New technologies are being developed that will propel warehouse management and shape the supply chain of the future. Around the globe, supply chain entities and third-party logistics providers (3PLs) are seeking out the best ways to enhance flexibility and adaptability for both inbound and outbound logistics. From the dramatic changes possible through the cloud to the applications of Big Data, you need to know the top warehouse management technologies that will shape your future.
The Cloud Will Become Omnipotent in Warehouse Management
The cloud emerged as a go-to solution for supply chains experiencing data-storage issues, but it is evolving at an astonishing pace. By 2020, more than 75 percent of supply chain processes will exist in the cloud, and more companies will migrate their systems to the ever-connected technology. Meanwhile, the speed in-migration will continue to push entire supply chains toward a platform-based approach to effective management. Plus, the increased cybersecurity of the cloud will give companies incentive to move operations away from risky, on-site storage.
Advances in Robotics and Automation Will Reduce Workload
Robotics and automation will continue to reduce physical strain on workers in warehouses and throughout supply chains. Robotic systems will replace the labor demands of pickers, and automated packing and shipping will put warehousing on the forefront of technology. Also, the Internet of Things (IoT) will expand with more mobile devices coming online, including wearables that can be leveraged to reduce equipment costs, risks and problems with visibility in factories and warehouses alike. Drones and autonomous vehicles will be the natural progression of advanced robotics, making order fulfillment a seamless, cost-effective and 24/7 activity.
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Order Streaming, Including Picking & Slotting Technology Will Enhance Warehouse Management
Emerging and established technologies, like order stream for picking and slotting, will drive the time to stock and time to pick for each order down. Enterprises will be able to increase their productivity without increasing their overhead, which will provide greater benefits and investment opportunities in other parts of the supply chain. For example, savings in warehouses may provide the funds necessary for upgrading fleets or service tiers for customers.
WMOS, EOMS, Yard Management and Labor Management Systems Will Reduce Risk in the Supply Chain
The alphabet soup of warehouse management, including warehouse management open systems (WMOS), enterprise order management system (EOMS), warehouse execution systems (WMS), will come to a head as system-wide integration becomes more feasible and easy to manage. Yard management and labor management will also benefit warehouses, vendors, and transporters who seek to maximize operational efficiency.
The IoT, Big Data, and Automation Will Reduce Errors and Improve Accuracy in Inventory Management
The IoT, big data, and automation will meet at the crossroads of warehouse management technologies to create intuitive, responsive systems. Through increasing, advanced data analyses, processing more information generated than the sum information gathered in human history before the new millennium, and cloud-based computing power, this coalescence will bring forth new technologies and possibilities for improving supply chain standards and best practices.
Warehouse management technologies are evolving, and the global supply chain stands on the cusp of a major revolution. This revolution will penetrate homes with IoT-enabled devices and leverage the cumulative assets and technology to redefine how supply chains operate. The opportunities for advancement are limitless. Will your company stand on the sidelines watching, or will you participate in the excitement that is around the corner?