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Importance of Smart Warehouse in Today’s Competitive World

by | May 18, 2022 | Industry




Worldwide, logistics and supply chains enrich the lives of customers and retailers through fast trade facilities. Nowadays with technology, everything is turning online and international e-commerce activity is booming.

Global e-commerce sales were estimated at USD 1.54 trillion in 2015 and this number has increased to USD 4.24 trillion five years later. Now e-commerce sales are expected to reach USD 7.39 trillion by 2025.

In today’s fast-paced e-commerce environment, warehousing is revolutionizing the supply chain network, creating logistical efficiencies that seemed impossible in the past. Retailers are trying to get stuff to the customers faster with same-day delivery or next-day delivery to increase customer satisfaction.

And with increased competition and changing consumer behavior, companies are redesigning their warehousing facilities and distribution centers to better meet customer demands.

Warehouse management encompasses the principles and processes involved in running the day-to-day operations of a depot. This includes receiving and managing inventories and organizing storage space, scheduling labor efficiency and fulfilling orders.

Traditionally storage facilities use manual handling systems where operators handle goods movement by picking articles from a certain location and transporting them to somewhere within the warehouse to be packed and shipped out.

But with today’s increase in international trade and e-commerce, traditional warehouse management cannot sustain demand. Companies are faced with issues such as difficulty to track location of stocks, high operation costs, material traceability issues, too much manual data entry, prompt human error and low productivity.

To tackle these issues, warehouses are turning into digital to make distribution facilities smarter. Smart warehouse facilities are employing armies of super-smart robots to cope with modern-day demands. So, how smart warehouse is providing value to the world?

What is a smart warehouse?

The concept of smart warehousing is becoming more prevalent in today’s world. These depot centers combine various technology systems that automate processes to help run a business. This technology involves a network of automated devices that work together to accomplish a common goal. These systems allow workers to focus on strategic tasks rather than manual labor.

The machines are capable of better tracking and managing inventory. They can also improve the customer experience by increasing the speed at which items are shipped. Smart warehousing is like adding a brain to a warehouse, which will make it more efficient in replenishing, picking and shipping inventory.

The automation of tasks in a distribution center reduces the amount of manpower needed to manage it and enables faster order processing. It can be used in a variety of ways. In addition to helping businesses run more efficiently, smart warehouses can also help save money on manpower costs.

The smart warehouse concept is based on the Internet of Things which allows all devices to be connected to each other. These devices share data and perform tasks, but they can’t do so if they aren’t connected to each other. IoT creates a high level of intelligence and can leverage advanced analytics. It also reduces the possibility of errors in inventory management. With task interleaving, it can save time and reduce the need for manual handling.

yellow shelve in a large fulfillment center
Photo by Adrian Sulyok on Unsplash

Why smart warehouse is becoming important?

In today’s highly competitive world, a smart warehouse is an essential tool to stay ahead of your competition. An average storeroom consists of processes that are prone to error and these errors can have a dramatic impact on an entire operation. Implementing advanced technology into storage facilities can improve operation efficacy.

There are many benefits of automating a warehouse. Smart warehousing is more productive, increases efficiency and responds faster to customer orders. It also improves customer experience and increases operation transparency. It has the potential to improve business operation and bottom line.

A smart warehousing system consists of several automated technologies that make the entire process more efficient. These technologies enable a technological ecosystem that receives orders, identifies products, organizes them and pulls them through the delivery process. The best smart warehouse systems are fully automated and minimize human interaction and errors.

Storage facilities power by technology enable a company to improve operational scalability, cut costs and boost employee productivity. The benefits of a smart warehouse are many. They uses machines and computers to improve the flow of the warehouse, labor efficiency and turnaround time. They also increase visibility and scalability and help improve customer satisfaction.

Robots and other devices can scan barcodes and other information in order to perform tasks such as picking products and packaging them. Workers no longer need to spend hours sorting, tracking and entering data. They can stay on track of all tasks with the help of a single, centralized computer interface.

RFID technology uses radio waves to scan tags. These waves are sent to handheld scanners, which tell the workers which products are available. A worker can identify a package by its general direction or proximity, saving time and energy. RFID is a good solution for many warehouses.

In addition to reducing errors and allowing for more accurate inventory counts, RFID technology also provides real-time data visibility. With a real-time view of the distribution center, workers can monitor the status of various pieces and identify inaccuracies in inventory and delivery timing. With this information, they can make necessary changes before a problem gets out of control.

