I recently attended a virtual networking event for the biotech industry. When asked by the group leader to give a 15-second summary of who I am and what I do, I said that I help clients repurpose storage space for higher value activities, like clean rooms, laboratory space, or kitting activities. I also said that installing ASRS solutions can be incredibly helpful for sustainable social distancing in these areas as well. Turns out they always have been, we just did not know it.
Creating solutions that promote sustainable and effective social distancing helps companies ensure their employees are staying safe while still being able to work efficiently. Every operations’ number one responsibility is to ensure their employees are safe and protected. Additionally, they are actively doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19. ASRS solutions intuitively help achieve these goals.
Put ASRS to Work for You
Here are just a few ways that ASRS vertical storage solutions can help you tackle the challenges that lie ahead.
1. Free up space to optimize your flow and reduce bottlenecks where associates would otherwise congregate. Most systems densify the storage of products and utilize the wasted vertical cube in your building, thereby reducing the square footage needed.
2. Reduce walking time since the machine brings product to the associate so there is less need to move about the warehouse. In most systems, you can batch pick multiple orders or kits at once. The workspace is usually a 20- to 30-foot aisle in front of two or three machines.
3. The productivity and control enhancements made possible by intralogistics software incorporated with goods to person vertical storage equipment will reduce the total number of associates in the area.
4. Reduce the number of touch points. In many cases you can develop a process where associates pick directly into the shipper. This was a good idea before COVID-19 with an added benefit post-COVID-19.
5. Create touch-free order consolidation by incorporating conveyor, buffer storage systems, and software.
Smart Investment for Long-Term Benefits
Someday soon, I hope, we will return to a substantially normal way of life. This includes the work we do within our client’s facilities. All the steps outlined above are good ideas that most businesses could implement to improve their respective operations. It is nice to know that by implementing these good practices, there is the added benefit of reducing the chance of transmission of the current virus and any other flu or virus that shows up in the future. The ROI on these systems is often less than 18 months, with the advantage of social distancing being a big bonus.
Integrated Systems Sales Manager, Abel Womack
Peter Haywood is the Integrated Systems Sales Manager at Abel Womback with more than 20 years’ experience in providing automated solutions that include high-density storage, robotics, innovative software, and other ASRS technologies.