Blog March 21, 2024

Making Sense of Automation After MODEX 2024

By Stephan Lauzon

March 21st| 2 min read

Making Sense of Automation After MODEX 2024

Coming off the back of MODEX 2024, it’s clear that the buzz around AI is settling down as the industry focuses on getting back to business as usual. This year’s event marked a return to the vibrant atmosphere we all know and love, with the biggest turnout to date featuring a range of attendees from information providers to consultants to material handling solution providers and more. All coming together to explore the evolving landscape of automation.

The Frenzy

The industry is rapidly digitizing, with a plethora of new technologies and options now at our fingertips. The sheer magnitude of options for internal transport, storage, and picking, raises the question: how can businesses effectively navigate this automation frenzy?

While the benefits of automation are undeniable—driving cost savings, enhancing agility, and addressing labor shortages—the challenge lies in discerning practicality amidst the hype. As we reflect on MODEX, it’s clear that we’re only scratching the surface of the many technologies vying for our attention. The influx of options left many tradeshow goers feeling overwhelmed.

Navigating Automation

A compelling example is “good to person” technology, which has evolved from a single technology solution into an entire category of equipment. From the more conventional technology such as carousels to AMRs, shuttles, and grid-based solutions that use robotic arms to store and retrieve items from dense storage locations.

My recommendation? Don’t go for the moonshot, look for the easy wins. Your approach to automation should be solid rather than sexy. It’s not about jumping on the latest trend, but rather carefully considering factors such as the expertise of potential partners and the overall value a particular solution brings to the table. Just as one wouldn’t choose a car solely based on its make, the considerations around automation go beyond the technology itself to encompass the dealer, the numbers, and the long-term implications.

In other words, you need a plan.

We say this a lot at LIDD but the notion that “technology should support your operations, not the other way around” is tried and true. This is especially relevant given the evolving landscape of integrators, where even the mid-sized players are getting the contracts that big companies used to snap up. This means customers need to be smart about how they bring in automation. It can be overwhelming when you’re dealing with a multitude of options and the need to streamline different processes, like pallet storage and item picking, in response to the rising demands of ecommerce. Having a clear plan for how a chosen automation solution interacts with your workforce, existing technologies, and overall operational ecosystem is key.

A glimpse into some of the automation technologies on display at MODEX.

Onomatic, Storcan, Geek+, Hangcha, Hai Robotics

and more!

As the dust settles from MODEX 2024, the conversation around automation is still going strong, and the need for clarity amidst the sea of options remains a pressing topic.

Not sure where to start? Contact us today to learn more about automation and gain valuable insights on evaluating its effectiveness for your operations and professionally. If you know me, you will always catch me saying how important it is to treat these relationships with care.

Connect with an Expert

Let’s build world-class infrastructure together.

Book a Consultation

Are you ready for logistics automation?

Take our readiness quiz to find out!

Begin Assessment