The future is coming and there is nothing we can do to stop progress from happening. Rather than fear the future, we should embrace change and appreciate how new technology can enhance our business practices.
Just think were we would be now had we not had technical revolutions in the past. From the creation of hoists in the late 1800s to the development of conveyor belts and forklifts in the early 1900s, our warehousing systems have benefited greatly from these advancements. These days we look towards artificial intelligence to streamline warehousing systems to make them more efficient.
To cut down on human error, one major manufacturer in the US has issued a pair of Google Glasses to each of their warehouse staff. After an order is placed, their computerised system will work out the best route possible to fulfil the order. Precise directions are then sent to the warehouse staff through live feed via their glasses. Taking this step forward and embracing the latest cutting edge technology has enabled this company to vastly improve the efficiency of the warehouse and has seen a marked increase in turnover.
You may look at the system being used by this company as a way of upgrading their human resources. Many business leaders are already looking to introduce technology such as this into their existing practices. However, many industry experts are predicting a radical shift towards completely automated solutions in the coming years. This is something that has been labelled as ‘smart warehousing’.
Smaller, Smart Warehousing
With the growing demand for next-day or same-day deliveries through e-commerce sales, more companies are beginning to build smaller warehouses that are conveniently placed to be closer to the end customer. Getting closer to your customer base means that you can more easily facilitate faster delivery times while at the same time cutting back on transportation costs.
The introduction of the smartphone means that a customer has the ability to search for items online, compare prices between different vendors, select a product, choose a delivery schedule and pay for the item in one click. This is the sort of technology that warehouse systems have to keep up with if they want to remain competitive and stay in business.
The use of smart mobile devices are also sweeping the warehousing world. Staff can now keep a check on order status, stock levels, processing times and labour usage with great ease. Analytical data fed back from these devices can help the company to improve its future efficiencies as well as its customer service.
Industry experts are also predicting that along with the growth of smaller warehouses being built to be closer to the customer, many will be built from the ground up to be completely automated by design. This means less physical space will be required for the operation as there will be very little to zero human intervention necessary to take, pick, sort, dispatch and deliver orders.