These advancements in robotics and software might be the perfect additions to your warehouse. However, owners of smaller ventures may be concerned about overhead costs and the expected increases in day-to-day operating costs.
At the same time, newer models of technology are put out at incredible speeds these days. Especially in operations that prioritize owning the latest equipment versions, the significant investment into any piece of technology becomes less relevant after the first few years of ownership. How are warehouses that don’t already have exceedingly high annual budgets supposed to compete on a large scale?
With this question in mind, some warehouses have begun turning to robots-as-a-service (RaaS) for solutions when filling their buildings with robots. RaaS works like many other subscription services you are likely already familiar with. In this system, a RaaS vendor rents a robot, or a set of robots, to a warehouse for a set contract period. This window of time could be as short as a few months or extend over multiple years. At the end of the agreed timeframe, the warehouse owner can decide whether to renew the contract or swap some of the machinery in the agreement for newer models.
This order of operations benefits warehouses in several ways. The price of renting a robot from a designated vendor is often cheaper in the long run than an outright purchase, followed by subsequent upgrades that may be necessary in the months immediately following the sale.
In addition, the RaaS vendor retains all ownership responsibilities, including maintenance. This means that the vendors, not the warehouses themselves, must take care of repairs and other bits of upkeep. Removing the burden of total purchasing and repairs from the plates of warehousing operations empowers smaller businesses to take advantage of up-to-date technology and equipment. These new machines, in turn, help keep everyone working near them safe and on the job so that business can continue to grow.
Often, RaaS vendors also offer software-as-a-service (SaaS). The SaaS model functions much like RaaS, in which a SaaS vendor rents software to member warehousing organizations using a cloud-based system. The SaaS applications remain the vendor’s property, so they once again take on the cost of updates and bug fixing. As with RaaS, SaaS helps businesses with smaller budgets bring AI and other significant accomplishments in computer science to their work floors.
Keeping workers safe should always be the top priority for any warehouse manager. Using programs such as RaaS and SaaS, your logistics professionals on the floor can continue growing and improving in their positions with advanced equipment and software, all without ruining your annual bottom line.
At GreyOrange, we value sharing the news and knowledge that keep every warehouse in the business at the top of its game. For more industry-leading information, check out our blog and stay informed about the latest robotics developments.