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Digital Technologies for Smart Warehousing

The complexity of warehouses is increasing, which has many implications for satisfying consumer expectations. Traditional warehouses are no longer adequate to meet the expectations of today’s customers. Digitization of warehouse operations is increasingly becoming an imperative necessity for organizations today, not just to enhance productivity but also to maintain a strong competitive edge. In digital commerce and modern technology-enabled enterprises, there is a need for warehousing to be smart, intelligent, and automated. Smart Warehouse is a network of linked devices and software that can translate sensor-generated data into actionable insights. This article discusses digital technologies that can benefit more companies in optimizing warehouse operations.

technology application for smart warehousing
Image taken from SIPMM: https://publication.sipmm.edu.sg/technology-application-for-smart-warehousing/

Automated Picking Tools

Product selection is a time-consuming, exhausting task that has become more difficult with the development of e-commerce. Automated picking technologies help to streamline the procedure, save resources, and reduce on error. When picking automation technologies are integrated into warehouse operations, warehouses can benefit from nearly perfect picking rates. Pick-to-light, robotic order picking, and voice controlled order picking are a few of the methods that can be utilized to streamline picking processes. With integrated warehouse management software, these technologies can organize and automate the entire picking process to provide the quickest and most accurate reporting experiences. Higher picking rates lead to quicker customer deliveries, which begins with these technologies mapping the shortest pick path after order placement.

Technology application for smartwarehousing
Image taken from SIPMM: https://publication.sipmm.edu.sg/technology-application-for-smart-warehousing/

Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs)

Automated guided vehicles (AGVs), also known as material handling systems or load carriers, operate autonomously throughout a warehouse without a driver or operator. AGVs are self-propelled vehicles that are guided by computer software and sensors and are equipped with traffic control and collision avoidance. A computer controls the movement of the AGVs and their components. To establish where the AGV is and how far it needs to move, the computer collects feedback from sensors, lasers, and cameras. The technology is used to transport inventory from receiving to storage or from storage to forward picking locations in order to replenish stock. Integrating automated guided vehicles into warehouse operations is a better technique to speed up storage and retrieval processes. Reduced labor expenses, safety, accuracy, and productivity are all advantages of an AGV system.

Radio-frequency identification (RFID)

RFID technology uses radio waves to read digital data from RFID tags or smart labels that are encoded with digital information. Compared to barcode reading, RFID has the advantage of not requiring a read line of the site. RFID technology integrates with warehouse software to increase productivity and reduce manual human errors by automating inbound/outbound operations activities that previously required human intervention. RFID tags are used in smart warehousing to obtain real-time information about the whereabouts and characteristics of tagged objects. RFID also integrates with barcoding technology to produce smart labels for applications like employee tracking and inventory management. The gathered data is combined with AI to assess and forecast product demand, prevent overstocking and out-of-stock situations, and maximize storage space.

Automated Inventory Control Platforms

Automated inventory control platforms are essential for business success because the industry is expanding and retailers are frequently introducing extensive product lines. Inventory management software helps automate the difficult work of managing inventory for warehousing. It is challenging since manual stock management in warehouses takes up a lot of time. Smart inventory management will be reduced in time, guessing, and needless time by using automated inventory control platforms for the operation. An automated inventory management system offers for real-time and ultra-accurate updates to the selling and delivery processes. The technology will alert and suggest alternatives to refill or discontinue the product when inventories run out.

Automated Inventory Control Platforms
Image taken from SIPMM: https://publication.sipmm.edu.sg/five-essential-technologies-inventory-control-warehouse-contract/

Warehouse Management Systems

Utilizing a technologically advanced warehouse management system (WMS) is essential for increasing operational effectiveness and productivity throughout the supply chain. With its options for reordering or producing, WMS improves customer service and sets the path for every product. It also oversees warehouse activities and allows businesses to get a competitive advantage. Collaboration of connected digital technologies leads to smart warehouse management systems (WMS). The technology creates a technological ecosystem in which products are automatically received, identified, sorted, organized, and pulled for shipment. That helps warehouse by providing tracking, documentation, and reporting features to keep track of all warehouse activities. WMS helps companies manage their inventory, assess employee productivity, and file taxes all from a single platform.

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Low Wee Kok, Diploma in Logistics and Supply Management
Low Wee Kok, Diploma in Logistics and Supply Management
Low Wee Kok has substantive years of specialised experience in supervising warehouse operations, and specifically in the petrochemical industry. He is a member of the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM). He completed the Diploma in Logistics and Supply Management in September 2022 at SIPMM Institute.
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