Intralogistics: the Secret of Smart Supply Chains
Logistics is about how we move things from point A to point B across the supply chain. Intralogistics is the same concept but the much more expanded version. It is related to how we most efficiently get goods from the receiving dock to the shipping dock in the warehouses and distribution centers. Companies who invest in intralogistics technologies to ease supply chain management, obviously get a distinct advantage. However, the time at which these kinds of investments will go out of being a plus point and turn into a need seems very close. Because customers expect immediate accessibility with continuously decreasing prices in today’s manufacturing and that is only possible with an Industry 4.0 concept that can enable the smart integration of manufacturing and logistics operations in the supply chain.
The main difference between a regular supply chain and a smart supply chain is the management of the internal process of material handling and movement – in other words, how things work in the warehouse.
The traditional supply chain comprises three stages: supplying goods to a manufacturer, the manufacturing process, and the distribution of finished goods through distributors and retailers. In addition to those, a smart supply chain requires two other conditions: efficient stock-keeping and optimally matched processes.
Intralogistics essentially aims to satisfy the two conditions of a smart supply chain system. Indeed, it is not a new idea but now has a trendy name with the rise of smart factories worldwide and the need to optimize their supply chains.
Intralogistics system can be basically defined as optimized warehouse logistics and it focuses on getting the best results out of physical assets such as conveyors, sorters, and robots by automating as much as possible.Intralogistics solutions are about finding the optimal integration of technology, labor, and equipment. This integration enables many additional benefits in the overall operation:
- Minimized inventory
- Reduced running costs
- Improved employee safety
- Improved throughput
- Improved traceability
- Enhanced flexibility
- Enhanced accuracy
- Real-time communication from the warehouse
Companies are facing ever shorter delivery times, requiring higher flexibility and efficient goods management with radical growth in online shopping. Those failing to adopt automated intralogistics solutions will be unable to compete. So, intralogistics solutions have evolved from being a competitive advantage to a necessity for companies.