Since the pandemic there has been an increased demand for online goods and services coupled with a significant shortage of workforce. This has created an opportunity for growth within the automation industry. However, with growth come challenges especially for warehouses needing to meet consumer needs. The pandemic increased the demand for automation solutions, but businesses have been tasked to decrease time to market, improve efficiency and productivity, in addition to keeping costs down.
Another challenge for warehouses is the fast growing shortage of labor resulting in companies needing to capitalize on automated work processes. As more consumers are taking advantage of online shopping and getting orders delivered to their homes or buying online for pick up, their expectations for shorter delivery windows are creating production challenges and the need to minimize the amount of unplanned downtime.
An area that has seen exponential growth since Covid is online grocery shopping. According to research From Mercatus and Incisiv before COVID-19 , online grocery sales were approximately 4.3% of the 2020 total grocery market and projected to rise to 5.4% in 2021, reach a double-digit share of 10.7% in 2024 and then hit 13.5% in 2025. However, with online grocery reaching a double-digit share in 2020, post-pandemic estimates show the channel growing to 12.5% ($132.88 billion) of the $1.06 trillion grocery market in 2021 on its way to surpassing a 20% share in 2025.
Automated packaging plays a primary role in keeping products fresh from their point of origin until the time of consumption. The ultimate end goal for companies that automate their packaging is to provide products in a cost‐effective way that satisfies industry requirements and consumer desires while maintaining safety and minimizing environmental impact.
Many people don’t pay much attention to packaging, but we expect our expectations to be met. Before a consumer receives a product, much thought has gone into key issues such as energy and material costs and inconsistent weights that lead to the disposal of waste.
Unfortunately waste accumulates quickly when supplying hundreds of customers a day, and many find it affecting their profit. With automation, packaging companies will reduce the amount of waste by streamlining the types of packaging required and eliminate over ordering of different materials. This will save businesses a considerable amount in packaging costs, create less waste and increase production times.