One of the most important infrastructure investments a retail business needs to make is the purchase and maintenance of a warehouse. It’s a way to reduce shrinkage which can really take a bite out of your bottom line, and most importantly – an organized warehouse means an organized stock of products.
Advancements in technology that are affecting this field are therefore something a business owner needs to mindful of. It doesn’t mean you’ll need to implement every one of these changes, but it’s important to know what is out there in terms of warehouse gadgets.
Drones have been around for years, but their usage was limited to a few particular industries. At this point, however, drones are sophisticated enough for commercial use and they will be used in storage and delivery industries more and more.
First of all, drones allow you to automate the organization process in your storage. At the same time, larger and more sophisticated drones could also be used to deliver an item from the storage to the customers. Streamlining these processes means fewer expenses and better management for the company, and more convenient service for the customer.
Choosing proper industrial shelving for your warehouse could save you quite a lot of man-hours right away, and in a crowded warehouse, that’s the feature you’re looking for. Full palette storage is usually best suited to most shipping companies because it maximizes the square footage of the warehouse you’re actually using.
This is where the construction and safety of your shelves come into play, since when you’re using these shelves, you want to make sure that your workers are able to stock and go through them easily and without jeopardizing their safety at any point.
EDI doesn’t seem like a technology that’s specifically warehouse-related, but that’s where it will find its application right away. It stands for electronic data interchange and it’s a technology that will revolutionize sharing information between two systems using one format.
When it comes to warehouses, this means that it will be easier to establish lines of communication between the parts of a business that work with customers, the warehouse itself, and ordering supplies once they are no longer available in the warehouse. Having a clear record of these transactions means you’ll have an easier time working with tax authorities as well.
RFID stands for radio frequency identification. The goal of this technology is to make your stock and products more visible and easier to locate. There are numerous benefits of using this tech, starting with the fact that your warehouse is easier to navigate and that means fewer man-hours are being wasted on looking for products.
In the years to come, this technology will probably advance by merging with drones. That means that a drone could look for a product on its own, pick it up and deliver it without any need for supervision or management.
In the end, it’s important to mention robots in a broad sense. Automaton of warehouse work is long under way and it’s becoming more commercially viable than ever before. The goal is to minimize the need for human labor in warehouses, starting with the tasks that are the most dangerous and physically demanding.
This will probably start with “automated guided vehicles”, but robots will also start working on packaging and sortation, since these tasks are easy to automate if the right parameters are known beforehand.
Warehouses are an essential part of retail businesses, and the owners of these companies need to keep track of technological advancements in this field. These aren’t just trends, but features that might end up saving you quite a lot of money on labor and management.