The most obvious benefit of a smart warehouse are streamlined operations. Automated processes mean fewer errors and a quicker turnaround time. This is great for businesses and it can also help reduce labor costs. Employees can concentrate on more high-value tasks because they are not burdened with tedious tasks.

yellow robotic arm picking order in a fulfilment center
Image courtesy: Easywaylogistics

Smart warehouses add value to employee work. With automated processes, employees are freed up to focus on high-value tasks instead of handling routine tasks. Smart distribution facilities allow for faster turnaround times, increase employee productivity, and improve efficiency and quality of service.

Smart warehousing processes also help to optimize fulfillment processes. They can reduce shipping costs and minimize inventory shrinkage and are also more accurate and efficient. These benefits are felt by customers through increased satisfaction. A connected warehouse also allows organizations to handle profits faster and more accurately.

The increased accuracy of picking results also enhanced customer loyalty and dedication as well as trust. It also decreases the need for inefficient, time-consuming internal inspection. And since human error is a part of the picking process, a technology-driven depot is an ideal solution to these problems.

The increased accuracy of inventory and improved visibility also reduce shipping costs. Automated guided vehicles can speed up internal processes. They can even detect exceptions and follow sensor-guided paths. Automation makes it possible to better manage inventory and improve picking and packing processes.

Automated inventory systems can be programmed to autonomously navigate through the facility and carry out tasks such as cycle counting, inventory audits and item searches. A connected warehouse focuses on each operation as an interconnected set of tasks. It takes a holistic view of the operations within the facility and optimizes each operation for a reduced cost and time.

Digitalization of warehouse

Advanced smart warehouses use the Internet of Things as their foundation. Several Internet-enabled devices communicate with one another to share data and operate as a single integrated system. This helps optimize various processes, from labor planning and inventory control procedures to customer experience.

In fact, IoT is already being used in many warehouses, including retail locations, which will benefit from its use. And as with any type of technological advancement, a smart storage facility requires advanced big data analytics and machine learning to make informed decisions. AI is a major part of smart warehousing systems, as it allows machines to analyze and pivot operations and it also acts as a security measure.

Robotics and AI go hand-in-hand. Robots use artificial intelligence to identify and pack products and they can learn to recognize the correct box for a particular shipment. With the help of sensors, robots and AI, warehouse operations can adapt to constantly changing demand. Automated inventory gives workers real-time information, allowing them to focus on revenue-generating initiatives.

Some storage facilities incorporated with artificial intelligence can help make intelligent business decisions. For example, AI can alert managers when storage space is running low. Ultimately, smart warehouse systems can improve customer satisfaction. They help companies compete in the same-day shipping market.

Intelligent warehouses are designed to scale to accommodate future smart technology and process changes. Intelligent robots and other technological innovations enable workers to increase their usefulness and reduce mistakes. Smart storage facilities also reduce costs by eliminating human errors. They can automate tasks, which results in faster order processing.

Automated and intelligent warehouse systems are an excellent way to increase productivity and efficiency in a business. Automated systems monitor the movement of all items and robots in the facility. Computer algorithms can determine where to place a pallet based on the quantity and location of items. These systems can even provide directions to certain locations.

yellow robotic arm putting order in delivery box
Photo by Mech Mind on Unsplash

The ability to view data on real-time inventory levels gives operators an unprecedented overview of the entire warehouse. They will be able to pinpoint inaccuracies in inventory and shipping timing and can use this information to optimize their receiving processes and shipping strategies. Furthermore, real-time data provides useful information that can be shared with other key stakeholders within a company.

Automated operations make expansion easier and cheaper and they allow to make changes more quickly. Automated operations also make it easier to add more storage space, which means that you can adjust your operations more easily. Motion sensors can even control lighting and adjust it automatically to match the time of day.

By employing RFID tags, workers can easily see inventory details through tablets or phones while working. Smart labels allow the entire supply chain to benefit from technology. RFID scanners will know when an item arrives so that robots can go to the right place. Intelligent robots can also help to reduce human error by giving the exact information needed.

The Internet of Things connects many devices in a storage facility that allows machines to communicate and exchange data. With this smart system, robots will know exactly where to store the items. For example, a computer algorithm can determine where to place a pallet. And taking into account the quantity of material needed, it can provide directions to the right location.

