Inventory management with robots made easy

January 7, 2024
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What is inventory management with robots? 

Inventory management with robots refers to complex automated, robotic systems driven by AI technology to streamline inventory processes.

Some common tasks these systems can handle are: 

Through the use of sensors and high-tech algorithms, these robots efficiently navigate inventory shelves, ensuring accurate stock counts, reducing errors, and helping optimize storage space. 

Benefits of using robots for inventory management

Using inventory management with robots can be a productivity benefit (25-50%).They excel at those grinding, repetitive tasks like sorting and organizing inventory around the clock.

Plus, they don’t take breaks. 

Here’s our 3 main reasons inventory management with robots is a no-brainer:

  • They’re accurate. They make virtually no mistakes in counting, measuring, or tracking inventory. They also provide real-time data about inventory levels, movement, and storage locations, increasing your overall inventory control.
  • Robots improve safety by handling heavy or hazardous loads, saving your employees from those dreaded chiropractor visits. They can lift and move inventory even in narrow spaces where forklifts won't fit. They’re also very precise at handling products, reducing the possibility of damage. 

In the long run, they’ll save you money. Although initial investments in robots and infrastructure are typically high, their consistent productivity and efficiency lead to a fast ROI (typically 1-3 years).

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Is it easy to implement robots into your inventory management system? 

The implementation of inventory management with robots may sound like high-minded Ph.D. stuff, but it’s not. 

To get started with robotics, begin by assessing your current inventory management process, with a focus on repetitive jobs.

Some tasks ripe for automation are: 

  • Counting and tracking inventory
  • Moving heavy or bulky inventory
  • Pulling items to fulfill orders

Once you’ve identified the low-hanging fruit, decide whether to build your own robotics system or purchase an off-the-shelf solution

Building your own robots requires specialized staff with technical expertise. The upside is a much greater opportunity for customization. It also costs way more money.

Purchasing a pre-built system is often easier to implement, and tends to be much easier on your cash reserves, especially if you’re running an SME. 

Here are the main things to keep in mind when choosing a model:

  • Mobility: Wheels, tracks, or walking mechanisms for navigating warehouse floors.
  • Lifting capacity: This is the payload, or how much the robot can lift, stack, and move inventory of different sizes, shapes, and weights.
  • Navigation: Sensors, cameras, and software for mapping the warehouse, detecting possible obstacles, and navigating safely without bumping into your employees. 
  • Integration: Easy-to-understand interfaces for connecting your warehouse management system to your ERP software. 

Summing up

We’ve cleared up a bit of the fog around inventory management with robots. By now, it should be clear that these automated coworkers can help you skyrocket productivity and reduce errors by a large margin.

And, with robots on the job, you'll have more time to strategize, synergize with customers, and scale your business in unprecedented ways.

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