Running a productive and efficient warehouse is essential for every business that deals with inventories, freight, and shipping. When there is no functional system organizing the items in the store, their storing and extracting, there can be many delays or wreckages, which can end up badly for the company’s reputation.
Fortunately, keeping a warehouse on point has never been as easy as today, with all the useful technology innovations. Let us dive deeper into this topic and see what are the tools available for maximizing warehouse productivity and how exactly is technology making its contribution.
Tracking with Barcodes and RFID
Barcodes are nothing new in warehouses, but regardless of that, some companies still haven’t started using this method for tracking their inventory, which makes it easier for human error to happen.
Barcodes can be placed on pallets, boxes, cases or individual items and assigned a unique ID. Radio frequency identification (RFID), doesn’t require manned scanners, unlike the barcodes, so it further simplifies the warehouse operations. The readers are placed at certain checkpoints to keep track of the inventory.
Use of Real-Time Data
Although often underestimated, the importance of inbound transportation is tremendous. To get a handle on these time and money consuming processes, businesses need transparent orders and shipping data but also an increased collaboration with carriers and suppliers. These problems can be addressed by web-based, transportation management system that has automated features for inbound transportation functions. Think of the ERP that speaks to TMS which then speaks to WMS providing you the real-time info and reducing your involvement in the process.
Warehouses are big spaces which demand a lot of light to avoid inaccuracies and safety problems. Installing smart, energy-efficient lighting in the entire store can sound like a massive investment, at first, but looking it long-term, it is worthwhile. Installing motion sensors that will turn on the lights in particular part of the area and turn it off after a set time can cut energy costs.
Internet of things has long since become a reality and it’s time to see its implications in warehouse management finally. Of course, the best medium through which internet of things can be brought into warehouses is wearables. For example, warehouse workers can receive visual instructions through their smart glasses, issue voice commands with their two-way audio headsets and receive real-time notifications through their smart watches.
The way in which new materials are put away and retrieved for shipment plays a huge role in everyday warehouse operations. The ways in which technology can make these activities easier are:
- Using the latest tech for accessing and moving items – Your warehouse should be equipped to deal with all kinds of different storing systems ranging from pallets to bins.
- Using the software for planning layout and managing items – Warehouse items must be organized in a way to cut the number of trips workers have to make to get the job done. If items are stored in different warehouses, that means streamlining the mobile storage services. All these duties are better implemented by using automated software systems.
Door Scheduling Software
One of the most common problems of everyday warehouse operations is bottlenecks at the dock doors. The process of assigning different doors to different trucks to unload their cargo or pick up the load can, at times, become very complicated and time-consuming. Using some automated dock scheduling software can significantly streamline both inbound and outbound operations and make warehouse management more efficient.
As we can see, technology can make a pretty significant impact on warehouse management and operations, and we have barely scratched the surface here. The possibilities are limitless, and they will become even more impressive with each passing day. A good reason to look forward to future.