Only those who have never had to run a warehouse can think this is an easy job. In reality, making a warehouse run smoothly is often more difficult than running any other part of a business. On top of dealing with all the challenges of running a department, you also need to stay on top of all kinds of tech and machinery.
The good news is that there are plenty of new technologies that are actually envisioned to help you run a warehouse more efficiently and they will be our subject of the day.
Barcodes are not exactly new tech, but since there are many warehouses that still don’t use them ,we have to consider them a novel solution. Everyone knows what barcodes are and what their purpose is. When we are talking warehouses, barcodes are the perfect way of tracking of where stuff is and where it needs to go.
Without barcodes, you need to type in everything manually and this invites trouble in the form of human error. Quite simply put, with manual data input, you are asking too much of the warehouse staff that usually has much more important things to do.
Of course, hand in hand with barcodes, you need to have scanning devices that will be used to scan those barcodes and inform the warehouse staff of everything they need to know about the inventory, where it is supposed to go and where it is needed.
RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification and in warehouses, this type of inventory tracking is installed in order to speed things up even more than with barcodes. RFID transmitters are used to tag inventory and the scanners installed at crucial spots in the warehouse receive the signal which tells them where stuff is and where it needs to go. A well-designed and executed RFID system allows a warehouse to operate at the very peak of its efficiency.
More recently, we have been seeing different types of warehouse management systems being introduced, large hardware and software systems that take help warehouse managers deal with every aspect of their work. These systems combine a number of tools needed to boost efficiency, productivity, customer service and even inventory monitoring into a single unit. According to the statistics, such comprehensive solutions can make a difference between a fantastic warehouse and one that wastes money.
You would probably not consider proper lighting to be new technology that will ensure a better warehouse, but in reality, this is exactly what it is.
It is in warehouses’ nature to be poorly lit since they will usually not feature any windows or other sources of natural light. In short, they tend to be dim, grim places, which can have innumerable negative effects on the staff. For one, warehouse staff will be more likely to suffer from bad mood, which can cause them to take days off or to be less-than-efficient. Furthermore, improper lighting makes physical work dangerous and in case of accidents, this can even lead to lawsuits.
Most experts agree that in warehouses it is best to go with LED lighting. It may be more expensive, but the light is more natural and in the long run, the energy savings might actually make them a better choice financially speaking.
Brand New Services
The best thing about new warehouse technologies and solutions is that people are constantly coming with new ways to help warehouse managers. For example, in Sydney, Australia, you can now hire mobile storage units that can be of huge help in a bind. There are also quite a few startups working on warehouse robotics that will, in the future, make warehouses around the world much more efficient than they are today.