Latest Trends in the Warehousing Industry
Effective warehouse management has now become even more crucial. The E-commerce industry has boomed since the covid-19 hit, with customers ordering items online rather than going to a store also demanding rapid delivery and easy returns.
That means the warehouse needs to operate effectively to keep peace with the current marketplace.
5 Technology trends that have the potential to improve warehouse productivity and cut costs.
- Warehouse Management Systems: Companies use WMS to manage the moving parts inside the warehouse. Warehouse management applications include inventory management, put away, order picking, replenishment, shipping, and order management. A warehouse management system can increase the productivity of a warehouse and reduces its cost.
- Automation Technology: Warehouse management was becoming very popular before the covid-19 hit, and now it’s even more crucial. It helps businesses meet the high expectations of customers.
Operations complexity increases because of its demand- warehouses and amount of SKUs are growing. Automation can increase and improve optimize of space utilization which can decrease the delivery time. In addition, it can reduce labor costs as well.
If your answer is yes to the following questions you need an automated warehouse:
- Are you running out of space for SKUs in your warehouse?
- Is your picking efficiency low?
- Is your labor productivity low
- Is your warehouse has been put below the industry standards?
Technologies used in warehouse automation:
- Robotics: To ensure that packaged goods go to the correct collection area for delivery. Instead of relying on human labor, order robotics automation can streamline the process.
- Cobotics: Cobotics refers to a collaboration between person and robot (cooperation and robotics forms cobotics). Cobots, designed to work with humans, but do not replace humans. Cobots in warehouse automation include AMR’s that can scan the environment. This cobot AMR can avoid collisions with humans and human-operated machinery by recognizing changes and safely drive backward when necessary.
- Supply Chain as a service: Companies that offer subscription-based, full automated warehouse solutions seek to replace manufacturers and service providers that offer automated equipment and system sales.
- Block chain Technology: Block chain technology is a secure automated network that uses cryptography to create data transfers in blocks. Block chain technology has implications of warehouse operations and inventory management because of its advanced data authentication, validation, and transparency. It allows every stakeholder in a complex supply chain to connect and share permanent, automated records for every transaction made, with data storage accessible to everyone within the secure network.
- A warehouse equipped with Barcode scanners: A warehouse connected to cloud-based WMS can help manage inventory inside the warehouse. A warehouse equipped with visual sensors or barcode sensors to track inventory and automate procedures.
- Warehouse Cleaning: Already established market for automated industrial-sized robotic floor cleaners that navigate complex warehouse layouts. A new class of automated mobile cleaning robots is an emergency to safely sanitize and disinfect high-touch indoor workplaces.
- Mobile Shelving: The autonomous robot fleets can load and transport mobile shelving units with stored inventory to designated locations. This enables workers to pick orders with minimal movement and walking time.
- IOT: IOT expands warehouse visibility by providing location on equipment and inventory in real-time. RFID sensors continue to be a driver for new IOT applications that streamline supply chains and warehouse operations.
- Conveyor Belt: Conveyor Belts in a warehouse used a source of motion, to transmit power efficiently or to track relative movement.
- Machine learning in warehouse labor planning system: Labors are one of the most critical resources in a warehouse also it becomes complex to efficiently plan labor. Machine learning in labor planning systems can greatly improve labor productivity leading to reduces costs and improved services.
If your answer is yes to the following, you should think twice about machine learning in the warehouse:
- Is your productivity low?
- Is your warehouse struggling to predict next day’s or next week’s labor requirement?
- Is your labor predicting forecasting accuracy is very low?
- Voice-Activated Technology: Voice-activated technology can increase productivity because pickers do more work in less time. Also, it improves employees’ safety as employees can focus on their jobs while keeping their hands free.
In addition, a multimodal voice-activation system can improve accuracy, leading to customer satisfaction and higher profits.
- Solar and other renewable energies: Sustainability is the new future that is why organizations exploring renewable energies, especially solar because of warehouse’ high light electricity use.
The warehouse has huge open spans on their roofs, so it makes sense to put solar panels there. Solar energy reduces operating costs, and because it increases the building operating income, the building’s value goes up.
In addition, reward exists for companies who use green products.