Technology has been an integral part of people’s lives for decades, making things easier and convenient. Its utilization across diverse industries, from manufacturing to retail, has led several businesses to the next level. Now in the era of digital transformation, business leaders are looking for more advanced solutions to enhance their operations and smooth delivery of services to customers. In the warehouse management, where goods are stored, smart technology can transform inventory management systems, bringing a wide range of advantages to warehouse facilities.
Today’s ever-growing customer expectations, e-tailing or omnichannel services and need for faster delivery times are augmenting operational complexity along with the rapid advancement in smart technologies. And this progression is now paving ways for smart warehousing management, driven by the Internet of Things. Global-scale companies like Alibaba, Amazon, DHL, and others all have implemented IoT to take inventory management to the next level.
Smart Technologies Influencing Warehouses
Technology plays a key role in bolstering the productivity of warehouses as customers seek faster deliveries, smoother customer journeys, and wider product selections. Adopting IoT, cloud-based management systems, AI, Robotics, Big Data, Handheld devices and other technologies along with a smart design approach can transform warehouses.
Let’s have a look at how smart tech is bringing benefits to the managers’ table.
Cost-Effective and Faster Delivery
Technologies like IoT, AI, Automation, among others have the ability to improve the accuracy of supply chain planning and management. Connected sensors and machine-to-machine communication protocols can assist warehouse managers to get real-time information at every stage of the supply chain. Moreover, AI solutions can improve pick efficiency and accuracy, while robotic automation will enable businesses to attain greater productivity. Unlike the human workforce, robots are able to work continuously without needing to take a break. Leveraging autonomous vehicles can also reduce the traveling time from one place to another within the warehouse, freeing human workers to focus on other valuable tasks.
Easing Talent Shortage Problems
Finding skilled talent that businesses require is very challenging today. Fortunately, with the evolution of and advancements in smart technologies, business owners now have options to continue their works without looking for new hires. Leveraging smart tech provides them the ability to boost the productivity of the current team. Considering reports, it takes nearly 60 hours to fully train an employee, while smart technologies cut the number to 41.2 hours per employee training. Smart glasses and voice-enabled assistant platforms, for instance, can support in instructing staff without having to interrupt their workdays.
Making Working Environment Safer
As smart technologies capable of increasing productivity, they have also the potential to keep warehouse workers safe. For instance, Radio-frequency identification (RFID) and sensors can issue proximity warnings if a worker strays close to dangerous areas like a forklift. Thus, robots can be helpful here, performing tasks that are intricate for humans such as those which can cause repetitive strain injuries. Drones can also be used to complete tasks that require workers to scale ladders, which increases their chances of a fall.
Improving Asset Management
Making use of IoT can surge a manager’s awareness of every single item stored in the warehouse. Connected sensors and data storage platforms allow operators to know the location of all goods, receive low-stock alerts, be notified if a product is misplaced, and much more. Smart technologies can also be constructive in monitoring storage conditions and autonomously adjust them. They also help store managers to be notified right away in the case of product theft, surging the odds of product retrieval and identifying the person responsible for the occurrence.