MODEX 2020 Takeaways

Erin Rapacki | March 26, 2020

Understandably, many of you were unable to attend MODEX 2020 this year, so we wanted to share some of the top warehouse automation takeaways gathered from our conversations with attendees.

We also want to acknowledge the difficult decisions around COVID-19 and we hope that your families and coworkers stay safe and healthy. For those who were able to attend MODEX 2020, it was great to have the opportunity to meet so many of you in person. All of us in the warehouse automation and material handling industry have an important role to play in supporting our economy, supply chain, and the delivery of essential goods.

  • While warehouse automation and robotics are maturing, many organizations are still deciding on how to get started with pilot projects and evaluation of new technology.
  • Many companies are realizing that now is the time to take the first step, in the form of a small pilot program, in order to begin the process of understanding how certain types of equipment can impact their bottom line.
  • A WMS (Warehouse Management System) now has the potential to be much more than inventory management. It can also provide key data about many aspects of the warehouse—inventory location, bottlenecks, truck capacity, aisle spills, location of personnel, and much more.
  • The introduction of new fleet management systems, and automated material handling systems, presents an opportunity for multiple machines to be tracked on one central platform so a warehouse manager knows where all automated (and human-piloted) mobile assets are. Mobile robot companies are beginning to provide centralized fleet management systems that can serve this need.
  • Current events are driving higher demands on ecommerce. This will drive an acceleration in the space, as many warehouses seek to increase capacity at their current facilities.
Erin Rapacki
Erin Rapacki

Erin is the Director of Business Development at Sense Photonics. She is a recognized expert in high-value applications for robotics and operates at the intersection of product management, project engineering, customer development, and product-market fit. Over the past several years, she has worked to advance industry interest for telepresence robots, indoor mobile robots, and robotic picking in warehouses.