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As warehousing, manufacturing, and the supply chain continue to gain complexity, new warehouse technology innovations are paving the way for growth and cost-efficiency – and not a moment too soon. With rising costs and talent shortages plaguing the industry, traditional processes just don’t fly anymore. It’s almost hard to fathom how much things have changed from what they were only 20 years ago.
Today, volumes are higher, multi-carrier shipments are commonplace, and the most successful players are the ones who have embraced new technology – specifically automation, robotics, warehouse management systems (WMS), and blockchain.
The Many Benefits of Warehouse Technology
Companies that choose to exploit warehouse technology solutions reap the benefits of cost reduction, greater accuracy, reliability, and a significant increase in productivity as manual paper-based processes become obsolete. Not least of all, these technologies allow companies to grow sustainably without taking on a lot of extra headaches.
Warehouses, in particular, can practically run themselves, with a minimum of staff to oversee operations and the option to monitor and manage it all remotely from a mobile device.
Additionally, new warehouse technology offers the following benefits:
- Eliminates human error
- Fulfill more orders and handle more goods
- Optimized storage systems
- Improved inventory management
- Reduce labor costs
- Maximize productivity from end-to-end
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Warehouse Technologies Enable New Capabilities
The successful deployment of warehouse automation technology opens doors for operators to offer new services and expand their capabilities without increasing their operating costs. Packing and crating, product assembly, kitting, reverse logistics, and same-day fulfillment are just a few of the technology-enabled ways to add value.
But what exactly are these new and exciting solutions that are making waves in the industry? Here are a few of the top players:
- IoT Sensors and RFID Tags. Internet of things (IoT) sensors enable automated processes and remote management of warehouse functions, like order picking, packing, and inventory management. In a smart warehouse environment, IoT is an MVP, allowing operators to gain insight into every process. Sensors send data to the WMS, which translates it into actionable insights that help companies achieve maximum efficiency. When paired with RFID tags, manual inventories are a thing of the past, as items are trackable in real-time, enabling unparalleled asset tracking and inventory visibility.
- Autonomous Robots. Robotics in the warehouse help operators reduce labor costs, optimize workflows, increase accuracy, and send value straight to the bottom line. Robots are controlled by sensors. They don’t take breaks, vacations, or sick days. They palletize, stack, store, pick, and pack, and they’ll work around the clock to help you get more done, do it faster, and get it done right.
- Warehouse Management Software. WMS platforms simplify warehouse management in so many ways. They allow managers and stakeholders to view inventory and systems data in real-time, from a single pane of glass. This simplified interface makes it possible to manage multiple locations and track inventory on a much larger scale than would be possible otherwise. Cloud-based WMSs can be accessed anywhere and from any device, enabling remote management of every process, from the warehouse floor to the back office and beyond.
What Can Your Warehouse Provider Do For You?
Warehouse technology offers capabilities you might not even have considered. If you’re thinking of expanding your business and need a reliable warehouse partner, call DTS today. We’d love to show you how we can help.