Top Warehouse Technology Trends
1. Warehouse Management Systems
Technology has already revolutionised the way warehouses operate but the latest warehouse management systems offer increased functionality and super-fast speeds. From managing your inventory to accessing real-time data, an advanced warehouse management system (WMS) can maximise efficiency and productivity, as well as boosting operative safety and streamlining workflows.
What’s more – today’s management systems offer a wide range of integrations, so you can combine your WMS with other warehouse technology trends to deliver enhanced performance.
2. Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things incorporates sensors, software, and technologies into physical objects. This effectively increases their functionality and connectivity. When you embed IoT into warehouse operations, for example, you can automatically send and receive data from inanimate objects, such as shelving systems, picking equipment, and machinery.
The IoT allows this data to be collated via a centralised platform, such as a warehouse management system, where it can be analysed in real-time. Using this data, you can even automate warehouse processes to shorten workflows and accelerate your operations.
Forklifts may have been an integral element of warehouse operations for some time, but this doesn’t prevent them from being a top warehouse technology trend in 2023. Indeed, the advances in forklift construction mean that newer forklifts offer enhanced features and functionality that can transform your warehouse management and performance.
With high and heavy lifting capacities, forklifts enable operatives to move larger quantities of materials at once, thus maximising productivity, and electric forklifts can even improve the sustainability of your organisation and enable you to achieve your ESG goals.
If you want to make the most of the latest advances in forklift technology, it’s vital to upgrade your machinery at regular intervals and carry out regular servicing to ensure optimal performance. To find out more about maximising warehouse performance with forklift upgrades, servicing, and repairs, contact us at Premier Lift Trucks now.
4. Robotic Packing
Packing is one of the most labour-intensive elements of warehouse operations and, as a result, it can utilise a significant number of resources. Fortunately, the latest warehouse technology trends can significantly reduce the time, effort, and resources required to accurately pick goods and prepare shipments.
Robotic packing allows you to automate this process and greatly reduces the manual labour required to prepare orders before they are dispatched. Robotics solutions can accurately seal, code, and label packages and are considered to be more reliable than mechanical case packers.
As robotic packing technology delivers higher efficiency rates than human workers, warehouse operations can be enhanced by incorporating this latest tech trend.
5. Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS)
Operating at fast speeds with high levels of precision, automated storage and retrieval systems allow you to streamline the processes or storing and receiving stock. Often used to increase throughput capability, automated storage and retrieval not only increases efficiency; it can reduce the risk of damage to materials and enable you to utilise space more efficiently.
Poor warehouse space management can result in unnecessary costs, reduced efficiency, and lower productivity. However, integrating an automated storage and retrieval system into your operations ensures that no space is wasted, thus improving processes, and reducing costs.
Both horizontal and vertical carousel models of automated storage and retrieval systems can be deployed to optimise performance, with vertical carousel models best suited to high-density storage locations with overhead space.
6. Predictive Analysis
How much easier would warehouse management be if you could predict the future? Well, now you can…almost. Predictive analysis uses a range of advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), data mining, machine learning (ML), and predictive modelling to identify patterns. This data is then used to predict potential outcomes, based on their likelihood.
Predictive analysis is already being used across a number of industries, including the logistics sector, and its impact is making sure it’s a top warehouse technology trend. By using historical and current data to accurately predict future demand, for example, you can modify your operations to accommodate changing purchaser behaviour. By doing so, you’ll be ahead of the game when purchase patterns evolve and have processes in place to accommodate the necessary operational modifications.
7. Wearable Tech
Wearable tech has been popular with consumers for some time and it’s now becoming a must-have resource for warehouse operatives. Pendants, watches, or lanyards can be worn by workers and used to process, store, and share data. This negates the need for workers to walk or travel to a specific workstation and, therefore, increases operational efficiency.
In addition to this, wearable tech can facilitate automated data management via machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity. This ensures accurate data is continuously being collected and processed and is available in real time.
From more attentive staff management to shorter workflows, there are various ways that wearable tech can be used to improve warehouse performance and management in 2023.
8. Automated Document Insertion
Ensuring accurate documentation is assigned to each shipment is a time-consuming process that can benefit from new warehouse technology trends. With automated documentation insertion technology, the relevant documentation is issued and placed inside the packaging or printed and affixed to the outside of the package.
With greater efficiency and enhanced accuracy, automated document insertion technology is another way to improve the operational performance of your warehouse and shorten workflows.
Integrating the Latest Warehouse Technology Trends
While new tech trends can deliver measurable performance enhancements, using the right tech solutions for your premises will deliver the greatest benefits and the best ROI. With careful planning and analysis, you can identify the most critical elements of your operations and determine which new technologies can provide the best enhancements.