In the last few years there has been more and more talk about warehouse automation and VLMs (Vertical Lift Modules) or more simply, automatic vertical warehouses. These are the solution for improving your business efficiency. Are they really so efficient and effective?
If you are not convinced, here are 6 reasons which will convince you to invest in an automatic vertical tray warehouse:
1 – So you will never again be able to say “I don’t know where that product is“
This is surely the main reason. You will have had to prepare an order and not know where the products are, either because you don’t remember or because the person who does know where the products are, is not around at the moment, or because of a thousand other reasons. With an automatic vertical warehouse, none of this ever happens. This is because each time you deposit products into the warehouse they are recorded in the database by the software which manages it. In this way, every operator, even the one who just started yesterday, will know exactly where every single product is located in the warehouse.
2 – So you don’t make unprofitable investments
We often fall into the same trap of thinking that the only solution to increasing our capacity to register and store products in our existing structures is to increase the physical space in the warehouse. Before you take this very costly step, stop and think for a moment. Are you really sure you are putting your currently available space to the best use? An automatic warehouse allows you to store products using the full height of your warehouse, up to 16 metres, and save up to 90% of your floor space. How is this possible? Because with a vertical warehouse you can store 80 cubic metres and 90,000 kg of stock in just 16 m2.
3 – So you don’t have orders returning and dissatisfied customers
Knowing the precise location of every product in your warehouse, you can quickly retrieve them and start preparing your orders safe in the knowledge that you have the correct products and haven’t forgotten any.
One of the greatest advantages of this new technology and therefore a good reason to choose it, is that automatic vertical warehouses allow you to automate order preparation: just send the correctly formatted list of products on the order to the management system. The warehouse then proceeds automatically to pick all the items on the order from tray after tray and place them in the delivery bay, ready to be wrapped and despatched.
This then allows you to create an automatic operational flow such as: semi-finished products -> finished product -> order preparation if the order you are preparing is made up of products made by you, or simply assembled by you. In other words, by linking your business management system to your warehouse you can transfer the picking list directly from the business management system to the vertical warehouse once production of the items on the order is complete and confirmed.
4 – So you don’t have to give up your Christmas holidays to do your inventory
How many times have you had to give up your Christmas holidays or cancel your employees’ holidays to do an inventory? Too many perhaps.
With an automatic vertical warehouse, this will never happen again. Thanks to the management system which keeps track of all operations and all stock movements, you can perform an inventory at any time with one click. For example, by connecting your warehouse and factory management systems, you can consult your inventory in real time, handily subdivided into raw materials, semi-finished products and finished products. All you have to do is divide up your stored items according to your operational flow patterns and let the machine keep track of everything.
5 – So products are not damaged and have to be discarded
When Storage Units have to be retrieved manually by an operator who is required to climb up and down a ladder, falls or other incidents which can injure people or damage goods are often reported. Also when products have to be moved frequently around the warehouse to either reposition them or simply to move them to the order preparation area, products often get damaged when they are dropped or are shunted against other products or simply through the carelessness of your staff. With automatic vertical warehouses, all your products are completely secure in their trays and move around without incurring any danger.
6 – So you can save, save, save
If you have read everything this far, you will know that an automatic vertical tray warehouse can save you lots of space, time and above all, money. Speeded up picking operations, improved security of goods, inventory operations with one click are just some of the advantages offered by this new technology.
How to optimize picking operations?
Picking is the heart of any warehouse, and it is an activity that must be designed and organized very carefully. Download our in-depth analysis on how to optimize picking.