When it comes to using smart warehousing technologies to reduce operation costs, you’ll need to consider how your customers want their products to be delivered. By automating processes, you’ll be able to reduce shipping costs, increase customer satisfaction and meet customer demands while reducing inventory shrinkage.

With IoT, the data generated by a warehouse can be transformed into valuable insights. Analytics technologies such as business intelligence can create real-time dashboards and consolidated reports. Predictive Analytics can help you predict how your distribution facility will perform within a certain tolerance.

Automated guided vehicles are another great addition to an intelligent warehouse. Automated vehicles will help warehouse personnel with their daily tasks while eliminating the need for manual labor. They may also replace some manual processes such as packing items and racking them. Ultimately, smart technology allows distribution centers to focus on their core activities and grow businesses.

Future of smart warehouse

There’s no doubt that the evolution of the warehousing industry will be driven by smart warehouse technologies. These technologies are becoming relatively inexpensive to implement and help logistics companies improve their operations. Smart warehouse technology can help distribution facilities run more efficiently by analyzing operational data to optimize processes.

This type of technology will continue to grow in popularity as intelligent warehouses are affordable and provide the information that businesses need to make better decisions. The future of smart warehouses lies in integration. Integration is critical in the process of automation and smart shelving is a prime example.

Smart shelving helps businesses keep track of inventory, reduces the chances of human error and streamlines processes. Combined with barcodes and RFID, smart shelving can provide visibility into inventory movement across the distribution facility. It is possible to monitor inventory movement with this technology, making it easier to manage inventory.

Smart warehouses can also tap into new technologies, such as AI, predictive analytics and IoT networks. These innovations can help depots improve their inventory management and order fulfillment processes, which will ultimately improve end-to-end supply chain visibility. In fact, research has shown that by 2025, the use of IoT platforms in warehouse management will reach $19 billion.

With this kind of investment, logistics companies can expect to see a considerable increase in their bottom line, while also reducing operational costs. In addition, smart warehouses should enable real-time data access. Customers and stakeholders want access to data as soon as it is available. Real-time data updates are a must for intelligent warehousing.

Real-time data is important because it gives operators a better view of their operation, enabling them to pinpoint problem areas and make improvements as needed. The future of smart warehouses also depends on smart devices such as picking devices, sensors, robots and ASRS (automated storage and retrieval systems), which are all connected to the cloud.

Data from these devices is collected in real-time, becoming valuable input for AI algorithms that generate optimization recommendations. AI, in particular, can help businesses predict inventory needs, enable dynamic task allocation and perform handshakes on the floor.

Investing in a smart storage facility will allow you to gain insights into your entire process and predict possible future orders. Using intelligent software and analytics, you’ll be able to make decisions and improve your company’s bottom line by lowering labor costs and improving your supply chain planning. You can even streamline operations to cut costs and improve customer satisfaction.

Smart distribution facilities will also benefit human employees. With 5G, smart warehouse technology will revolutionize the supply chain and logistics, much like the Ford assembly line did in 1913. And with advances in technology, intelligent warehouses will become more affordable.

The smart warehouse technology will not only replace traditional equipment but can also use robots and drones to carry out tasks. It will have a warehouse management system that will guide the operations of all this equipment, as well as operators and other staff.

Ultimately, these systems will reduce warehouse accidents, worker injuries, and equipment downtime. Intelligent warehousing can help businesses expand their storage capacity by maximizing their efficiency and productivity. The development of smart warehouses will impact production, inventory management, and product design.

With the development of smart wearables and IoT devices, humans will no longer have to spend time doing repetitive tasks, such as picking and packing. Robotic assistants and collaborative bots will speed up functions. Automated warehouse functions reduce human error, which is the primary cause of loss in the logistics industry.

Automation has become an integral part of modern supply chains and IoT will continue to increase business automation. Smarter supply chains will increase agility and efficiency. The future of logistics is largely dependent on technology. The use of technology in the warehouse has already helped improve inventory visibility. When paired with AI, these systems can predict future events and help businesses make better decisions.

With these advantages, a smart warehouse can provide significant competitive advantages for the company. With the rise of online trading and the need for efficiency, a connected depot is the best way to meet these challenges. The benefits of a smart warehouse go beyond its ability to increase efficiency and speed. With an efficient storage facility, businesses will benefit from an efficient supply chain and improved operational scalability.