Key Drivers Behind Workflow Automation in Order Fulfillment

A summary of the Automation.com article, “Warehouse Operators Driven to Automate for Workforce Augmentation”

Prior to the pandemic, warehouse robot adoption was on track to grow 6-8% annually through 2024. Then the global pandemic struck and warehouse operators serving the e-commerce market found themselves faced with exponentially surging order volume, higher customer expectations for accuracy and delivery times—and a crippling labor shortage. Combined, those factors boosted shipments of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) by 20% in 2020, with analysts now predicting that more than 2 million AMRs will ship over the next three years—most of them destined for warehouse operations.

Stefan Nusser, Senior Director of Product Management, Robotics Automation, Zebra Technologies, writes for Automation.com about the key drivers behind the move to automate workflows in order fulfillment, the role of AMRs and the value that automation innovation delivers to the evolution of work in the warehouse for people.

As consumers continue to shop online—the ecommerce market is expected to hit $1T in 2022 —warehouse operations teams find themselves moving toward more automation to streamline all aspects of the order fulfillment process from inbound logistics to inventory tracking and outbound logistics. Software-driven autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) dynamically collaborate with workers and safely navigate facilities to move goods and materials from one place to the next, freeing associates to spend 100% of their time focused on their job, whether that’s picking, packing, or putting away items.

Article highlights

  • Key drivers behind the shift toward a more rapid pace of robotic deployments in warehouse operations
  • The role of robotic automation in supply chain stabilization amid sustained e-commerce growth
  • How robot-human collaboration on warehouse workflows increases productivity, throughput and accuracy
  • Ways that robot deployments improve worker satisfaction, reduce workplace injury, and contribute to enhancing the perception of warehouse work

“Mobile robots free up workers to focus on the value-driven tasks that make their jobs meaningful and rewarding, and they can compensate for labor shortages when needed by keeping fulfillment, distribution, reverse logistics, and production workflows moving uninterrupted.’

Stefan Nusser, Senior Director of Product Management, Robotics Automation, Zebra Technologies

Read the full article on Automation.com here.


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