What does your warehouse need to be a smart warehouse?
A smart warehouse is a logistics center that applies modern technology to make its processes more efficient. Some of the processes that technology can enhance in the warehouse are order preparation and goods storage.
For any company looking to optimize its processes, installing a smart warehouse is a good idea. A recent report by LogisticsIQ™ indicates that the global warehouse automation market is growing fast and will be worth $27 billion by 2025.
This post examines the concept of smart warehouses, the technology it uses, and the benefits it brings.
The Internet of Things
Typically, automating a warehouse means innovating and introducing modern technologies in the logistics system. In the midst of a pool of knowledge that is still growing in this area, some trends are most likely to spearhead development in smart warehousing. One of them is the internet of things (IoT)
IoT refers to a network consisting of appliances, meters, sensors and other components that can send or receive data. It is the backbone of any smart warehouse because it connects every smart device in the facility.
IoT Applications in the Warehouse
A warehouse may need this concept to realize superior interlinking and management of the different functions that present infinite data points. IoT devices come in handy in the warehouse in the following ways:
- Superior Operational Efficiency: Where robotic automation is concerned, your warehouse can become more efficient thanks to insights from the IoT. Well-connected robots can do repetitive tasks as needed over continued periods without loss of efficiency.
- Flawless Processes: Order fulfilment, inventory management, and other warehouse processes are easier to manage with IoT. The major impact is that these processes become error-free. Automatic entry of data into the warehouse management system reduces human error significantly.
- Improved Forecasting: The extensive data that IoT devices gather can be instrumental in demand forecasting. Warehouse managers can use the data to better forecast demand and plan inventory.
The Visibility of Data
In the current smart world, a warehouse looking to be relevant must have data visibility, particularly regarding its management software. Software systems in the warehouse must be set for storage and update requirements that may arise. Business stakeholders should be in a position to access any data whenever they need it.
When looking at business transparency demands from customers, data visibility becomes even more important. Automating a warehouse can create a reliable source of data that can give customers relevant insights, such as the status of an order.
Therefore, think about data visibility and how it can help visualise performance and retain customers. Data visibility is effective in detecting any inaccuracies, so it can help prevent disruptions in operations.
Autonomous Mobile Robots
A smart warehouse is bound to deal with many items. Given the wide variety of items, AMRs are available in different styles. The vehicles available at AMR ABB Robotics are:
AMRs are good means of enhancing your warehouse storage and fetching processes if you implement the solution properly and train personnel adequately. Products from AMR ABB Roboticsare equipped with a range of safety features including safety laser scanners, emergency stop buttons, and warning systems, and thus work safely side by side with humans. Read more about our safety compliance here.
The robots are autonomous, moving across the warehouse floor to carry containers such as boxes and pallets.
You can add AMRs in the warehouse even without a full makeover of the layout. Note also that as your business grows, you can broaden your AMR system accordingly.
Automating your warehouse and using mobile robots offers many improvements, including better traceability of items, enhanced agility, and greater flexibility. Here are some reasons why you should consider incorporating this intelligent system in your warehouse:
- Higher productivity
- Reduced operating costs
- Improved safety
- Better preparation to meet seasonal demand changes
- Major efficiency increase
Agility and Scalability
The complexity of warehouse operations goes in tandem with changing business needs. A smart warehouse ought to meet diverse needs, so there is a need for high flexibility and agility. Today’s business requirements can change overnight and the warehouse must be ready for anything. That explains why agility and scalability are some of the strategic drivers of modern warehouses.
Most conventional warehouses were made for consistent and uniform processes. However, such designs are no longer up to date because they are rigid with regards to adapting to new requirements. In the absence of automation and if demand surges, a conventional warehouse may require huge capital for expansion to meet this demand. As the demand for agility and scalability grows, warehouses need to consider advanced settings that can change with business requirements.
Time to Start This Journey
With your modern warehouse needs identified and longer-term plans for your warehouse becoming clearer, it is the perfect time to streamline your facility starting with the simplest solutions. If your facility needs better inventory management, higher operational efficiency, and a generally swifter order fulfillment process, going the smart way could be good for your business.
Warehouses have increasingly grown into essential business hubs for supply chains, so the application of new technology is a timely intervention. Applying smart technologies will help warehouse owners increase reliability in their businesses and serve their customers better.
Adding AMR ABB Robotics AMRs in your logistics and warehouse processes as part of a transformation into a smart warehouse is an excellent step. These robots can serve your customers with improved service and swifter response times.
Contact us today. We will be more than happy to speak with you about your automation needs and our range of AMRs for warehousing processes.