As the UK begins planning a return to normality after the Covid-19 pandemic, members of the Automated Material Handling Systems Association (AMHSA) feel confident that warehouse automation will be high on the agenda.
According to Dave Berridge, AMHSA Secretary, “With solutions supplied by AMHSA members proving robust and efficient in the face of extreme supply chain challenges – resulting from simultaneous demand peaks and human resource troughs – the intralogistics automation sector is upbeat about the future. Of course, there will be short-term cash flow and confidence issues that will stifle capital expenditure budgets for a while,” continued Dave Berridge, “but as the country eases itself, safely, back to normality – albeit a new kind of normal – the future for automated material handling, warehousing and distribution is positive.”
AMHSA members cite a number of factors that will contribute to the demand for their products and services. “As well as the inevitable planning for future pandemics that will boost demand for robotics and automation to enable organisations to be more resilient to potential emergencies in the future,” says Dave Berridge, “the Coronavirus lockdown has boosted e-com sales, where warehouse automation has a proven track record in delivering the required levels of speed and accuracy. Add the predicted labour shortages from Brexit into the mix,” says Berridge, “and it is clear why AMHSA members believe they will soon be busier than ever.”
The trade association has grown in membership over the past year – now totalling 60 members – and plans to increase its size even further by a promotional campaign through its newly formed members’ Marketing Forum. With 6 of the world’s top 10 system integrators being members of AMHSA, the association is uniquely placed to showcase the role of automation in today’s distribution sector.
In response to the rising demand for automation, the association continues to support its members in recruiting and training the workforce required. AMHSA operates its own apprenticeship programme in association with car manufacturer, Toyota. The scheme enables members’ apprentices to take part in a four-year programme that involves two years of hands-on learning at the Toyota Academy in Derbyshire, followed by vocational training with the member company.
AMHSA will also continue to provide a programme of training workshops and networking events to facilitate the sharing of best practice and co-ordinate input into BSI and FEM committees. For information on the benefits of membership, please call Matthew Jones on 01858 414229 or visit the AMHSA website at www.amhsa.co.uk.