With every innovation that enters our lives, we seem to learn a little more about what’s possible in a world of technological advances. And when it comes to the industries that have experienced the most change, few are more advanced and remarkable than today’s factories and warehouses.

Part of this is due to a series of advances that relate to the concept of lean manufacturing methodologies, and part comes from the new types of software and devices that are available and affordable for all companies.

Here are four things you can take away from the innovations in this industry.

1. The key to improving processes is by clarifying what they are

When you build machinery and software to automate inventory management systems, you find that the very simplest tasks need to be defined. From there, slight improvements in an ongoing fashion will add up to significant gains in productivity and profitability across the entire operational process chain.

2. We still need humans

Computers can do most of what human brains can do, and do it faster and more accurately, but humans still need to answer the “why” behind every innovation. Doing the wrong thing faster doesn’t help anyone; it only takes you to an unprofitable place at greater speed.

3. Expectations will change with capability

Now that it’s possible to order an item and receive it the next day, consumers are beginning to expect that as standard service. As a result, you’ve absolutely got to keep up with Moore’s Law of innovation and make sure you’re trying to double your learning and innovations across regular and measurable periods of time.

Your customers will expect this, so the earlier you make your habits meet their expectations, the more surely you’ll develop a sustainable competitive advantage over your competitors.

4. Software is the new fiber of life

When activities as complex as human movements, packing, sorting, shipping, and quality control can be engineered by innovative software in the field of inventory management, it’s easy to see how software has become the backbone of nearly every major function of business and life.

Computers can do (some of what) human brains can do, but faster, without errors, and without breaks. Inventory management software and its connected machinery have substantially changed the face of what we expect in every type of business process around the world!

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