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Going Green can put your Business in the Black

Becoming eco-friendly can also have positive results on a business' efficiencies and operations. By George Kokoris

“Going green” is an important business goal, as everyone understands the importance of minimizing the environmental impact of their business. Efforts at reducing carbon emissions, recycling and purchasing green products serve as common examples of ways in which many businesses try to be more eco-friendly. However, more and more firms are finding that automating their warehouses and distribution centers offers a great way to go green while adding efficiencies and savings to operations. In many ways, going green can change accounting ledger entries from red to black.

Consider the operational benefits of an Automated Storage & Retrieval System (AS/RS) and its accompanying Warehouse Management System (WMS) software. The AS/RS-WMS duo maximizes utilization of storage space, allowing businesses to do more with the facilities they already have. How is that possible? A modern AS/RS offers designs that adapt to every business model and product inventory. The firm’s mix of fast-, medium- and slow-moving products dictates design, not a material handling vendor’s preconception of optimal warehouse layout.

Moreover, the AS/RS need not be identically configured across an entire warehouse or distribution products single deep, double deep or up to 12 loads deep in the rack structure, as well as use a single crane or two in any aisle.

Efficiencies next derive from rack entry vehicles that can quickly transport pallets (or any other unit) in and out of the storage rack. Notably, today’s technology makes it possible to move two pallets/loads at a time.

Beyond faster throughput, the AS/RS-WMS combination reduces operating costs from reduced labor, waste and maintenance costs. Better still, these cost reductions are sustainable over the life cycle of the AS/RS, which is typically 25 years or more.

These operational benefits are the key selling points of AS/R Systems. Less well known, yet equally important, are the environmental benefits that automation provides. Three primary “green” outcomes concern land use, energy consumption and waste production, including hazardous waste. center. Hybrid designs have the ability to store

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