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Knowledge Center Blog Don’t Miss The Boat! Charting a Course For Automation

Don’t Miss The Boat! Charting a Course For Automation

Automated. User-friendly. Efficient. These are probably just a few of the buzzwords you’ve heard floating around about robotics. 

However, it might surprise you to know that in a 2022 survey by Modern Materials Handling only 23% of warehouses currently use robots. 29% would like to use robots eventually, but the largest percentage of respondents at 40% have no plans to use robots at all in the foreseeable future.

So, what gives? Robots are the next big thing, right? It’s hard to deny that automation technology has the potential to completely reshape the supply chain landscape. But robotics integration is more complicated than it might seem.

Can Everyone Be Like Amazon?

In 2013, Amazon deployed 1,300 robots across several warehouses. All they needed was almost $800 million dollars lying around to buy robotics company Kiva Systems. Oh, and they had a $40 million quarterly loss from growing pains that soon followed the deployment.

A bold move by Amazon to buy into the market early, but maybe not a play that would fit in every company’s budget.

The truth is that most warehouses don’t have the brute capital currently needed to establish major robotics programs and nurture them while they take several years or even decades to provide significant ROI. 

Fortunately, while technology continues to make robots more affordable and the prospect of widespread implementation in the next decade or two looms, there are intermediate steps warehouses can take to stay on track and be prepared.

The Future Is Coming Soon!

Let’s return to those keywords of automated, user-friendly, and efficient. Mountain Leverage’s Hands-Free, Eyes-Free™ solutions offer all these advantages, but without waiting years for ROI. In fact, we find that almost all our implementations provide complete ROI within the first nine to twelve months.

Significantly, our voice solutions are a step in the path to complete automation. Most new hires coming to work in warehouses these days have grown up with voice recognition technology at their fingertips and take to a voice-directed picking system intuitively, resulting in greater worker productivity on top of faster workflow processes thanks to automation. Using voice automation in place of robotics gets you all the benefits of automated processes without the heavy IT lift and business interruption during deployment.

Other advantages both Mountain Leverage voice solutions and robotics offer are increased safety, heavily diminished error rates, and worker satisfaction and retention. But our voice solutions can offer these benefits at the fraction of the cost and with far faster ROI. Plus, with the annual savings you can achieve from voice solutions, you can save up for future investments in robotics and more automation.

Ready to join the trend and put your warehouse on the path to automation? Schedule a free discovery call with our experts today.