The Power of Warehouse Automation

Date: January 12, 2017


Increase warehouse efficiency by implementing a WMS Solution

From receiving inventory, to entering product data, packing up goods, and then shipping them out the door, the daily workload of the average 3PL is comprised of thousands of mundane, repetitious, and exceedingly time-consuming tasks. Unfortunately, some 3PLs are still performing many of these activities by hand.

However, with the improvements in warehouse management solutions, it doesn’t have to be that way forever. Advances in scanning, robotic, and web-based technologies are reducing the need for routine manual labor every day. In fact, a study by McKinsey & Company estimated it was now feasible to automate 78% of all “predictable physical work” conducted in the United States1.

Clearly, this would include a significant portion of work being done within 3PLs. According to Labor Market Data analyst Emsi, more than 40% of workers in the warehousing and storage industry are employed as hand laborers, freight movers, stock clerks, and hand packers and packagers2 – occupations which could all be significantly automated via technology.

While total warehouse automation is still years away from being deployed industry-wide, 3PLs performing even a small percentage of these routine tasks manually are almost certainly losing an opportunity to increase their profits. It is staggering just how quickly the day-to-day costs of manual activities add up.

So just how does a 3PL calculate cost savings when choosing to automate processes? Using the 3PL Central WMS ROI Calculator, you can get an instant estimate of your 3PL's potential savings when looking to deploy automation.

roi-smaller-1Free to download, the WMS ROI Calculator was created to demonstrate just how much a 3PL warehouse can save by switching to a cloud-based WMS alone. We estimate that the typical 3PL will save an average of $2,750 every day in manual labor costs by moving to an automated system. These savings add up and continue to improve a 3PL's bottom line.

Of course, reducing pure labor costs is only one way a 3PL can benefit from warehouse automation technology. Automating processes can instantly make a warehouse more productive, effective, and competitive by enabling you to:

  • Increase efficiency
  • Improve accuracy
  • Move products more quickly
  • Free up staff for higher value work
  • Increase profitability

The future of warehousing will belong to 3PLs who can respond quickly and efficiently – while still maintaining their profit margins. Staying abreast of the latest trends in warehouse automation will help ensure your 3PL continues to do well.

Download Our Free WMS ROI Calculator.

To learn exactly how much a cloud-based WMS software could start saving your warehouse, we invite you to download the 3PL Central WMS ROI Calculator today. Straightforward and easy to use, our calculator is already providing eye-opening stats on how much a 3PL can save day-to-day and year over year.

1. http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/digital-mckinsey/our-insights/Where-machines-could-replace-humans-and-where-they-cant-yet

http://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/mckinsey/business%20functions/mckinsey%20digital/our%20insights/where%20machines%20could%20replace%20humans%20and%20where%20they%20cant/sector-automation.ashx

2. http://www.economicmodeling.com/2016/09/29/automation-warehousing-metros-suspectible/


3PL Central

Written by 3PL Central

3PL Central was founded in 2006 by John Watkins and Nancy Rohman while running their own 3PL warehouse. When they were unable to find an adequate warehouse management system (WMS) to manage their own inventory and operations, they built the first cloud-based WMS solutions designed for 3PLs. Powerful, flexible, scalable, and specifically designed to help 3PLs and warehouses grow to the next level, our WMS solutions now serve more than 750 customers around the world.