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Selecting an AutoStore integrator in the UK: Ten Considerations

Marcus Uprichard 31 October 2023
Reading Time: 8 min.
Choosing the best partner when searching for an AutoStore integrator in the UK is central to the success of your automated storage and retrieval system. When properly implemented with the help of an experienced UK integrator, AutoStore technology can dramatically boost warehouse productivity. To help you make an informed decision, here are ten crucial factors to consider:

1. Industry expertise

Select a UK AutoStore integrator with a deep understanding of your industry. Each sector has unique requirements, and an integrator with industry-specific knowledge can tailor your AutoStore system to meet your specific needs. Swisslog offers a decade of global experience with a focus on E-commerce, Retail, Healthcare, Manufacturing & e-Grocery.

Swisslog's AutoStore demonstration and presentation at LogiMAT 2023

2. Software

Software is the heart of any AutoStore system. Ensure your UK AutoStore supplier provides robust, user-friendly software that allows you to manage your inventory efficiently, optimize order fulfilment, and adapt to changing business demands. With a software team of 550 people globally, Swisslog offers self-developed SynQ software, or SAP EWM software.  

SynQ software encompasses warehouse management, material flow and warehouse control into a single platform, connecting people, processes, and machines. With full extendibility for a fully automated warehouse, SynQ offers a proven and well established AutoStore module that seamlessly orchestrates AutoStore together with the processes around it. For those opting for SAP EWM, direct interfacing is possible, with full code visibility and without Middleware.

3. Ancillary solutions

A UK integrator for AutoStore that can offer additional warehouse solutions, such as conveyors, robotics, or packaging systems, can provide a more comprehensive automation solution, streamlining your entire logistics process. 

Swisslog has a wide range of ancillary solutions such as light goods conveyor equipment (QuickMove), robot picking solutions (ItemPiQ), AGVs (CarryPick), AutoStore special equipment, fire protection systems and more. This ensures a ‘one stop shop’ approach allowing a continuous operation of systems within your existing and future infrastructure. 

Swisslog's AutoPiQ solution including AutoStore and ItemPiQ

4. Support and maintenance

Choose a UK AutoStore supplier that offers ongoing support and maintenance services. A well-maintained system is essential for uninterrupted operations, and responsive technical support can save you time and money in the long run. 

Swisslog has 180 customer support staff in the UK alone and many more across Europe.  Our 24/7 global support presence allows us to offer support wherever our customers are located. 

5. Safety and compliance

Work with a UK AutoStore integrator that prioritizes safety and compliance. AutoStore systems must adhere to strict safety standards, and a knowledgeable integrator can ensure your system complies with all regulations. 

Swisslog places a very strong emphasis on safety and compliance with industry standards and regulations. Our motto is: “We work safe, or not at all!” 

6. Process excellence

Look for a UK AutoStore partner with a track record of process excellence. They should be able to design and implement AutoStore systems that optimize storage, picking, and replenishment processes, leading to increased efficiency and accuracy. 

Swisslog process experts provide you with a holistic view to your process needs and possibilities. We draw on our experience of more than 370 AutoStore projects globally to influence our local solutions. This reduces risk and ensures we provide a best in class ‘internal stage gate review process’, to ensure there are no hidden surprises. 

7. Resource

Evaluate the UK AutoStore integrator's available resources, including their team's size and expertise. A well-staffed, experienced team can handle complex installations and provide timely support when needed. 

At Swisslog, large dedicated cross functional and cross-country teams ensure optimal customer satisfaction, from Sales through to Realisation to Customer Care. Dedicated teams, ensure an in-time and on-budget project implementation. 

8. Account management

Effective communication is vital during the integration process. Your UK AutoStore supplier should assign an account manager who will be your main point of contact, ensuring that your needs are met, and questions are promptly addressed. 

Swisslog appoints a dedicated Account Manager in Sales, Realisation & After Sales for every customer and installation. This ensures that there is one face for the customer, and there is minimal confusion over who to contact. 

9. Global presence

If your business operates on a global scale, consider a UK AutoStore integrator with a worldwide presence. This can be invaluable for consistency in design, support, and future expansion across different regions. 

Swisslog operates globally, which is advantageous should you have an international presence or plans to expand into new markets. Our international experience also provides know-how for local projects. Swisslog can provide consistent support and solutions across multiple locations, employing ‘frame agreements’ with numerous customers. We act local: “We are where you are.” 

OneSwisslog slogan wall art with photos from employee events across the world

10. Culture

Align your integrator's company culture with your own. Building a strong working relationship is essential, so choose an integrator that shares your values, work ethic, and long-term goals. 

Swisslog believes that by sharing the same purpose and showing compassion for each other, we can make team spirit and partnerships come alive. We do what we love, and we care about what we do. Swisslog looks for likeminded companies who value transparency and collaboration, to achieve new levels of innovation.  

Swisslog Leadership team

Make an informed decision

Selecting the right AutoStore integrator in the UK is a critical decision that can significantly impact your warehouse operations. By considering these ten factors, you can make an informed choice that ensures the successful integration of your AutoStore system. Remember that each of these factors contributes to a seamless transition to an automated, efficient, and safe warehouse, ultimately enhancing your company's competitiveness and success.

About the author
Marcus Uprichard
Head of Sales AutoStore North (UK & Nordic) at Swisslog
More about Marcus Uprichard
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