The path from a nonautomated warehouse to an automated one is not easy, fast, or cheap, says Wes Whalberg, director of supply chain engineering at Best Buy. Companies should consider the benefits, however, when asking the question "Why automate?" From labor savings, potential growth, wins achieved only through robotics and computerization, space and networking savings, and lack of labor availability, automating your distribution network can give you a true competitive advantage, he said.
During a technology and innovation track session at The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals 2019 EDGE Conference, Whalberg detailed the 10-step program his company followed and the lessons learned from automating its distribution network. For companies considering the investment into their supply chain capabilities, consider following these steps: