MHI SOLUTIONS COMMUNITY: Tips for Staffing the Automated Distribution Center

Content was pulled from MHI Solutions Magazine Q2.2019

Rupesh Narkar offers a silver lining for parents who are sick of seeing their kids’ eyes glued to their smartphones, tablets and video games: That comfort with new technology will make them ideal candidates for the warehouse and distribution center jobs of the present and the future, so in a sense, some of them are preparing for their careers.

Narkar, the director of sales in production intralogistics for MHI member Swisslog Logistics Inc., said that as distribution centers become increasingly automated, the repetitive tasks performed by employees will be shifted onto the automated system, and employees who are comfortable with touchscreens, digital displays and control systems will have a leg up in the automated workplace.

“When you have an automation system, usually you have to divide your staff between technical and nontechnical warehouse operators,” he said. “The technical operators are responsible for keeping the automated systems running, and the nontechnical operators are responsible for finishing up the tasks that are not part of the automated system, such as final packaging.

“When you take away the monotonous, non-value-adding tasks from employees, now they have the additional bandwidth to get trained on more technical skills to take care of the automated systems, so it’s kind of a reassignment of their time for more value-adding tasks.”

Read full article in MHI Solutions Magazine