key components of a retail and wholesale supply chain that serves to expedite the distribution of goods both at home and abroad. Until the 1960s, when the earliest automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS) began to make an appearance, warehouse managers depended entirely on static racking and shelving and employed operators working with or without the help of forklifts to perform the basic packing and picking functions.
As both the demand for goods and their diverse nature has increased, the need for more space and faster turnaround times has been growing in parallel. Finding larger premises and increasing the workforce can provide a partial solution but is an option that will inevitably lead to increased operating costs. Instead, making better use of the existing space and staff offers a more cost-effective means to cope with the increased demand and can be readily achieved by introducing an automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS).
So how will automating your warehouse benefit your storage or distribution operation? Just for a start, once the picking and packing processes no longer need to be performed manually, it will often be possible to increase the density of stored items considerably. Doing so will allow you to make better use of the available space, particularly where this may be limited, and you need to expand your stockholding. Furthermore, because these systems improve the speed and accuracy of picking, the move will enable your workers to become more productive, whereby a goods-to-person method is enabled. In practice, moving to a fully or partially automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) could make it possible to operate with a smaller workforce and thus further reduce your costs.
Whilst on the subject of money, should you consider upgrading to an automated system, the transition could cost less than you might have believed. The dynamic storage systems of today are available in a range of different designs and some can even be implemented in stages, which could allow you to stagger your investment if necessary.
Naturally, your choice will also be influenced by the specific needs of your business both currently and in the years ahead. For example, while one type of automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) may be designed to handle palletised loads, another may be intended for unit handling… To meet those needs, Storage Management Systems(SMS), a company with more than 30 years of experience in the fields of warehouse automation, can now offer you an exceptionally comprehensive range of innovative solutions.
In addition to offering a semi-automatic system, namely the Pallet Mole®, or the Omni-Mole® AS/RS, SMS can also provide the value-added services, being an intra-logistics systems integrator. Other state-of-the-art automated solutions range from sortation systems to vertical lift modules.
SMS can help you to improve profitability and gain a competitive edge. Contact us today for more details on automating your pallet storage.