Best-of-class WMS software, automated technologies, and robotics are the future for warehouses to remain competitive.
If you have ever toured a warehouse of the future, you most likely discovered that they are quite a thing of wonder. It’s hard not to be impressed with the seamless flow of people, systems, and machinery working together to produce, pick, package, and ship products out the door with ease. This level of efficiency is a result of ever-evolving warehouse technology implemented into business operations, such as premium warehouse management system (WMS) software, wearable and mobile tech, RFID, and even full robotics automation in some cases.
It all begins with advanced WMS software. By implementing the best warehouse system software, a distribution facility can realize increased efficiency through real-time inventory control, advanced quality control processes, automated report generation, and flexible logistics scheduling. Choosing a WMS software that includes warehouse control system (WCS) abilities offers even more benefits. WCS coordinates multiple types of material handling equipment within one system for synchronized, high throughput processing. With the two systems working together, operations become more streamlined for maximum efficiency.
Modern warehouses and manufacturers incorporate the newest innovations in wearable and mobile technology to keep operations running smoothly. Employees are able to locate, pick, pack, and ship products more easily through their warehouse software, saving time and money. Inbound Logistics recently reported that 44% of respondents to a 2019 study by warehouse technology provider Zebra are using wearable tech, and over 90% expect to adopt wearable mobile computers by 2028. Adopting this technology with RF, RFID, voice picking, and sensor and auto-identification scanning can truly make a warehouse facility more competitive.
Automation in the Warehouse
One of the biggest transformations a company can undergo is the implementation of robotics automation. From computerized picking and packaging to inventory movement throughout a facility via automated guided vehicles (AGVs), the use of industrial robots has been growing over the years.
There was a large surge of robotics automation most recently due to workers needing to be at least six feet apart to comply with pandemic health and safety guidelines, followed by worker shortages from The Great Resignation. Supply Chain Dive has reported that the Association for Advancing Automation (A3) stated North American industrial robot orders set a new record in 2021 with 39,708 units ordered, up 14% from its last highest point in 2017.
"More industries recognized that robotics could help reverse productivity declines and fill repetitive jobs human workers don't want," said Jeff Burnstein, president of A3, in a statement. "It is no longer a choice whether to deploy robots and automation. It's now an absolute imperative."
What newest technology are you using to increase warehouse operational efficiency? Are you looking to implement robotics automation in the near future? Let us know!