The cold storage supply chain industry has grown significantly in recent years, largely through high demand for temperature-sensitive products, including food, pharmaceuticals and medical goods. Although businesses are increasingly investing in more efficient and reliable solutions to facilitate supply chain technology integration, transparency and adaptability, there’s still a good number of cold store operators who may be hesitant to adopt automated solutions.
Many logistics executives have come to believe that running and operating an automated cold store is costly. Let’s take a closer look at two more cold store warehousing misconceptions and sort fact from fiction.
*Myths #1 and #2 can be found here.
Myth #3: Automated equipment require large initial investments
Installing automated solutions can indeed be capital-intensive, but over time, the productivity gains, higher efficiency rates and lower operating costs far outweigh the upfront investment. For example, automation reduces a company’s reliance on manual labor, which generates higher rates of accuracy and efficiency in turn, lowering a warehouse’s average cost per error.
Besides, installation and implementation costs can vary widely, depending on a business’ strategy — be it long- or short-term. Robotics such as Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) and Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) are portable, cost-effective options that can be used in different environments. Due to lower initial investment costs, such robotic solutions may be ideal for businesses with short-term strategies.
Myth #4: Real-time visibility is difficult to achieve in harsh cold store warehouse environments
Unlike traditional warehouse systems, today’s automated solutions tap on Internet of Things (IoT) to carry out real-time monitoring procedures. This enables cold store operators to efficiently and accurately identify problems and track a variety of parameters, including temperature and humidity levels and product movements. Such solutions are especially helpful for the cold chain industry, which often deals with perishable products that must be moved under specific environmental conditions. With proper handling, cold store operators can ensure product safety and quality throughout the course of storage and shipment.
In a time where product safety is fast becoming a global concern, automated solutions like the Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) and Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) can play a significant role in supporting product traceability in all areas of the supply chain. These technologies can also help to accelerate responsiveness in times of product recall.
As time passes, the complexities of warehousing demands will likely only increase. Cold chain operators with automated cold store warehouses are staying ahead of their competition, as they are able to handle higher capacities while improving safety rates and reducing operational costs. With automated solutions from intralogistics service providers like Körber, the cold chain industry can look forward to higher accuracy, efficiency and productivity. Find out more here: www.koerber-supplychain.com/industries/cold-chain