Building a new warehouse is an expensive process. To ensure a greater return on investment, it is important to invest in tools and technology that will maximise the longevity of the facility and streamline the processes – in terms of storage capacity, design, size, and function. This implies taking out the time to look at your current business needs as well as the future, so you stay prepared for growth as it comes.
Just imagine spending millions of dollars on building a brand-new state-of-the-art warehouse facility that has countless pieces of equipment, just to become obsolete after some years later. That has a great possibility of being harmful to your business in many ways.
On the other hand, it is possible to incur hefty expenses on building a top-tier facility, only to find it is way beyond your needs. Staying up to date with the latest trends is not sufficient to plan for the future – it is about having an accurate idea of your organisation’s future requirements too.
Automation makes it possible for the warehouses of today to improve storage space efficiency, productivity, and utilisation, however, as the Internet of Things (IoT) develops, there might be a possibility to witness a greater impact on warehouses of the future – perhaps making the present investment in technology irrelevant.
In reality, there is always going to be something or the other for modernising warehouses, thus, it is important to measure the benefits of implementing the technology rather than risking waiting too long or adopting too early.
When it comes to setting up a warehouse, technology has developed considerably over the past few years, and there are countless instances of successful deployments in various industries. For some industries, such as ecommerce, holding on is not a choice. E-commerce is growing at a faster rate. This puts extreme pressure on warehouses and their management system to quickly catch up with the pace and streamline the services.
Consumers do not want to wait for more than a day or two to get their orders delivered. Thus, there is a need to stress on innovative ways in order to streamline processes, improve productivity and efficiency to control product shipping and inventory management.
Steps to Building a Future-Ready Warehouse
Want to make sure your automated warehouses have the capability to endure future technological developments and keep businesses operating seamlessly? The path to the future-proof warehouse starts by following a few critical steps.
- Equip workers with modern mobile technology
- Improve staff management and communication
- Get advanced storage and inventory capabilities
- Get the benefit of smart analytics and machine learning
- Create the people-technology connection
Equip workers with modern mobile technology
Better efficiency begins with enhanced front-line worker technology. To fill orders with greater accuracy and speed, the front-line workers need to have tools that allow scanning and efficient precision, enabling item-level picking and on-time inventory visibility. Switching to modern enterprise mobile devices that include touch-screen accuracy with scanning efficiency and other user-friendly features to verify data in real-time and quickly identify the correct items. Furthermore, front-line worker connectivity provides real-time access to the WMS (Warehouse Management Systems) for sharing information and offering end-to-end solutions swiftly during peak times. By deploying modern mobile technology, it becomes easier to optimise your fulfilment operation and streamline services.
Improve staff management and communication
Allowing effortless collaboration is critical for the future-ready warehouse. This needs fast and accurate task management equipped with real-time voice and data communications between employees and supervisors everywhere in the facility. Managers can take charge of assigning tasks and giving work orders that are not presently driven by the WMS alongside monitoring the progress and efficiency of work as it is being done. Additionally, real time information and better communication beyond the four walls of improved collaboration with vendors and partners, which refines the capabilities of the warehouse’s omnichannel.
Get advanced storage and inventory capabilities
As demand is swiftly moving from conventional retail settings to omni-channel and e-commerce sales, there are only a few businesses that can faultlessly predict future warehousing requirements. Consequently, rigid automation solutions are becoming less popular and are being replaced with modular, flexible goods-to-person systems that are more adaptable, versatile and can easily repurpose and scale in new environments.
Mobile warehouse robots can easily and quickly transform based on the change in demand and facilitate a pay-as-you-grow model that adds a greater number of pick stations and robots based on requirements. The robots collaborate with the automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) in your factory for more efficient and fast order fulfilment.
Get the benefit of smart analytics and machine learning
Warehouses play a critical role in improving customer satisfaction, effectively forecasting the demand for the product, and making better use of given resources. As a result, the requirement for accurate decision making and forecasting is on the rise.
A growing number of warehouse managers are now switching to interpreting data trends to not only foresee stocks but also to optimise asset utilisation and warehouse capacity. That is where predictive analytics utilises statistical techniques such as big data, modelling, and data mining to evaluate historical trends and make plans for the future.
The combination of predictive analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) can be very impactful for recommending optimised inventory levels, increasing operational efficiency, replenishing inventory as well as warehouse optimisation as a whole.
Create the people-technology connection
One of the amazing features of the digitised strategic warehouse is the interconnection between warehouse technology and people. This is sanctioned by wearables. Such technology offers warehouse managers and clerks access to a wide pool of information in real-time, regardless of their environment, location, and physical constraints.
Wearables are tiny computers that can be fastened to the head, wrist, or any part of the body. Devices such as augmented reality, smart glasses, and voice-enabled devices are gaining more popularity each day as a way of attaining effective interaction with systems.
It will result in a better flow of information, reduced error rates, greater visibility, increased service levels and superior safety at lower operating costs.
Wearables can help achieve efficiency in processes such as order receiving, handling, picking, safety, cycle counting and workforce training and so on.
Building a warehouse that keeps you prepared for the future is an investment in long-term success. By incorporating advanced technologies, flexible infrastructure, and scalable solutions, you create a foundation for adaptability and growth. Embracing automation, data-driven analytics, and sustainable practices ensures your warehouse remains at the forefront of innovation and efficiency. With careful planning and forward-thinking strategies, your warehouse becomes a strategic asset that not only meets current demands but also positions your business for future opportunities and challenges. Stay ahead of the curve, anticipate change, and build a warehouse that stands the test of time.
Create the Warehouse of the Future with Addverb
You can take your warehouse automation to the next level with Addverb. With our cutting-edge solutions, expertise in automation, and commitment to innovation, we empower businesses to optimise operations, enhance efficiency, and stay ahead in a rapidly evolving market. Our comprehensive suite of advanced technologies, from robotic systems to intelligent software, ensures seamless integration and scalability. Contact us today to build a future-ready warehouse that maximises productivity, drives growth, and positions your business at the forefront of industry transformation.