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What is Intralogistics?

Material Handling Equipment

Dive into topics like automated material handling, warehouse optimization, and supply chain visibility. Whether you're a logistics professional or simply curious to learn more, this blog is your go-to resource for staying ahead in the ever-evolving intralogistics landscape.

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What is Intralogistics & Why is it Important? 

In recent decades, businesses across a wide range of industries have faced supply chain pressures. As a result, many have had to examine their internal processes to identify opportunities to improve efficiency. As businesses look to maximise operational efficiency in their internal supply chain, the focus on intralogistics processes and intralogistics solutions is growing.  

In this blog, we delve into the concept of intralogistics, giving you everything you need to know to get up to speed with: 


Definition of Intralogistics  

Intralogistics, also known as internal logistics, focuses on organising and managing the flow of information and materials within a company. The term intralogistics refers to all internal supply chain processes, from receiving raw materials to dispatching finished products. 

Types of Intralogistics Processes  

Intralogistics processes are typically grouped into three main categories: 

Internal Material Flow  

This refers to both the flow of materials within a single facility and the flow of goods across multiple sites. For example, the flow of materials within one facility from a warehouse to production, or the transportation of parts or components from one plant to another.  

In the automotive industry, this could include the movement of vehicles through the assembly process in the final production hall, and the flow of transmissions, powertrains and other components from another production plant.  

Information Flow and Inventory Management  

Intralogistics is often associated with high-tech automated equipment and software systems. However, at its core intralogistics processes revolve around the ‘flow of information’ – whether that is using an advanced Industry 4.0 inventory management software or, simply providing clear and easy access to the information needed to complete a task.  

Naturally, with rapid innovation in inventory management software, this process has become much easier, with solutions available to track the flow of goods throughout the supply chain.  

Warehouse Management and Logistical Flow  

This covers all logistical processes and operations within a warehouse. Various advanced intralogistics solutions exist to maximise efficiency and logistical flow in warehouse management, from Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs), Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) and Automated Storage Retrieval Systems (AS/RS). For many businesses handling high volumes of product, automated solutions provide the edge needed to maximise efficiency and accuracy.  

However, automated solutions are not always required in every application. By simply optimising material handling processes, ensuring you’re using the right equipment and identifying bottlenecks, many businesses can improve operational efficiency with more CAPEX-friendly solutions.  

Overhead cranes

What does Intralogistics Involve? 

Intralogistics is the heart and soul of modern warehouses, production facilities and distribution centres. This includes inventory management, order picking, packing, and shipping. Optimising these activities aids in smooth material flow and efficient throughput. 


What is the Difference Between Intralogistics and Logistics? 

The first step in understanding intralogistics is to recognize its distinction from conventional logistics. A logistics process involves the movement of goods between different locations - i.e. outbound handling.  

Intralogistics, on the other hand, focuses on the internal movement of materials within a facility or business. 

This often includes various technologies and processes, such as Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems, conveyor systems, warehouse management systems, and material handling equipment. These tools help to improve the movement of goods and optimize supply chain management.  

What are the Benefits of Effective Intralogistics and Material Flow?

Increased Operational Efficiency

Businesses can increase efficiency by optimizing the movement of goods within a facility and streamlining material flow. This reduces the time and effort needed to complete tasks like picking and packing and enables goods to be moved as and when required. Effective intralogistics processes and solutions also improve staff productivity by reducing the physical strain on workers and minimizing the need for manual labor. 

Improved Inventory Accuracy

Another key advantage of effective internal processes is enhanced inventory accuracy. By implementing automated inventory management systems and clear stock management processes, businesses can reduce the risk of error. This helps to reduce stock issues and also enables companies to maintain optimal inventory levels, lowering costs. 

Future Proofing Your Supply Chain

Effective intralogistics enable businesses to achieve better supply chain visibility. Logistics managers can use advanced monitoring systems to gain real-time data on inventory levels. This data allows them to make more informed decisions about production plans and resource allocation. Using real-time data to drive decisions improves the business' ability to respond to changes in demand and in turn, increases their competitive advantage, agility and resilience. 

AGV Case Study: Toyota

See how Toyota optimised intralogistics with an Automated Guided Vehicle.

Optimize Your Material Flow to Achieve Maximum Efficiency 

By optimizing the overall flow of incoming goods and equipment, businesses can improve operational efficiency and streamline processes. As such, logistics managers must prioritize intralogistics and invest in the right intralogistics systems and processes to improve their operations. 

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