As we go in the age of ever-changing warehouse technology, it’s reasonable to conclude that all workplaces are undergoing transformation. talk about the future of logistics it’s talk about efficiency, the name of the game today, as organizations in every industry face relentless pressure to achieve more with less. This is especially true in the warehousing business, which is an important part of the supply chain. Fortunately, the technologies accessible to the contemporary warehouse are becoming increasingly complex.
The warehouses of the future may not resemble a scene from Blade Runner, but what does the industry have in store for the next decade? Warehouses will expand on existing successful process-driven technology, such as ubiquitous supply chain automation, hyper-effective robotic technologies, and, yes, plenty of drones.
Let’s look at warehousing concepts and what the future of warehouses holds.
Supply chain issues driving transformation
Warehouses encounter a variety of difficulties. As more people shop online, retail footprints are diminishing. To compensate for the move from brick-and-mortar to e-commerce, warehouses will have to face a greater storage load. This corresponds to an increased workforce requirement, which is exacerbated by tight labor markets.
Warehouses might face 3-5x volume increases during peak seasons. Because standard hardware and software solutions are only available to the larger organizations, most warehouses remain relatively manual. A manual warehouse results in delayed operations, inefficient workflows, and human mistakes. This generates a need among many businesses for scalable solutions that do not necessitate a significant capital outlay — and, ideally, operate with a warehouse’s current infrastructure and architecture.
Consumer behavior continues to alter in reaction to the most recent warehousing technology and modern merchants’ capacities. Whether this is an unachievable task, customers are putting their money where their mouths are:
Sixty-six percent of shoppers choose one e-commerce seller over another based on shipping possibilities (Accenture).
54% of consumers define “quick shipping” as two days or less, while 64% are unwilling to pay more for two-day shipment (Deloitte).
After obtaining free or fast shipping, 77% of consumers believe they are more inclined to do business with the same shop again (Dropoff, Inc.).
The market for logistics
Warehouses and the supply chain as a whole are adopting a more integrated strategy that promotes openness and visibility for warehouses, logistics partners, and customers. Let’s take a look at a few logistics market developments that will have an impact on the warehouse of the future.
Another trend that has emerged as a result of the requirement for more warehouse flexibility to fulfill transitory demand for additional capacity is on-demand warehousing. This trend allows businesses that have designed their warehouse to fulfill peak season needs to monetise surplus space during slower periods of the year.
Automation as a service is a rapidly expanding business concept in which clients may implement automation as needed. It is gaining popularity because it allows facilities to swiftly scale up and down as demand demands, and it allows purchasers to expand or experiment with technology such as robots without going through a laborious acquisition procedure.
Because of the proliferation of open-source technology and cloud-based services, apps can now share data more effectively than ever before. APIs provide this integration, allowing applications to collect data from various warehouse information systems in real time. Because of entirely connected technology, the information silos that present in today’s supply chain will vanish in the warehouse of the future.
Tracking and visibility improvements
The Internet of Things (IoT) is already causing havoc in the warehouse industry. IoT promotes improved communication and collaboration among supply chain participants, as well as increased accountability across the board. IoT usage will increase over the next decade as technology prices become more affordable for more warehouses and warehouse logistics operations. Other advantages of IoT include:
The capacity to quickly detect supply chain risks
Provides real-time information on weather and other factors that cause shipment delays.
Assists businesses in meeting chain-of-custody standards for sensitive cargo.
Reduces lost and damaged products, as well as equipment damage
Precise location data shortens the time required to find specific goods and improves inventory management and forecasting accuracy.
Modern warehouse automation
Many experts believe that investing in automation is the best way for a firm to improve warehouse operations. Although automation has existed in some form or another for decades (if not centuries), forward-thinking businesses are focusing on incorporating autonomous elements into their existing infrastructure and systems to transform the fulfillment process without requiring a complete infrastructure overhaul.
Chuck, our entirely configurable, autonomous collaborative robot that employs the same sensors as self-driving cars, serves as a robotic “workhorse.” They never fatigue, even when operating 24 hours a day, and have near-perfect success rates, which eliminates the human mistakes that occur in manual cart picking processes.
Big data and machine learning
Big data and machine learning are not new concepts, but they are set to revolutionize warehouse operations in the next years. Artificial intelligence, for example, may be used to a variety of warehouse use cases. As a result, one of the biggest issues that warehouse directors have when it comes to big data and machine learning is identifying important business drivers (or KPIs) and determining how to effectively apply AI to enhance them.
Order picking accuracy, fulfillment time, and inventory accuracy are all KPIs that may be adjusted using AI, and others may apply AI to more general drivers like safety, productivity, or facility damage.
Considerations for the Future Warehouse
Adopting the latest technology for today’s warehouses is not as straightforward as it may appear. Existing warehouse facilities generally have legacy designs and layouts, so new automation must be both adaptable and minimally disruptive without significantly increasing capital expenditures.
Finally, labor shortages imply that warehouses will search for ways to boost productivity, automation systems that are simple to use and easy to educate employees on, and changes in the nature of the work to attract new personnel.
Warehouses have played an important role in the supply chain for decades, and they are unlikely to become obsolete. Instead, the warehousing industry’s future appears bright as forward-thinking, inventive organizations pave the way for the warehouse of the future by adopting the newest technological innovations. Interested in learning more? Let’s talk about the best option for you. Please contact us right away.