Warehouse Automation


Enhancing companies’ performance by

meeting customers’ expectations


How can a structured warehouse automation project

enhance a company’s supply chain flow

and meet its customers’ expectations?



By Valentin CHAILLOT, Maïssa MADI, Milouda CHAHED, Anne GONDOU

The Graduate School of Industrial Logistics – ESLI
(l’École supérieure de logistique industrielle – ESLI)

Paris, France


With the big and quick development that the industries have known for the last three decades and the changing in the way customers changed their practice via e-commerce, industries were challenged to keep up with the rapid changes in the demand. With the new dawn of the rising e-commerce, warehouses automation makes sense as it can respond and enhance the efficiency of the supply chain. In this paper we will be seeing the evolution of the warehouses and how can automation increase the client satisfaction.


With the spread of online sales – e-commerce is emerging as one of the new modes of consumption. Nowadays, tacitly of purchase from our connected devices is accessible to all at any time. In 2017, more than 85% of French online shoppers order items from all over the world, of different sizes and require a short delivery time. In order to meet the demands of consumers, logistics plays an essential role in responding to the changing needs of the conventional dynamics due to a structural change. This is explained by the principle of massitication of the flows tends in order to increase the conventional warehouse tenfold in order to better respond to the new customer expectations.

1 – The changing typologies of warehouses following the rise of e-business

The pre-conflict dynamic was synonymous with traditional logistics where all functions were managed manually in the same and only entity (that of logistics) to dissociate the buildings by activity.
The old warehouses were small, often poorly lit areas in which worked warehousemen and where products were stored in an undefined manner.

Traditional logistics-related storing processes can be considered as old and archaic storage methods – hence, more or less obsolete. Indeed, the presence of shelving did not exist, the products were stored directly on the ground and on pallets that could contain several different references.  These storage behaviors would lead to poor management of the deliverables and time being wasted instead of concentrating  on preparation and delivery.

After this, there was a strong increase in consumption, prompting warehouses to rebuild in order to best serve buyers. As a result of the Trente Glorieuses (1945-1975), customers are more and more demanding which indeed drives Supply Chain players to rethink their storage, distribution and delivery in order to keep-up with the competition and the need to aerate the costs.  It is to be noted that Warehouses have become unrecognizable; they are higher, bigger and have a large storage area, they reach 30,000 m2. They are composed of illuminated shelving with location allocation rules according to the typology of products. Indeed, warehouses are now divided by activities in order to streamline logistics flows.

The storage part is often attached to warehouses with a large surface area and are divided into 3 parts themselves:

  • A part dedicated to the reception and the storage of goods
  • A section dedicated for preparations
  • A part dedicated to expeditions

The storage part is increasingly optimized. Some manufacturers and distributors choose to subcontract storage by using local platforms. The advantage of this subcontracting is to
eliminate point-of-sale (POS) storage while increasing the service rate and reducing the risk of

2 – The Mechanization of warehouses

In the 1980s, the emergence of the Warehouse Management System marked the start of mechanized warehouses. Indeed, these tools make it possible to streamline storage operations; e.g. LaRedoute and the Evry Euromarket are among the first companies to use bar codes. The XXIst century is synonymous with the digital age as Warehouses are now robotic in response to the growing demands of goods’ volumes. E-commerce warehouses manage a large number of references, so it is necessary for them to mechanize their stocks in order to optimize the storage space and boost it. Stocks’ mechanization plays a crucial role when it comes to reducing the company’s additional costs:


To read entire paper, click here

Editor’s note: This paper was prepared for the course Supply Chain Tools and Project Management in the Masters’ program in Secured & Intelligent Logistics – option: Defense and Private-Public ecosystems, l’École supérieure de logistique industrielle – ESLI, Paris campus. Reviewed by Mohamad-Fadl HARAKE, Affiliate Professor at ESLI Paris – Director of International Academic Affairs of GIP CEI and Academic Head of Logistics Programs – Paris Campus.

How to cite this article: Chaillot, V., Madi, M., Chahed, M., Gondou, A. (2022).  Warehouse Automation: Enhancing companies’ performance by meeting customers’ expectations, PM World Journal, Vol. XI, Issue VII, July. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/pmwj119-Jul2022-Chaillot-Madi-Chahed-Gondou-Warehouses-Automation.pdf

About the Authors


Paris, France


Valentin Chaillot holds degrees in both Logistics and Transport Management as well as in Purchasing Management. Such two fields of expertise allowed him to have acquire his experience in both Logistics and Purchasing fields, especially during his tenure at CARMAT, a French medtech, developing and marketing artificial heart prosthesis in the EU, and more recently in the US. Willing to enhance his industrial knowledge and to work in a multicultural domain, Valentin is currently a student at ESLI Paris, pursuing his MSc Industrial Logistics and Purchasing Management (MLAI) with an apprenticeship at B. BRAUN Medical. He can be contacted at vchaillot@etu.campus-redon-industries.com


Maïssa MADI

Paris, France


Maïssa Madi is a student at ESLI Paris, MSc Industrial Logistics and Purchasing Management ( MLAI). She began her academic work in engineering where she obtained an engineer degree after 5 years of studies.  Today she crisscrossed her competence with career interest and changed the course of her studies’ disciplinary orientation to join the MLAI class while working in the agri-food business with Carrefour Supplychain. She can be contacted at mmadi@etu.campus-redon-industries.com


Milouda CHAHED

Paris, France


Milouda Chahed has been an apprentice in the aeronautical field for 4 years now. Her various apprenticeship contracts allowed her to develop her logistics skills. She has previously set up item sheets and replenishment thresholds in a WMS (Warehouse Management System). She participated in a reimplementation project of 1000 products using an ABC analysis. Currently she is working on a production site on a line of exhaust casings. Her missions include the implementation of indicators and to follow the industrialization of aeronautical parts. She can be contacted at: mchahed@etu.campus-redon-industries.com



Paris, France


Anne Gondou holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management with focus on marketing. She is currently completing an MSc Industrial Logistics and Purchasing Management with a focus on Secured and Intelligent Logistics while pursuing an apprenticeship at Carrefour. She can be contacted at igondouebouba@etu.campus-redon-industries.com