During the past decade, digitalization has changed the paradigms of traditional business operations worldwide. The integration of technology into business strategy has created the new business model that response to the shift of consumer behaviour in digital era. The strong and consistent growth of e-commerce business also creates opportunities for businesses to reach the pool of customers and enable cross border business expansion. In the borderless trade, businesses are increasingly facing the competitive challenges in achieving expectation of consumers, while avoiding the rising cost of providing services. Therefore, improving efficiency and accuracy of logistics and warehousing operation is one the most cost-effective solutions to strengthen their competitiveness.
E-commerce and retail businesses are leading the trend in transforming their warehouse and distribution facilities to automation, improving efficiency in daily operation and ensuring accuracy of order handling to keep up with the fluctuation of demands during different period of the year. The implementation of automation and robotic applications creates smart warehouses that maximize throughput in logistics and warehousing operation, enabling the companies to work fast and flexible, while enhancing accuracy of order handling, order retrieval systems, and distribution technology. According to the International Federation of Robots, the annual growth of robotics implementation worldwide is approximately 15 percent globally and 70 percent of total sales volume for robotic applications is taking place in the five countries which are China, Japan, United States, South Korea and Germany.
In Thailand, intelligent warehouse is increasingly interested by retails and logistics sectors. In the recent exhibition, the Asia Warehousing Show 2018, held during March 7 to 9, 2017, significant number of businesses from various industries, particularly in logistics, food and beverage and automotive took their interest in automation and robotic applications which will create the intelligent warehouses with advanced productivity and increased throughput (meaning: an amount of work done in particular period of time) with minimal human intervention. It’s expected that the implementation of automation and robotics applications will grow approximately 3-5% annually, according to the president of Thailand’s Intralogistics Providers Club.