The warehouse has a significant impact on the service level (it shall guarantee suitable lead times through processes and structures reducing
errors and damages to the minimum) and the running costs (about one fourth of the total logistic costs on average); it is therefore clear that
it shall not be considered a more or less unavoidable cost but rather one of the levers for competitiveness.
In many cases it is advisable to evaluate whether it is profitable to create an automated warehouse; this has to be done with no preconceived ideas
that is without an approach characterized by commercial influences or prejudices. It is also worth remembering that very often an automated warehouse
cannot solve all problems linked to storing and handling, especially in case of complex warehouses having big dimensions; for instance, there can be
products whose physical characteristics are not compatible with the loading units adopted by the automated warehouse or reference codes whose handling
level doesn't suit the one attributed to them by the automated warehouse since they are too much or too little handled. This is the reason why it is very
important to tackle the problem as a whole involving all functional areas (from reception to shipping also focusing, in the case of manufacturing companies,
on the integration with the flows from and to the production departments); a logistics consulting company possesses all the professional requirements
needed to face an all-round project in the correct way.
The technological options to solve the problem of warehouse operation through automation increased a lot compared to a few years ago and choosing the
most suitable ones in terms of performance and return on investment requires a careful activity of analysis, especially when picking activities shall
be carried out.
Over more than 30 years of logistics consulting Simco has designed lots of automated warehouses in all sectors, applying with success several storage
technologies (single deep, double deep pallet stacker cranes, shuttle stacker cranes for pallets, single and double deep miniload systems, multi-tool
miniload systems, miniload systems for boxes and cartons of various sizes, multi-shuttles, etc.) and a variety of handling heads (conveyors,
shuttles, overhead self-powered trolleys, LGVs, anthropomorphic or gantry (Cartesian coordinate) robots for automated picking etc.).
Our Customers have almost always involved us both in the Feasibility Study, that is the phase where the best warehouse solution from the point of view
of organization and technology has to be selected by deciding, among other things, whether to choose for an automated warehouse or to adopt more
conventional solutions, and in the phase of completion where our consulting focuses on:
- Our Customers have almost always involved us both in the Feasibility Study, that is the phase where the best warehouse solution from the point of view of organization and technology has to be selected by deciding, among other things, whether to choose for an automated warehouse or to adopt more conventional solutions, and in the phase of completion where our consulting focuses on:Designing the detailed layout,
- Drawing up technical and general tender specifications
- Giving support to purchases
- Project Management
- Giving support to testing (FAT and SAT)
- Giving support to commissioning
The development of these activities during the phases of completion of automated warehouses enabled us to acquire a very specific know-how allowing
to make the solutions to be adopted extremely reliable in terms of organization, layout, technology and calculation of the return on investment
starting from the Feasibility Study.
Automated warehouses are quite complex not only as regards the technology of the individual components but rather the performance the storage and
handling system shall guarantee, mainly concerning the heads; this is why for over 20 years Simco has developed dynamic simulations
with its own
tools and know-how.
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The strong and weak points of the current Supply Chain are defined, determining the possible interventions and underlying the
expected advantages, the requirements needed to obtain them, the risks as well as the necessary time and resources.
It defines the strategic, technological and organizational options to eliminate any weak points and reach excellent levels as regards
efficiency, accuracy and service. It determines alternative solutions which are analysed and presented, defining their values in terms
of obtainable results, budget and return on investment, operating costs, flexibility, and realization times.
It is the analytical project of all components of the Logistic System to issue the drawings and technical and functional of requirements
necessary to launch the tenders for contract.
Management of the implementation
Technical assistance to tenders, check of the technical content and project time schedules of vendors' bids, logistic project management
and on site supervision, personnel training and assistance to inspections, start-up and commissioning of the Logistic System are the
services offered to support the Customer.
Periodical control of efficiency
After commissioning, the results actually reached are checked together with the causes of any deviations from set goals,
while new targets to be achieved are defined in a logic of "continuous improvement".