Warehouses play fundamental roles in holding goods, accommodating orders, sorting orders into preferable quotations, and marking arrangement for their dispatch.
Therefore, they are vital components of enhancing e-commerce sales of physical goods.
Statistical evidence shows that sales of physical goods amounted to about $504.6 billion in 2018, with the sector revenue projected to hit over $700 billion marks by 2023.
Since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, logistics, and the overall e-commerce sector have faced difficult trends and dynamics. Labor dynamic, customer challenges, and the alterations on the general landscapes of warehousing prompted warehousing giants such as WHSE hub to shift their focus to technology.
Technology Trends in Warehousing
Amid the effects of COVID-19 pandemic, Warehouse Management Systems face challenges of fully satisfying customers as well as upholding the welfare of workers in the warehouses.
Often, the trendy technologies aim at bridging gaps between customers and businesses with respect to the timely ordering of goods, order analysis, and the deliveries.
Notably, the fundamental considerations when integrating various warehousing technologies aim at targeting the labor and process aspects of logistics.
According to 2020 statistics, about 75% of companies’ warehouse budgets cater for labor only. Such large chunks of investments have brought about inspirations to over 70% of warehouse decision-makers to increase investments on technologies as a means of reducing labor cost and increasing process efficiency. Some of the modest technologies in warehousing include:
1. Robotics and drones
With the entry of Artificial Intelligence (AI), different logistics giants have embarked on robotics and drones as strategies to increase process efficiency, timely delivery of goods, elimination of various human errors, and increasing qualities of the products.
Automated robots are relevant in picking, packing, sorting, streamlining operations, loading, receiving, and dispatching orders, among other essential roles.
2. Process automation and machine learning
Techno-enabled mobile devices are fundamental tools in the trendy warehouse management systems.
Several technologies such as Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) are vital in providing location details of different components and items in the warehouse, and therefore, contributing to the overall effectiveness of warehouse management systems.
Various Warehouse Management Systems have installed voice technologies that have capabilities to analyze verbal directions. Such technologies are easy to understand and complement the efforts of workers.
They enable workers to evaluate orders, oversee deliveries, and scrutinize inventory. Certainly, they are fundamental in helping reduce human errors.
Internet of Things
Often, the internet of things (IoT) is a prospective advancement that links almost every aspect of warehouses to a common knowledge base.
Amid the effects of COVID-19 pandemic, IoT is playing essential roles in enabling information circulation, synthesize, and proper utilization with the objectivities of satisfying customers’ demands.
Inter-machine knowledge. Inter-machine technologies aid the circulation of information between computers and Warehouse Management Systems. Such data exchange mechanisms help Warehouse Management Systems gather, analyze, and integrate information from diverse warehouse machines.
Inter-machine technologies and the circulation of information is one of the developments that enable the conceptualization of robotics and other machine commands with abilities to enhance the effectiveness if
3. Big data and Cloud storage
These two modest forms of information intelligence enable warehouse management systems to store information to the cloud. Such moves have enhanced safe data retrieval and access regardless of time and distance factors.
Cloud storage is a modest way of ensuring large scale storage of warehouse information for easy retrieval purposes.
The effects of COVID-19 pandemic on the warehousing and logistics industry are evident in recent times. However, customers’ demand and the need for business continuity have put businesses on their toes.
Correspondingly, the emergence of effective technologies such as robotics, drones, machine learning, Geolocation tracking devices, among other advancements has boosted the efficiency of Warehouse Management Systems and the whole efforts to satisfy product demands.