Technology is creeping into every part of our lives, and that includes in the workplace. Technology hasn’t traditionally had much of a role in the warehouse environment, but as warehouses modernise and begin to embrace new ways to manage logistics and distribution, technology is playing a bigger role, with everything from industrial scales to robots that pick stock. Here are the best smart technologies to implement in your warehouse.
- Automated picking tools. Manual picking can lead to a lot of errors. Warehouses can benefit from using automated picking elements which have near perfect picking rates. There are lots of tools that can be used for this such as voice automated order picking, robotic picking and barcoding options that integrate into your management software. This makes picking faster and more accurate.
- Automatic guided vehicles. You can boost your retrieval process with integrated automatic guided vehicles in your warehouse. AGVs are evolving as technology moves forward, and structural integrity is improving. Even older models are safer and have a quicker ROI than manual labor. They can be used for important tasks like pallet, rack and other container storage and can control and automate the retrieval process.
- Automated inventory control platforms. These can be used alongside other technology in the warehouse, such as inventory tags. These platforms are used to reduce the labor, the guesswork and the time in old-fashioned inventory control. They can be used to automatically count the inventory and create the data for fast, real-time, accurate reporting.
- Warehouse management systems. These systems, also known as WMSs, are software systems that control all of your important warehouse data into one platform that can be accessed by any internal staff who need it, as well as key members of your supply chain. Data can then be used for for fast reporting, efficient planning and preparing for unexpected scenarios.
- Internet of Things (IoT) implementation. The Internet of Things is a concept rather than an individual piece of technology, but it can be used well in the world’s most effective smart warehouses. IoT can be used to control many parts of the warehouse, both automated and manual. All your processes can be optimised, getting all your data into one, easy to use network. You can optimise your inventory control procedures, labor planning and customer experience with more rapid order fulfillment.
Integrating all kinds of technology into the warehouse can benefit your business in a lot of ways. Automated processes can be used to improve employee safety, for example by removing the need to pick stock from high shelving or taking people away from the warehouse floor where vehicles are being used. Other automation can be used to streamline many processes, delivering faster and more accurate results, with less room for error. Automation can deliver useful data to help you improve your warehouse processes even further, leading to a more efficient, more stream-lined and more profitable business. Embrace technology in your warehouse to grow your business to the next level.