Orchestrating Putaway Efficiency: The Symphony Of Smart Intralogistics Automation

automated putaway

In the world of warehouse management, each step in the intralogistics process plays a pivotal role in determining efficiency. At the heart of these operations lies the seemingly simple yet crucial process of putaway. This action, involving the placement of received goods into storage, often proves to be a bottleneck, consuming valuable time and resources. In this blog, we explore the transformative effects of intralogistics technology on the putaway process, unraveling how innovation can optimize this component of warehouse operations. When it’s done right, it’s like music to your operators’ ears. 

Smooth putaway: a harmonious symphony

Smooth putaway is the gateway to organized and accessible inventory, ensuring that goods are not only received but also strategically stored for swift retrieval. However, traditional methods, burdened with manual equipment, multiple touchpoints and a high potential for errors, have become inadequate to meet the demands of modern logistics. Imagine a symphony where every instrument, representing different aspects of putaway operations, needs to play in perfect harmony for the warehouse to function seamlessly.

Smooth putaway is the gateway to organized and accessible inventory, ensuring that goods are not only received but also strategically stored for swift retrieval.

Navigating present complexities: the orchestra conductor

The modern market is dynamic and the influence of smart robotics is growing rapidly. According to Modern Materials Handling, 29% of warehouses and distribution centers are already using intralogistics robotics, and the number is only going to go up. Manual operations for putaway introduce inconsistencies, delays and errors, impacting precision and speed. Intralogistics automation offers a solution to these challenges. 

1. Manual operations for putaway: unraveling a tangled score

Manual warehouse processes, reliant on human labor for putaway, introduce inconsistencies and slow down workflows, resulting in a cacophony of errors and unnecessary steps that hinder the flow of goods.

Impact: Increased processing time, higher error rates and reduced workflow efficiency

2. Infrastructural complexities: navigating a complex musical composition

Specific infrastructure requirements, such as pick-put stations and staging areas, limit scalability and adaptability. The addition of stations is costly and contributes to space constraints.

Impact: Higher costs, limited scalability and compromised operational flexibility

3. Lack of consolidation: disharmony in storage arrangement

Inefficient consolidation processes waste storage capacity and hinder the location and retrieval of goods, impacting efficiency.

Impact: Suboptimal space utilization, difficulty locating inventory and decreased operational efficiency

4. Excess manpower requirements: an overcrowded orchestra

The need for an extensive workforce can be visualized as an orchestra with too many musicians; it increases operational costs and introduces the risk of errors associated with human interventions.

Impact: Increased labor costs, higher likelihood of errors and operational inefficiencies

5. Inefficient returns handling: a discordant note

Poorly managed returns cause inventory discrepancies, impacting customer satisfaction and requiring extra resources for rectification.

Impact: Extended processing times for re-induction, dissatisfied customers and additional resource allocation

6. Replenishment putaway: missing the beat

Traditional replenishment processes lack real-time adaptability, leading to suboptimal space utilization and inefficiencies in adapting to fluctuating inventory demands.

Impact: Ineffective space utilization, potential stockouts and inability to adapt to real-time inventory dynamics

RELATED READ: The customer comes second: building a foundation of intelligent inventory management

Exploring new horizons: a technological crescendo

In the ever-evolving landscape of intralogistics automation, a disruptive wave is reshaping the upstream ecosystem – a technological crescendo in our warehouse symphony. The traditional process of unloading and sorting pallet cases is being revolutionized by automated inventory putaway.

Inventory arrives at inbound docks, and the intralogistics system collaborates with an operator to place it into Mobile Storage Units (MSUs), Mobile Case Units (MCUs) or Mobile Pallet Units (MPUs). The automated system then transports the MSU directly to the Goods-To-Person (GTP) area, eliminating the need for traditional Pick Put Stations (PPSs).

This automated putaway method streamlines operations, removing the necessity for manual intervention and PPSs in the GTP zone. Traditionally, two individuals are required for a putaway operation. However, automation renders manual stations obsolete, resulting in substantial cost savings across manpower and physical infrastructure.

AUTOMATION IN ACTION: How intralogistics bots saved Dorman $4.2M

The warehouse efficiency symphony

The adoption of smart intralogistics automation in putaway operations orchestrates increased efficiency and operational optimization. By addressing current challenges and revolutionizing consolidation techniques with automation, businesses can remove the discordant notes from their scores and enjoy the sound (and function) of a wondrous warehouse symphony.

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