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The automation alternative to seasonal hiring surges

Article by Michael Trimmer

 

Seasonal hiring surges have been something that is part and parcel of the warehousing and logistics landscape for so long now, it feels like there can’t possibly be another way of doing things.

To keep up with demand, you need extra speed. Training workers to be faster would be impractical and take too long. Reorganising your entire warehouse would be disruptive and difficult. The only option seems to be to keep doing what you’re currently doing, but just more so. That means more workers.

But is this the only way?

Given that hiring surges are extremely costly, highly uncooperative, potentially dangerous, and really not as effective as you might think, it seems high time for an alternative.

This is warehouse automation.

Warehouse automation is the true alternative to what has become a highly persistent problem. Without seasonal hiring surges, so many problems faced by warehouse-utilising businesses during peak seasons can be completely avoided.

Accelerable operations

Peak seasons, much like many other calendar-based issues, are largely predictable. While some spikes might come suddenly and without warning, demand surges are very often linked to known and planned for events. In the same way that this allows you to prepare with hiring extra staff, you can also prepare with deploying more robots.

The software that controls Wise Robotics’ AMRs (autonomous mobile robots) is modular and adaptable. It can incorporate additional robots to accelerate your warehouse’s workings for a specific window, only then to return to an off-peak deployment when demand calms down. This allows you to accelerate at peak times, slow down for the rest of the year, all without losing any efficiency.

Consistent accuracy

Seasonal hiring surges often involve hiring staff less experienced with warehousing in general, and much less familiar with your operation specifically. This means the likelihood of mistakes rapidly rises. Exactly the sort of thing you don’t want when you are dealing with higher order volumes. This is also something you no longer need to deal with when warehouse automation comes into play.

AMRs deliver consistent speed, efficiency, and accuracy regardless of how many are deployed, or how many orders come in. Concerns about experience or concentration can be completely avoided. Instead you can rely on the highly experienced and proficient core staff that you would have been using during the rest of the year, while deploying additional AMRs to boost speed. Thanks to advanced computer control systems and sophisticated scanning techniques, the robots can guarantee high levels of accuracy at all times. This kind of operational stability simply isn’t available from a seasonal hiring surge.

Costs under control

The spiralling costs associated with seasonal hiring costs are kept much more manageable with a warehouse automation alternative. When you are dealing with a hiring surge, the actual cost of the workers’ time is only the tip of the expenditure iceberg. Advertising for the role, staff selection, training time, agency fees, health and safety instruction, HR management. That’s only if everything goes well at every stage. Other costs, such as the overall loss in efficiency, accidents, and errors in deliveries or picking procedures, will also have their price tag.

With warehouse automation, the costs are not only dramatically less than this, they are also infinitely more trackable. Your business can monitor what is being spent on the deployment of additional robots, and then easily measure up that against the overall levels of demand processing, throughput increase, and despatch timetables. All completely measurable and traceable, allowing your finances to remain completely within your control. This in contrast to the reliance on guesstimates and approximation that you’ll have to do when working with slews of new staff hired during seasonal surges.

Discover warehouse automation

Discover why you don’t have to deal with the struggle of seasonal hiring surges anymore. See why you can avoid all the problems associated with the cost, danger, and general difficulty of hiring so many extra staff for a narrow and busy window. Learn how your business can be at near peak performance all year round with the help of industry 4.0 technology. See why now is the time to join the automation generation by speaking to our exceptional team of experts today.

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