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22 Jan 2021

Automation providers vs Robotic Resellers – Is your automation scalable?

OW Robotics Stand: 410

Make sure your warehouse robotics solution is fully set up to be scalable

If you are looking into the prospect of bringing robotics to your business, you are almost certainly looking to grow.

Industry 4.0 is not a direction for stagnant companies or cottage industry players. If you are automating, it is most likely because your existing systems are reaching the limits of their abilities, and you want to move to the next level. This is something that flexible automation will be able to help you with.

As we’ve explored previously, flexible robotics offers expedited efficiency, as well as much faster fulfilment, and fully futureproofed operations. All exactly the sorts of things that growing companies are looking for. But every year your company grows, so will the demands on your systems.

This is something that will need considering when you select your automation partner. Will their robots be able to keep up? How will they handle the next step in your business’s growth? This is why you need to be asking

 

Is your automation scalable?

Depending on the response you get to this question, you can separate the companies you are considering into the two camps we’ve discussed before. Either they will be a mere robotic reseller, or an actual automation provider.

 

Robotic reseller

When it comes to scalability, robotic resellers are in something of a conundrum. The answer is technically yes, but really it’s more “yes, but it’ll cost you and take a while”.

When confronting the question of scalability, the robotic reseller has only one recourse. Offering to sell you more robots. While this will ultimately allow you to scale up your automation, the robotic reseller will not be assisting you in any way with the scaling process. Integrating new robots into your existing operation, installing any new infrastructure, and ensuring there are no teething problems will be entirely your responsibility. From the robotic reseller’s POV, their role is to sell you robots, which they will have done.

That lack of help could well mean substantial disruption to your warehouse operations at exactly the wrong time. When you need more robots, it’s because you are growing. You don’t want a slowdown around the exact moment you want to expand.

 

Automation provider

An automation provider understands that what they are providing you isn’t just robots. It isn’t even robotics and the software to run then. What automation providers offer is a service and a supportive business relationship.

Scalability will be something that automation providers are more than prepared to discuss, prepare for, and plan around. When you come to automation providers, you know you can expect your business to grow, so organising around growth will be assumed. Like robotic resellers, this will involve selling you more robots. Unlike robotic resellers, it will also mean factoring in the additional support and technical assistance you’re naturally going to need.

Automation providers will have a long term vision of how your growth will work while they support your operations. They will ask questions about when your business usually expects its busiest seasons, how past performance informs ideas about expected growth, and the specific struggles you’ve been experiencing that lead you towards considering flexible automation. Your answers to all this will lead them towards a timetable. With that sequence of events in mind, they’ll show you how you and they can co-ordinate resources and arrange implementation plans. When the time does come to expand, you experience the barest modicum of an operational slowdown.

 

Superior scalability

With OWR, you can be sure that your automation solution will be completely scalable. Our team of talented support staff will build in provisions and plans to make sure that when the time comes for more robots in your system, you will be ready.

To see what that system could look like now, come and visit our robotics demonstration centre. We offer tours in person and remote displays to show you and your staff exactly what a flexible automation solution can offer. Discover for yourself what the future of flexible automation means for you and your business.

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