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Smooth transport and storage processes determine the success of a company. Perfecting the logistical movement of materials and goods saves time, resources and money. Intralogistics refers to the organization, control, implementation, and optimization of the company's material handling, information management, and product movement.
The relatively young term was created to clearly distinguish intralogistic processes – i.e., processes within a company – and external logistics operations.
In the following article, you will learn what this means, how important internal logistical processes can be for a company, and what pros and cons they bring.
What Do We Mean by Intralogistics?
The term intralogistics was introduced in 2004 and includes every form of logistics necessary within a company.
From this point onwards, intralogistics is considered a separate area from logistics. These include in particular:
- the incoming and outgoing of merchandise,
- the movement of materials within the company,
- the commissioning of merchandise and
- warehouse management, storage systems and internal transport systems, such as pneumatic tube mail systems.
In this context, more than the purely technical procedures of individual processes are considered. But also the overlapping organization and the transfer and processing of information because they play a central role in the digitalization of the skilled crafts sector and production companies.
So, What Processes Are Part of an Intralogistics System?
Intralogistics consists of processes that organize, execute and even optimize internal material movements. This includes the information flow, personnel, and energy consumption. Three major internal logistical processes can be classified.
This refers to the handling, distribution, collection, order picking, and storage processes, which are employed by various people. These include construction material belts, pallet trucks, and forklifts used by warehouse workers or pneumatic tube systems for data or samples. Furthermore, it includes conveyor belt systems that deliver resources from the warehouse to the actual production site in energy power plants.
These are processes related to control, management and information flow. The goods movements are controlled and analysed to identify weak points. These weak points can then be optimised in the areas of warehousing, conveyors and material flow. This is the subtopic of logistics where hardware and software come together. By tuning intelligent machines, running code scans in the warehouses and monitoring software, strategic optimisations can be implemented.
Why are intralogistics so important?
The importance of intralogistics is particularly high for manufacturing companies. Since many work processes take place within the company, smooth business processes are crucial for efficient work. The task of internal logistics processes are characterised by constant optimisation to increase effectiveness, ensure a smooth process and thus reduce costs in the long term.
In addition to cost savings, experts also expect a reduction in errors, as human mistakes are minimised.
What are the pros and cons of intralogistics?
Besides the many advantages that intralogistics brings to many companies, it nevertheless has some disadvantages.
The advantages of intralogistics
One thing becomes clear in this article, once the internal business processes are optimised, there is less downtime, which leads to a cost reduction and less staff in the manufacturing and logistics areas.
The monetary savings can be forwarded to the customer, which has a positive effect on manufacturing companies in the global competitive environment.
Companies that improve their internal logistical processes can achieve additional savings, for example by reducing warehouse space. There are also hardly any communication problems among employees, because there are clearly defined work processes.
The disadvantages of intralogistics
Although it sounds wonderful to optimise work processes, automate workflows or even have machines communicate with each other, it is an extreme change in the company's internal logistical process.
Many prerequisites are necessary. For example, all existing processes must be studied theoretically in advance to optimise them. Furthermore, the supply chain must be examined, the physical conditions must be aligned and the possible savings potential must be evaluated.
In addition, the costs of the internal logistical processes must fit within the available budget.
You might save on personnel, but you have to invest in a comprehensive IT infrastructure. It also requires specialised knowledge, so likely you will need IT experts in the company for processing optimisation.
Therefore, the major initial expense is the biggest disadvantage of introducing intralogistics in a company; in addition, there is also an ongoing expense, as adjustments are constantly necessary.
Conclusion – Thanks to intralogistics, companies are more efficient
This article has been written to provide you with important information on the subject of intralogistics, which can represent a significant improvement in work processes for many companies. The high potential savings make the investment worthwhile, despite the high initial cost. If you further optimise the internal logistical processes in your company, for example by automating similar processes, your savings will increase even more, and you will be ready for global competition.
Take the first step with Air-Log, the professional manufacturer of pneumatic tube systems for your company. With 30 years of experience and know-how, Air-Log is active in more than 39 countries worldwide.