Tackling Technical Debt in Warehouse Automation

Understanding technical debt

February 1st | 2 min read

Author: Jean-Martin Roux

Technical Debt, What Is It?

Understanding technical debt and obsolescence

Earlier this year, a good friend visited me to show me his new secondhand sports car. I must hand it to him, he seems to be well acquainted with the domestic sports car market, that machine looked brand new. He went on to explain, with pride, that I was looking at a last production year C6 generation Corvette, the special Z06 version he added, a 10-year-old car! I thought to myself, this can’t be true, not for a car in this condition. My mind quickly changed once he offered to take me for a ride. The car’s performances were impressive, yet, I couldn’t help fixating on the extra chargers, cables and stand his phone required to get a modern navigation system to display. Even worse was the original infotainment resolution and lack of features. It occurred to me then that nothing dates a car quite like the technology it uses to interact with its user. A car with impressive performance that’s fully functional at getting us from point a to point b suddenly became a very niche proposition. Call me a geek, but I can’t imagine a daily commuter vehicle without Bluetooth, apple Car play or Android auto.

This is where my professional obsession kicked in, that’s exactly what our industries’ CIO&CTO face I though i.e., How can we extend features of legacy mechanical conveyance equipment while integrating newer generation robotic all while future proofing our operations?

Technical debt applied to warehouse automation

This past decade has seen Logistics business push Business Software to the cloud. B2B portals were a natural first candidate. As the market gained in maturity, so did regulations and cybersecurity practices, which laid the path for ERP platforms to transition to the cloud. Latency concerns and technology availability made WMS cloud adoption lengthier, but we are now seeing 8 out of 10 new WMS deployments in cloud format. To date, the heavy mechanical dependencies of WCS-WES challenges their cloud roll out. Big mechanical conveyance components, just like our car example, can ‘’feel’’ outdated because of old control platforms. If only there were upgradable components to extend the life of our components and cars…

How opting for Onomatic protects you against obsolescence

Onomatic brings your legacy conveyance and light-directed equipment into a platform that adds robotics support creating fully interoperable warehouse workflows.

Our SOC2 certified hybrid hosted WCS+WES+MFS (Cloud + Local Agent) software ensures you leverage the most reliable, secure and up to date technologies.

With Onomatic’s affordable monthly subscription model (SaaS), you can engineer your warehousing process, running optimized equipment workflows and achieving vendor-agnostic WMS/ERP integration. Onomatic assigns tasks to each piece of equipment, justifying every implementation timeline according to projected order volumes, while its warehouse control technology pivots and scales alongside your operations.


Click here to learn how we integrate, orchestrate, execute and control intralogistics activities.