Warehouses are a key link in the supply chain, and every company is looking for ways to keep up with customer demands for fast shipping while lowering costs and addressing special requirements such as food and pharmaceutical safety regulations.
On the ground in the warehouses, it’s important for workers to have the right kind of devices — rugged tablets chief among them — to collect and interact with the datastreams coming from connected devices. While consumer-grade devices can manage the data, rugged devices stand up much better to the challenging and difficult environment of industrial settings.
Today’s warehouse is far more than just a facility in which to store inventory. Leveraging the latest supply chain technology and the Internet of Things (IoT), a “smart warehouse” can now serve as a hub to boost efficiency and speed throughout the entire supply chain. From wearables on workers to sensors and smart equipment, internet-enabled devices and technology can profoundly change logistics management.
The biggest areas of growth are the automated storage and retrieval systems, warehouse control system software and warehouse execution systems — all critical components in the creation of the modern smart warehouse.
There are many advantages to creating a smart warehouse with the latest supply chain technology. Devices, sensors and radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags can enable warehouse managers to know the exact location and progress of any product at any time. “Hands-free” wearables can allow workers to move about and access information and instructions from anywhere in the warehouse without being constrained by workstations. Additionally, investing in IoT technology can reduce the use of manual labor, increasing speed and shipping accuracy, and offer retailers an opportunity to obtain unparalleled visibility into inventory and supply chains.
Many companies are already experimenting with IoT to create smart warehouses. UPS is using smart glasses in test programs to reduce the amount of labeling on packages. Athletic sportswear company Lids is using an Internet of Everything (IoE)-based robotics system to make its warehouse more efficient, with robotic carts that pick products, place them in bins and deliver them to workers. On a larger scale, many companies such as Amazon are now even using autonomous robots in their warehouses.
Of respondents in Logistic Management’s survey, 39 percent are moving forward on investments in technology information systems, compared to 40 percent in conveyors and sorting equipment and 25 percent in robotic solutions. Therefore, if you are looking for solutions, support, services and products best fit to improve your warehouse, Talinda East Africa has simple, creative and responsible ways to have you covered.