A manufacturing expert has claimed that British firms are increasingly moving towards automatic storage.

Steve Richmond, director of Jungheinrich UK Ltd’s systems and projects division, claims that automation has traditionally been used more in other countries, such as Germany, however he claims that British manufacturers are starting to become more enthusiastic about its operational benefits.

These benefits include increased productivity and efficiency, reduced costs, greater accuracy and better customer service levels, according to Richmond,

He told shflogistics.com: “In the past, some companies shied away from automation because they felt that a move to an automated system would mean that every aspect of the operation would have to be automated.”

The expert added: “This is not the case. If designed correctly, semi and fully-automated solutions can be flexible and scalable to allow for future growth and investment strategies and that is proving extremely attractive.”

Mr Richmond also said that many third party logistics (3PL) companies are turning to the technology, after a slow uptake. He claimed that this may be due to a boom in online shopping, which has meant that many companies, such as those in the retail, warehousing and logistics industries, are processing smaller orders with a higher value.

It has been reported this week by independent.co.uk that online sales have soared by 222 per cent in UK in the last five years. This relates to an increase of £20 billion worth of sales over the five years leading up to December 2012, according to the British Retail Consortium.

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