Smart warehouse: from manual work to an exciting hi-tech journey
Warehouses ‘manned’ with robots and drones to pick, scan and move goods: is it science-fiction? No! The world’s logistics leaders are experimenting with sci-fi-like technologies to meet their customers’ needs for ‘always faster and better’ deliveries. By seamlessly integrating new technologies with warehousing systems, you’ll boost productivity and cut costs. Doing so will also help you turn warehousing into a value-added activity instead of a cost center.
Smart warehouses embrace new technologies, like RFID, IoT, smart glasses, robots, drones, and more, to ensure that all warehousing and related processes – from storage to shipping – run as efficiently as possible.
5 reasons for a smart warehouse
Today’s consumers want it all, and they want it now. These expectations are driving investments in new technologies that directly impact warehouses – critical hubs in every logistic process. By optimizing the way you receive, store, pick, pack and ship goods, you will:
- Boost productivity: automating warehouse processes speeds up the picking, scanning and moving of goods, enabling you to reassign your personnel to value-added tasks.
- Avoid human errors: technology helps increase accuracy.
- Reduce costs: improved productivity, fewer errors and satisfied customers help to save costs/drive revenues. By streamlining warehouse processes, you’ll also optimize stock and shipping costs.
- Ensure happy customers: customers will appreciate the rapid, error-free delivery of undamaged goods.
- Leapfrog your competitors: a smart warehouse is a hub that boosts efficiency and speed throughout the entire supply chain – for an edge over the competition.
6 inspiring scenarios for the future warehouse:
Time will tell how the warehouse of the future really looks. For now, there are many new technologies on the horizon. From the familiar barcode scanners to drones and robots, they come in all flavors:
- Voice picking uses speech recognition software, available on a small wearable computer, to tell the operator where to go and what to do.
- RFID readers provide warehouse managers with the exact location of any product at any time, while stock movements are automatically registered.
- Sensors (Internet of Things) in conveyors, carousels and even storage racks offer useful insights.
- Wearables like augmented reality glasses guide order pickers to storage locations and provide all the data they need, freeing their hands from mobile devices.
- Drones equipped with cameras fly around the warehouse to scan bar codes and count your stock.
- Robots pick products and handle materials and can be remotely operated for inspections.
How we can help?
Smart warehouses are slowly gaining pace; the possibilities are numerous. As an experienced IT services provider, delaware has deep expertise in supply chain and warehouse processes. Based on that experience, we can help you analyze your existing processes and define your needs.
In the next steps, we will recommend solutions, implement these and, if needed, integrate your system with third-party RFID or voice picking solutions.
Our offering covers the full range of warehouse processes – for warehouses of any size, in SAP or Microsoft. Interested in drones or robots? We’re already experimenting with the most advanced technology!
a 2015 study conducted by Ricoh and DHL in the Netherlands demonstrated that wearables equipped with augmented reality increased order picking efficiency by 25%