Navigating the warehouse automation wave

  • Articles
  • Mar 30,24
The panel discussion, hosted by FM Logistic, explained the strategic imperatives for the adoption of automation in warehousing.
Navigating the warehouse automation wave

In the ever-evolving landscape of industries, propelled by technological advancements and shifting market dynamics, the quest to bolster productivity and efficiency stands as a paramount imperative. Recently, a panel convened during the inauguration of FM Logistic’s cutting-edge warehouse in Bhiwandi, Maharashtra to explore the intricate web of challenges and opportunities presented by automation within the context of Indian enterprises. This discussion illuminated a spectrum of perspectives shaping the transformative trajectory of automation.

FM Logistic India, a prominent French contract logistics entity, marked the inauguration of its third state-of-the-art multi-client facility (MCF) in Bhiwandi, India’s largest logistics hub, amidst the presence of esteemed customers and partners. This endeavour underscores the firm's steadfast dedication to furnishing world-class sustainable omni-channel solutions across diverse industries.

Gautam Dembla, Chairman, FM Logistic India, underscored the heightened demand for swift product delivery propelled by the nation’s economic expansion and infrastructural investments. As the moderator, Demla articulated, “Consumers now anticipate service levels akin to those offered by e-commerce platforms, thereby posing a challenge for enterprises to efficiently meet these burgeoning demands. Governmental initiatives fostering value-added services like co-packing have revolutionised warehouse capabilities, prompting a reevaluation of how automation can optimise operations to cater to evolving customer requisites.”

Florence Petit, Country Head of Supply Chain Management, Legrand, echoed these sentiments, elucidating the hurdles such as heavy reliance on manual labour and frequent errors in tasks like unit picking. The transition to new facilities exacerbates these challenges, impinging upon operational efficiency and customer contentment. Automation emerges as a panacea to enhance precision and efficiency, especially in tasks prone to delays and revenue losses like loading and unloading.

Sandeep Bansal, Chief Business Officer, Falcon Autotech, delineated four pivotal trends influencing the adoption of automation: escalating labour costs, burgeoning rents, heightened consumer expectations, and competitive pressures. Strategic integration of automation becomes imperative to fortify operational resilience and fulfill customer exigencies, with divergent stances prevailing among companies contingent upon their maturity as automation stakeholders.

Vinayak Bhat, General Manager, Bastian Solutions, underscored the indispensability of automation in FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods) operations to sustain efficiency amidst labour scarcities and fluctuating consumer behaviours. He remarked, “Commencing with modest, manageable automation endeavours instills confidence and paves the way for broader adoption, enabling enterprises to accrue enduring benefits while liberating manpower for value-added endeavours."

Balaji Reddipalli, Group Head of Supply Chain, Borosil, echoed this sentiment, underscoring the gradual embracement of automation by Indian enterprises. A patient and incremental approach to implementation emerges as the linchpin for successful adoption, allowing organisations to systematically address specific pain points and augment value while balancing cost considerations.

Loic Delaitre, Group Automation Director, FM Logistic, accentuated the significance of devising comprehensive strategies and aligning automation ventures with customer visions and long-term objectives. Automation ought to be perceived as augmenting processes rather than supplanting human effort, with an emphasis on problem-solving and value addition to the business.

The transition towards automation within Indian enterprises is propelled by the imperative to bolster efficiency, meet evolving customer expectations, and sustain competitiveness. Commencing with manageable projects and embracing incremental implementation assumes paramount importance in charting a course towards long-term operational excellence and business expansion within an ever-evolving market terrain.

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