4 Ways Technology is Revolutionizing Warehousing
By 2020, an estimated 25 billion smart devices — ranging from home thermostats, appliances, and cars to innovative software and commercial equipment — will assist businesses in becoming more intelligent and connected to the world. This latest research has manufacturing and business industry insiders insisting that we are at the onset of the next industrial revolution.
The demand for increased automation and the growing acceptance and adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) are evidence that this growing tech revolution is making its mark on America’s industrial sector. Four cutting-edge technologies discussed below are already streamlining manufacturing and warehouse operations worldwide, and their full potential has yet to be realized.
IoT to Streamline Supply Chain Activity
The IoT has capabilities to streamline supply chain activity in the following ways.
Warehouse Control System (WCS)
Touted as being pivotal to IoT success, the WCS monitors and controls all intelligent devices within a warehouse and can be piloted from a warehouse manager’s wrist. A manager, in turn, can speed up operations by directing a forklift to a product’s exact stored location, for example. The WCS offers real-time access into warehouse operations at all times, allowing managers to meet distribution demands more efficiently and accurately.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
This technology can be used to provide critical data regarding location, identification, and tracking information, as well as environmental data. RFID enables management to track when a pallet will arrive, including information about the current road conditions along the route that can potentially affect delivery. Environmental data informs the crew of any weather conditions that may adversely affect the quality of goods being transported — critical data for warehouse management operations.
Barcode Scanning Technology
Barcode scanning technology reduces errors, speeds up the picking process, and provides real-time data about inventory, even pinpointing where a product is located within the supply chain. This vital tool offers the capability to send orders from any location directly to another spot on the warehouse floor.
Robotics Are Revolutionizing Warehousing
Warehouse robotics is what leading-edge manufacturers are investing in now. From assistance with moving and sorting to storing warehouse inventory, the latest robotic technology offers a myriad of solutions that will assist with increasing order volumes and improve task performance using less labor at a fraction of the cost.
What are the benefits to partnering with providers of warehouse management systems? Think faster cycle times, improved productivity, reduced safety incidents, and higher order accuracy.
Innovative Technology Is the Solution to Meeting Customer Demand
With the prediction that more than 85 percent of all businesses will be digital within the next five years — an advancement which will benefit both customers and businesses alike — manufacturers need to implement the latest technological tools quickly to keep supply chains operating with maximum efficiency. This move is crucial for staying competitive and meeting increasing customer demands for faster shipping. Long-term implications of these technologies are quite positive from all standpoints and include reduced costs, theft, and perishability, as well as a safer, smoother production flow.
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