Everything is connected to the internet, including consumer and industrial devices and systems. The internet allows for unlimited scalability and boosted efficiency in warehouse inventory management. The so-called “smart warehouse” takes advantage of these defining factors by connecting systems to streamline inventory management and overall productivity. Warehouse managers must understand why changes of standards and use of the Internet of Things (IoT) are needed and how smart warehouses can meet the demands of today and tomorrow.
The Problem: Warehouses Lacking IoT-Based Technologies Lose Opportunities
The cost for internet connectivity is decreasing, but some warehouses, operating on legacy systems, are still using paper-based processes. Although not subject to the risk of cybersecurity, the costs of manual processes and systems management can be up to 31-times greater than those of digital systems, reports informIT. As the storage space of data has fallen, warehouse managers’ rationale for avoiding IoT technologies has become even more archaic.
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Warehouses lacking IoT-based technologies lose opportunities, and as customers become more aware of third-party sellers, online mega-giant resellers, and faster ways to get products at a cheaper price, the importance of accountability and visibility into operations will reign supreme.
The Solution: IoT-Inspired, Smart Warehouses Enhance Operations
Using the power of an IoT-inspired, smart warehouse helps gain real-time visibility, access and control over all operations. This also has the added benefit of reducing damage and inaccuracies, but it does require investment into internet-connected devices, internet connectivity, account and device management, application programming, and analytics and reporting, says Supply Chain 24/7.
Precursor technology enables continuous improvement in warehouse management. For example, auto-lighting LEDs, RFID, and handheld scanners can help pickers ensure the right item is picked every time. The connection of systems nets scalability and actionable insights from the analysis of Big Data through the IoT.
The Reward: How to Make the Most of Smart Warehouses
While improving operational efficiency, smart warehouses also have wide-ranging benefits for the entire supply chain. As explained by Supply Chain 24/7, warehouse managers can take advantage of IoT technologies by following these best practices:
- Automate processes wherever possible, but maintain a degree of flexibility.
- Use software-as-a-service platforms to use the latest-generation technology in your warehouse management system.
- Share information, to increase visibility and responsiveness of all parties involved.
- Use web-centric services, which are consumer-centric in an omnichannel world.
- Integrate all supply chain systems, increasing savings in transportation management, procurement and everywhere in between.
- Collect data on everything, even systems and factors not traditionally associated with warehouse management.
Let Veridian Help You Reinvent Your Inventory Management Strategy Now
In an omnichannel-driven world, inventory management is everything. The right inventory management techniques can mean the difference between happy customers and increased rates of returns, regardless of where and how an item was purchased. Put the power of the Internet of Things to work today by drafting plans to move to an IoT-based smart warehouse. If you need help with this transition, Veridian is your one-stop shop. Contact Veridian or feel free to call us at 1-770-225-1750 today.