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Warehouse Automation

Optimising your supply chain with warehouse automation technology can help you create advantage over competitors, improve the customer experience and increase efficiency.

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Warehouse Automation

Traditional automation solutions such as mini-loads and shuttle systems are now being challenged by agile, cost-effective alternatives such as Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) and Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs). It’s a dynamic market and one where experience is in short supply.

With so many options and so much at stake, how do you know what automation solution is right for your business? We can design, develop and implement a warehouse automation solution and help you to understand how your organisation and operations need to adjust to deliver the best return from your investment.

Future-proof warehouse automation with Hatmill

Supply chain automation has advanced exponentially in recent years – and new generation technology is altering the warehousing landscape. More and more businesses are realising the gap in their efficiency and looking for ways to be agile. But a lack of skill or resource often stands in the way. As the world of robotics continues to evolve, the problem is knowing which automation technology is the right one to choose.

At Hatmill, we’re independent of any third-party suppliers and can help you understand the full range of warehouse automation technologies out there, how they work, and what supplier solutions are available to support each one.

We can help you:
  • Build a robust, scalable warehouse automation strategy aligned to your business strategy and customer proposition
  • Evaluate the right warehouse technology solutions through impartial advice
  • Scope, design, tender, test, project manage and implement warehouse automation solutions
  • Calculate opex and estimate the rate of return for capital investment

It’s estimated that operational costs can be improved by 2%-4% by simply removing avoidable error. In addition, it’s possible to reduce inventory holding by 30%-50% through better demand planning.

- The Little Book of Operational Forecasting, Dr Simon Morlidge

Supply chain automation experts you can trust

Why outsource with Hatmill?

Experienced team

Backed by decades of experience, our consultants can deliver automation for businesses of every size. Bringing technical skills, practical knowledge and a network of industry talent, we can optimise your warehouse in the most efficient way. We have designed, developed and implemented automated solutions across a wide range of technologies, and are able to evaluate whether investment in technology is financially feasible.

Strategic specialists

We put a big focus on strategy development, as we believe successful future-proofing starts with good planning. And defining your supply chain strategy is a fundamental step in the process. Whether you need to review your current situation or start from scratch, we’ll be there to help with data analysis, technology and supplier selection, and integration of legacy systems.

Impartial advisors

By getting to know you, your company, and your core business objectives, we provide an advisory service tailored to your needs. One that is impartial and always looks at the pros and cons of new technology. This way, we assess and mitigate risk, and help you make educated decisions about your investment. We conduct a detailed analysis based on VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity), so you can avoid costly mistakes that would ultimately damage your business.

End-to-end support

As leading warehouse automation consultants in the UK, we deliver a complete, agile service with end-to-end support and quick speed to market. Taking you all the way from the discovery phase and building a business case to implementation and review, we bring support in all the right areas. Whether you need technical specialists or extra resource for your in-house team, we tailor our service to your exact requirements.

We delivered a new purpose built 400k sq ft automated warehouse site for a global retailer delivering to ecommerce, wholesale and store format customers.
What could we do for you?

Warehouse automation technology can…

Reduce costs

From automated warehouse picking for faster pick rates to warehouse shuttle systems that take over manual transport roles, our automation solutions can save your business time and money.

Lower labour dependency

To help address longer-term labour shortages, we can introduce several robotic solutions to build resilience into your fulfilment. Warehouse technology solutions such as AGVs and autonomous mobile robots can handle everything from transport to automated warehouse picking, reducing dependency on human workers.

Increase fulfilment

Hive storage and picking systems can ensure a fast pick rate, and our storage solution designs reduce travel time for pickers. This means you can get orders fulfilled much quicker, cutting down despatch times.

Save space and costs

In warehouse operations automated warehouse racking systems and boxing systems organise inventory in an efficient way, reducing clutter and giving you a better-designed workspace, whilst reducing warehouse and operations overheads.

Improve accuracy

Automation can drastically improve inventory accuracy. Not only do robots in the warehouse reduce manual checking, but they can eradicate stock discrepancies caused by human error.

  • Hatmill supported and challenged us in the transition and led the change, as well as envisioning the future state required to be market-leading in our sector in today’s digital world.

    - Managing Director, Homewares & Accessories supplier

  • We were extremely impressed with the professionalism of Hatmill and their ability to implement the warehouse move programme against some very demanding time schedules.

    - Managing Director, A leading supplier of Point of Sale products

Supply Chain and Logistics Consultants

Our Approach

At Hatmill, we take the forecasting burden away from your business so your teams can focus on the most important aspects of their jobs. To do this, it’s paramount that we learn as much about you from the start so we can give you the best possible service. Here are the steps we take to deliver demand and sales forecasts to your team:

  • Discovery phase – business requirements

    First, we’ll get to know your business and review your current supply chain strategy and customer proposition. We’ll also look at opportunities, challenges, risks and threats, and ask key questions about business culture and desired ways of working. With thorough analysis and process flow modelling, we can identify the best automation applications to fit your needs.

  • Model and business case development

    By defining an operational baseline, we can model and compare different warehouse automation solutions to support the business case. Inaccurate or low-quality data can delay the design process, so we always advise that adequate data analysis is conducted. If you don’t have fantastic data in your organisation, you are not alone! In this case we will work with you to develop a consensus of how your business works. We can then provide estimations on fit-out, delivery and running costs.

  • Concept development

    We will send out a Request for Information (RFI) prior to the tender. This is used to gather information for a more focused tender process. This means we can target vetted suppliers, put forward solutions that are fit-for-purpose, and generate ideas that align with your exact business needs and objectives.

  • Contract negotiation

    Working closely with your legal team, we will draw up a contract that best supports implementation. We consider MF/1 governance for large-scale projects, but also apply the same level of control to smaller projects. Technical integrity of contract documents is our priority, and we always ensure that your project has continuity of resource throughout the design and contracting stages.

  • Detailed design

    Our specialist automation consultants with their experience of automation projects bring you seasoned project support. Throughout the process, we will work closely with business stakeholders and automation partners to ensure the design is aligned with operations and your infrastructure. The involvement of teams across the business such as Operations, IT and Maintenance is key, and we collaborate with stakeholders to ensure all aspects are covered from the start.

  • Implementation

    The implementation phase includes five stages; construction, installation, system testing, ramp-up, and go-live. One of our key areas of focus is building robust testing strategies, and our warehouse management system automation experience means we often detect issues before they occur at go-live. It’s common for service levels to dip when new systems ramp up to business critical volume, but our expert team can help you prevent or overcome these hurdles.

  • Programme management

    Complex warehouse, logistics and supply chain automation is what we excel at. At Hatmill we handle the entire process end-to-end, providing you with full support and programme management. Plus, our ability to manage a wide range of stakeholders means that we can keep projects on track, on time, and within budget.

Ideas & Insights

Related Insights

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