Increasing numbers of businesses are beginning to prioritize automation, and those that have already invested heavily in automation have no plans to slow down. As a matter of fact, it is being emphasized more than previously. Companies are becoming more aware of the competitive advantages that automation provides, and they are beginning to question why implementing a goods-to-person or an ASRS system may or may not be beneficial in their particular business environment.
Increasing the emphasis on automation does not diminish the importance of effective operational management; rather, it necessitates increased leadership communication and organization to be successful.
Although automation can increase efficiency, a facility's ability to manage a dynamic environment is dependent on the effectiveness of its processes and the timely dissemination of information. In today's world, access to a large amount of data and tools for managers to quickly view, analyze, and make operational decisions in real time are highly sought-after benefits of automation.
After ensuring that common pitfalls are avoided and preparing for the new automation project, it is critical to clearly define expected day-to-day operations for the facility with the new automation, as well as the new standard operating procedures, in order to meet the business's expectations for the facility. With automation, there is no "set it and forget it" button to press.
Starting up an automation system has a learning curve, and things take time to become familiar with the system. On a daily basis, operators receive training and begin to carry out their responsibilities. As soon as you have been up and running for a short period of time, it is critical to be clear about job roles and expectations, especially because you will most likely need to make some shifts and adjustments to the automation system.
The operator may have an objective in terms of pick rate or stocking rate, for instance. Is the facility environment properly reset and prepared for the next shift at the end of each shift? New equipment and systems may require the creation of new checklists in order for the equipment and new processes to continue to operate as expected. In order to avoid a back-up in the trash line Conveyor belt, for example, it is necessary to flag down broken or inoperative equipment and address the problem immediately.
That is a straightforward question. Each year, some of them are likely to have an impact on hundreds or thousands of people. To name a few examples, social and healthcare workers, first responders, lawyers, dentists, and teachers are all at risk of being killed or injured on the job. Where does that leave us with the supply chain? Was there a difference?
This is when I realized what I had done. Everyone is affected by the supply chain. If we don't have it, our society will be unable to function. Consider this: how many online orders have you placed during the entire month of COVID, just for example? That gallon of milk or pound of ground beef that you rely on for your meals gets to your grocery store in the first place. It all comes down to supply chain management!
What is the impact of our industry on society? Yes, it does, and there has never been a more exciting time to begin a career in supply chain automation than now.
A large number of major supply chain automation companies are actively recruiting, and they are doing so at an aggressive pace. The CEO of a major supply chain automation company recently stated that the company intends to fill 1,000 new positions in the fourth quarter of 2020 only. Obviously, this is not an entirely new occurrence.
Bastian Solutions has been on a growth rampage for the past several years, with the exception of the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009. The fact that we are a great company with a superior culture has not prevented us from growing by 550% since 2010. Yes, those characteristics have undoubtedly played a role, but the demand for supply chain automation within the industry cannot be ignored.
I remember my wife ordering Christmas gifts from DICK'S Sporting Goods on the internet two years ago for our children. Even though the overall experience was mediocre, the gifts did not arrive for nearly 2 weeks. In the end, we had to make a quick decision. After a couple of years, the situation had completely changed for the worse.