Warehouses in the tire industry must thrive to survive by making smart business decisions in a rapidly evolving marketplace. Investments in high-density warehouses and automating tire handling will positively impact business operations for years to come since the logistics of packing and unpacking tires is one of the highest cost drivers for tire fulfillment. Automating this process will cut down unnecessary packing and speed up the loading process to increase profit per tire. The benefits don’t end there, as automation helps dealers receive high-demand tires in a timely manner so that tire plants do not have to store excess tires waiting to be shipped. Your investment should be out making you profit, not stuck inside your warehouse.
So, what benefits can high-density warehouses and automation bring to your tire operation to help business not fall flat?
Flexibility is key to successful tire distribution
Technology plays an important role in forecasting and planning since flexibility and agility are key for operating a successful supply chain. Manually loading a standard-sized truck with tires takes three hours on average, but with automation, the same task can be completed in an hour. Automation helps speed up logistics by increasing handling capacity while eliminating human-based errors and shortening the time-to-market window.
Real-time inventory increases profitability
Real-time inventory allows tire handlers to make fulfillment decisions with greater accuracy while reducing unnecessary spending on tire storage solutions and dead stock. Producing tires on demand, instead of letting inventory sit in the warehouse, is a better way to keep a consistent revenue stream.
Software is incredibly vital in coordinating tire deliveries. Cimcorp’s Dream Factory (DF) ensures that tires are loaded into the correct trucks by utilizing proven gantry robotic technology for handling, buffer storage, and picking with intelligence software to provide total control of the material and flow. DF keeps a real-time inventory that displays the tires in demand which allows for precise production planning with excellent inbound and outbound visibility. Once an order notification is received, Dream Factory pulls the tires needed to meet the order, notifies the system, and loads them in a pattern that meets each customer’s specific needs. Automation sorts the order in a fraction of time compared to manual labor, with greater accuracy, but most of all it significantly shortens the loading time. For accurate inventory tracking, each tire has to be labeled so that this service can provide critical manufacturing information for assembly sequencing and accountability.
Advantages of high-density storage
The high-density storage that accompanies automated solutions benefits business by reducing storage costs and improving productivity. Automation reduces wasted space by fitting more pallets into the same area by narrowing aisles which can double storage capacity! With high-density storage, warehouses can either increase stored inventory or allocate less storage space to reduce the warehouse footprint. For optimization, warehouses should plan any upscaling well in advance, should the need for expansion ever become necessary.
Increased handling capacity shortens the time-to-market
When increasing capacity with automation, tire warehouses should focus on three key areas, software & technology, planning & employees, and processes. With intelligent software and real-time inventory, tire manufacturers are able to respond more accurately and better manage seasonal peaks by making products on-demand to match sales levels. Automation increases capacity, which in the long-term decreases per-unit cost and improves profit margins. The shorter time-to-market and quicker fulfillment also bring happier customers who enjoy receiving products faster.
Real-time inventory optimizes supply chain
There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution for tire manufacturing, storage, and shipping management. During peak production periods for on-demand tires, warehouses need to accurately track raw materials and components while tracking receipt management to maximize output and decrease scrap. By optimizing with automated and warehouse storage solutions, you cut costs, improve employee safety and increase productivity year-round. Ultimately, optimization should bring simplicity to warehouse operations and will upgrade the performance of your tire storage and distribution to another level.
Author Veli-Matti Hakala