We have reached the point where a series of technological innovations are controlling almost everything in our lives. As a matter of fact, even the distribution and logistics in warehouses is no exception to this.
Technology is slowly transforming warehouses, and it’s one of the few reasons more CEOs are starting to implement new technological advancements in their facilities.
Here are the four technologies that make today’s warehouses smart.
1. Print and Apply Labeling
For decades, human employees are the ones who back and label every item in a warehouse. Since this is done manually, there’s always the risk of committing mistakes, especially in terms of packing and shipping.
Thanks to technology, print-and-apply labeling systems are now being used. This reduces the possibility of human errors because labeling is done automatically based on their contents. When used together with IoT, these systems could run autonomously, and this is something that would prevent shipping errors later on.
Since we’re already talking about shipping, then it would be decent to include drones and robots as well. Amazon is one of the few companies that are taking part in the robotics bandwagon. Basically, these robots are capable of picking, packing, and shipping orders without human intervention, which means it would only perform a perfect job.
2. Cloud-Based Warehouse Management Systems
In the logistics industry, warehouse management systems play a vital role. Unfortunately, a lot of sectors are still using local hardware that restricts the capability and means that’s necessary to keep everything running in perfect condition.
The good thing is, there are various companies, such as JD Edwards Managed Services that actually offers solutions and software to come up with a plan that would allow smooth integration and resolve possible issues without downtime.
That’s not all; this is also considered to be more affordable than the use of hardware. Which means the company will save more money in the long run as they wouldn’t have to worry about possible downtime anymore.
Due to the fact that most WMS solutions are capable of gathering real-time data and it’s also used to come up with visual reports, it’s indeed capable of pinpointing any possible deficiencies in the process.
As you assess a WMS report, this would allow you to perform the necessary actions, and even fix the problems that would arise during operations.
For that reason, more and more warehouses are starting to implement smart warehouse systems, and these can be compared to a usual scene in sci-fi movies. As technology continues to improve, we can expect that intelligent warehouse management system will continue to grow as well.
Now is probably the perfect time to consider the implementation of automation. Although we’re not saying that it’s necessary to implement every piece of technology available in the market, it would only be practical to invest in the development of smart warehousing. Through this, you’ll have the guarantee that you’ll be able to keep up with the changing times.
3. Improved Warehouse Design
In the logistics industry, one of the most common mistakes would be trying to sacrifice efficiency to be able to have as much inventory despite limited square footage. In the US alone, each square foot in a warehouse costs $5.50.
This is why space efficiency is critical, like stuffing every vacant space with an inventory. Through the use of technology, you could quickly obtain the optimal warehouse layout that could improve not only the efficiency in terms of product storage but also the outbound and inbound operations as well.
The Internet of Things is one of those broad terms composed of several aspects that are often intertwined by networked devices. For example, if you have a smart appliance, then you’re probably familiar with what we’re talking about. Similarly, an IoT enabled warehouse to make picks and packaging more efficient than how it can be if done manually.
This would reduce the workload on human workers, allowing them to focus on more important tasks instead. Aside from that, there wouldn’t be a need to send an employee with a list of items to pull, because smart shelves would automatically assign robot pickers that would direct them where each item is located.
IoT could also play a role in terms of labeling, packing, and other steps of the logistics process.
Chris is a freelance copywriter who loves writing about emerging technologies for business optimizations and growth.