Honeywell’s new report on warehouse automation reveals that once-predictable consumer demand cycles centered around holidays and peak seasons have given way to a model where any month, week, or day can be a “holiday.”
The report, “Warehouse Automation: Future-Proofing the Global Economy,” is authored by Futurum Research. It looks at the role of automation and its future as a critical component in assisting warehouses and distribution centers in meeting consumer demand.
The report focuses on three recommendations developed by speaking with a group of industry leaders with deep, global experience.
- Focus on augmenting and securing, not replacing the worker. The future of warehouse and DC operations is one where workers and automation technologies are both needed and must co-exist.
- Constantly challenge assumptions and technologies. The value of automation should not be limited to just automating existing takes or processes; it should be part of an overall strategy that addresses what tasks can be automated today while asking what new tasks or processes might be possible tomorrow.
- Invest with a long-term focus on both technologies and partners. Applying automation technologies to address specific short-term needs may make sense in a static or slow-growth market. However, today’s rapidly growing, and evolving market requires a much longer focus and a more rigorous framework.
“While warehouses have historically had a sense of predictability in demand cycles, we found that in today’s warehouses and DCs, every day is as busy as peak,” said Shelly Kramer, principal analyst and founding partner of Futurum Research. “While we can assume the level of strain this has placed on supply chain and fulfillment operations, we were able to get a better grasp of how businesses are approaching this shift in consumer expectations and adopting the right automation to meet their long-term business goals.”
The report also explores the effects of the pandemic, global trade issues, and regional conflicts on the previously predictable throughput and capacity of warehouses and DCs.
Go here to download the report.