Investors See Value in Automated Solutions that Improve the Supply Chain
Record Levels of Funding
A growing number of startups in the supply chain management sector are enjoying record levels of VC funding following the pandemic.
At nearly $7 billion invested through July 2021, investor funds to supply chain management companies are on track to far exceed the previous industry peak in 2019 of $9.4 billion invested.
Many of the startups are focused on creating better ways to move products around, from collecting goods stranded by a logistics mistake to automating warehouse work. Some have even unveiled designs for fully robotic warehouse systems aimed at storing the same amount of goods in a fraction of the floor space.
It Actually Started with Amazon
Don’t be misled by anyone telling you the pandemic lit the match.
Explosive interest in automated solutions began with Amazon. The Amazon juggernaut changed the game by changing consumer expectations on delivery. Customers got cozy with the idea of 48-hour to same-day delivery. As a result, businesses of all sizes adjusted their expectations too. Suddenly, retailers large and small started questioning their distributors: If Amazon can deliver in 24 hours, why can’t you restock my shelves in 24 hours?
The supply-chain woes of the last 18-months have simply underscored the need for fresh, innovative solutions for everything from warehouse logistics to storage and fulfillment.
Size and Space Are Becoming Less Important
Identifying the type of automation that fits your organization’s needs is step one. Warehouse size and space used to be a determining factor.
Advances in micro-fulfillment, for example, brings automation at the back of the store; making it possible to automate tasks like receiving, shipping, and restocking in less than 5,000 square feet of space. It’s now possible to use a fleet of robots to sort and move products around a small stockroom with minimal human input. You’re now saving on labor costs, and averting a crisis when there is a worker shortage.
Value in Automated Systems That Can Adapt Quickly to Logistics Snafus
In a traditional manual system, even a small change can cause major disruptions. For example, if a shipment is delayed, workers have to scramble to find a new way to get the products to their destination on time. This can often mean working overtime, which can lead to errors and mistakes.
With an automated system, changes can be easily accommodated. For example, if a shipment is delayed, the system can automatically reroute it through another location that has the products available. This can save time and money, and prevent further disruptions. A tightly squeezed supply chain has only illuminated the value of solutions that minimize or eliminate logistics disruptions.
Automated Manufacturing & Distribution Solutions
When it comes to industrial storage, pallet racking has reigned king for storing boxes of inventory and supplies. But using static racking means settling for dozens of rows of empty aisles – and tons of wasted floor space.
Popular Automated Solutions for Manufacturing & Distribution
Lost floor space means lost opportunities for additional storage or value-added activities. Automated storage and retrieval systems are the perfect solution:
- Lift & Run
- Rapistak industrial stacker crane
- Pallet handling
And, space doesn’t limit your options for automation. Micro-fulfillment allows for automated solutions in 5,000 square feet. Get better accuracy and efficiency for warehouse growth in addition to automated solutions for products needing temperature-control and speed same-day delivery options.
- Carousel systems
- Shuttle systems
- Pouch Sorters and Carriers
- Automated MobileRobots
I’d Like to Learn More about Automation for My Organization
Whatever type of automated storage and retrieval system you’re looking for, McMurray Stern offers a range of ASRS products designed to help you store and retrieve items and materials with improved accuracy and speed. Let’s talk.