Is automation the answer to your supply chain?

Over the past 25 years The Logistics Business has built a wealth of experience across the supply chain spectrum, particularly within automation. A fundamental cornerstone of our expertise is finding the right solution for the right business. There are substantial benefits to the installation of automation, however there are several key questions a business must answer before engaging with a supplier.

Post 2008 recession, firms have placed an increased financial squeeze onto the supply chain by increasing the importance of defining tangible monetary benefits when considering automation.  In our experience we have seen payback on automation as soon as 2 years. The numbers sell themselves, but the difficulty presents itself when defining these numbers and the devil is in the data.

The benefit of automation is often the reduction in labour which gives said payback. Despite the rapid development in technology however, automation is still limited to relatively standardised tasks. In fact, the more vanilla your operation the larger the benefits of automation. Flexibility is not something which automation excels at, so future proofing through scenario modelling is the key to success.

When installing automation onto a blank canvas, day-to-day operations do not require consideration. Conversely, existing operations require critical path and risk analysis to establish the impact upon existing operations, ensuring the cost of implementation is minimised during installation.

The benefits of automation in the right environment can reap huge rewards for a wide range of businesses. Though the large capital investment which it can involve, means businesses must consider a variety of different factors. Automation may well be the answer for your operations however consider the implications on the macro business before engaging suppliers.

10th February 2016