What are the trends in warehousing in 2019? Advancements in technology have greatly affected major industries worldwide. For companies throughout the supply chain, technology has altered the status quo. These changes make manufacturing and warehouse operations smoother, faster and more accurate.
The impact of modern technology has never been more pronounced than in warehouses. It is there that artificial intelligence (AI), automation and smart devices are making crucial tasks a reality. Here’s a look at some warehouse management trends worth watching in 2019.
1. Voice Tasking Capabilities
Consumer electronics have popularized the use of voice recognition technologies. For instance, smart assistants like Amazon Alexa and Apple’s Siri are finding their way into a wide range of connected devices.
This same type of voice-driven interface is now present in the warehouse workflow. Voice controlled mobile devices are introducing hands-free features for common shipping functions.
Speaking commands for tasks like “pick” and “pack” can help improve productivity and accuracy. Accordingly, these advances are improving communication and leading to faster order fulfillment.
2. The Desire for Greater Interoperability
Efficiently fulfilling and shipping products is one of the biggest keys to success for any warehouse. To this end, warehouse management software (WMS) makes it easy to execute such functionality. But for coordination through the entire supply chain, solutions must play well with other applications.
Transportation management systems (TMS), enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and order management systems (OMS) are being used worldwide. Warehouses implementing new solutions or upgrading old systems are finding it important to select a software that can collaborate with a range of these distribution tools. The result being fulfillment is as efficient and accurate as possible.
3. Labor Shortages Boosting Automation
The strong labor market in the United States is leaving many industries without proper staffing to meet demand. In particular, warehouses, transportation and 3PL providers are having trouble filling open positions.
As such, one of the common warehouse management trends is to turn to automated solutions. For example, devices like collaborative warehouse robots (cobots) help warehouses meet their fulfillment needs. Cobots will remain an attractive option in years to come. This is true as wage increases and enhanced capabilities make automated solutions more affordable and efficient.
4. Increased Adoption of Artificial Intelligence
AI isn’t a buzzword or temporary fad: It’s the technology at the forefront of impactful changes at any business.
Using big data to make informed decisions, AI will continue making warehouses intelligent operations. Thereby reducing waste and making fulfillment more efficient. AI capabilities make it possible for warehouses to reduce operating costs, carry out accurate demand forecasts and even inspect packages for defects. In short, AI promises to boost the bottom line.