The drastic change in buying behavior from brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce platforms has escalated the demand for warehousing. In addition, the burden on warehouse operation has been intensely added due to the shortage of skilled labor. Thus, new innovative warehouse technology is increasingly adopted in the logistics process, which simplifies and streamlines warehousing operations. In this blog post, we will discuss some cutting-edge technologies to apply in the warehouse management system.
1. Tools for Automated Picking
The days of error-prone picking are long gone; now, when picking automation elements are integrated into the flow, warehouses can benefit from near-perfect picking rates. Picking procedures can be improved using a variety of tools, including voice-automated order picking, robotic order picking, and pick-to-light. These technologies also make use of cutting-edge barcoding options that seamlessly integrate with your chosen management software to provide the quickest and most accurate automated reporting experiences.
2. Autonomously Navigated Vehicles
There is no better way to improve your warehouse storage and retrieval processes than to incorporate automatic guided vehicles or Autonomously Navigated Vehicles. Autonomously Navigated Vehicle's structural integrity is evolving as technology advances, but even models that have been on the market for some time have proven to be safer and yield a faster ROI than manual labor. Pallet, rack, and other container storage, as well as functions that control and automate the entire receiving process, are among their most important functions.
3. Automated platforms for managing stock
When combined with a few other technological staples, such as asset and inventory tags, automated inventory control platforms are used to eliminate the labor, guesswork, and extraneous time associated with traditional inventory control. To sweeten the deal, most of these platforms are designed to count inventory automatically and synthesize data for fast, real-time, and ultra-accurate reporting that can be accessed remotely.
4. Warehouse Management Systems - the most demanding warehouse technology (WMSs)
WMSs, or warehouse management systems, are comprehensive software systems that consolidate all of your important data into a single platform that can be easily accessed by internal players as well as any selected members of your supply chain. This data compartmentalization allows for lightning-fast reporting, which, when used tactfully, can mean uber-efficient planning, even for unexpected scenarios. Overall, the use of warehousing management - or warehouse execution - systems complement other automated elements perfectly.
5. Internet of Things concept (IoT)
The Internet of Things, or IoT, is a concept rather than a specific technology, but it is regularly implemented in the world's most effective smart warehouses. When IoT is used to control a large number of moving parts, both automated and manual, it can optimize all of your processes so that their data is stored in a single, easily accessible network. This improves a warehouse's inventory control procedures, labor planning, and, of course, the overall customer experience by allowing for faster fulfillment rates.
6. Robots that work together (Cobots)
We've discussed briefly the benefits of fully autonomous and robotic technologies, but it's not always feasible for every warehouse to adopt such technology right away, especially given the significant financial and infrastructure changes required. That is why more and more warehouses are embracing collaborative robots, or cobots, autonomous elements designed to work alongside your existing associates rather than in place of them. Cobots enable warehouses to maintain many processes and infrastructure design choices while benefiting from the optimized workflow provided by fully autonomous elements.
7. Automatic systems for storing and finding things
Automated storage and retrieval systems have been around for years, and while they have improved throughput and accuracy, they have often been criticized for being expensive, clunky, and inflexible. Today, the system is only getting slicker and continues to blow all of their original benefits - reduced labor costs/restraints, modular capabilities, and, of course, increased accuracy.
You don't have to completely renovate your warehouse to make it smarter and more efficient; instead, start with the technologies that make sense for your company and its processes. Then you'll see that any warehouse can transform into a "smart" warehouse management system
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Author: Chi Vo - Content Marketing Executive