After travelling to MODEX after not being there in 2020, a lot has changed and in a different way much has stayed the same. Automation in material handling has become more important than ever with rising labor costs in conjunction with labor scarcity. Here are three key takeaways from MODEX 2022.
More companies than ever are making and selling automated material handling equipment.
A client that is just stepping into the world of automation will have to avoid many pitfalls when starting the process of choosing an automation partner. With so many options make sure you find a solution that fits your operational needs. Consider the following:
- Vehicle maintenance and local support
- Ease of installation and change
- Software fees
- Product reliability
Not all robotic offerings have iterated over the last few years.
One of the things to note at the show, many of the robotic offerings have not changes over the last few years. Some products still require wire or tape guidance or other facility infrastructure to navigate. Some products require additional middleware to interact with WES or other WMS systems.
When investigating a potential automation partner ask them about their product and software roadmap. Any robotic company right now that isn’t iterating on improving their product offering and software reliability is a red flag. Look for a automation partner that is willing to investigate adaptions to their software/hardware to meet your future requirements.
The Return on Investment conversation is better that ever for a robotic solution.
While inflation and cost of materials has increased the investment level of AMRs or AGVs over the last few years, that increase in cost has not matched the level of increase in labor and the cost of turnover and having a full staff. If you’ve looked into automation in the last few years and found that the project didn’t warrant the investment, it may be time to consider because of the following:
- Increased fully burdened labor costs. On average you’re seeing a 30-40% increase in fully burdened costs over the last few years.
- HR costs of finding, hiring, onboarding and training new employees in a constantly shrinking labor pool.
- Loss of productivity of new hires and the loss of time overseeing new hires from a management point of view.
- Loss of productivity of not having a fully staffed team over the long term – always playing catch-up.
If you are interested in learning more about robotic solutions from ELT Systems Group, please contact us at any time. Free consultation is available and potentially a robotic demo at your facility may be available.