You may have heard the recent buzz about digital warehouses. Logistics experts believe they’re the future of warehousing. But what exactly are they?
Digital warehouses are those driven by data and technology. Because they work in real-time, these warehouses are able to stay both efficient and flexible to fulfill orders super-fast.
To give you a better sense of digital warehouse transformation, let’s go over the technologies involved and how they will turbocharge supply chain management for the 21st century.
Benefits of digital warehouses
Digital warehouses have the power to make logistics more productive, scalable, and affordable. In particular, they’re ideal for speeding up the fulfillment, transport, and delivery of goods.
Using digital technologies, warehouses can offer new levels of service, which may include the ability to:
- Deliver time-sensitive goods and offer shipment tracking
- Serve multiple suppliers and customers in the same warehouse
- Use real-time data for warehouse monitoring and inventory
- Get visibility into processes to improve inefficiencies
- Cut costs through productivity, space optimization, and/or robo-labor
- Predict trends and report performance with smart analytics
As you can see, updating to a “smart warehouse” makes certain manual tasks obsolete and creates new efficiencies through data-driven decision-making.
Potential technologies used in digital warehouses
The technologies used in digital warehouses can vary greatly. However, there are some overall trends. Technologies that allow real-time tracking of packages in and out of the warehouse can revolutionize warehouse management.
At the same time, other technologies can bring workplace efficiencies for employees and machines. A few popular options in digital warehouses include:
- IoT sensor technology: The Internet of Things allows everything in a warehouse – the goods, employees, equipment, etc. – to be managed in real-time. In this way, the warehouse is 100% online and tracked. Studies show that by 2020, 50+ billion objects will be connected to the Internet – a good deal of them likely in warehouses.
- Machine learning algorithms: Warehouse management depends greatly on predicting buying trends and anticipating stock needs. It’s also about optimizing the space and labor. With machine learning, warehouse systems can better forecast their needs to stay as efficient as possible.
- Tech-connected employees: Using smartphones, devices, and apps, warehouse employees and drivers can do their jobs more effectively. They can reduce the time spent on each task and give employees real-time information on the go.
- AGVs (Autonomous Guided Vehicles): Not all warehouses have autonomous vehicles yet, but it’s an upcoming trend. The idea is to replace man-driven forklifts with AGVs that move goods and perform operations on their own.
The digital warehouse movement is already in motion. Is your logistics or transportation company ready to take on the challenges of 21st-century consumer habits? It’s essential to transform your warehouse into a smart center that utilizes technology and data to its full potential.
Digital transformation requires technical expertise. If you’re looking for developers to create or customize your logistical system, get in touch. We can give you a personalized consultation.