To ensure that your company always stays ahead of its market competitors, each step in every process needs to be a consistent target for improvement and innovation. Ensuring efficient and optimized best-practice to the subsequent benefit of your profitability.
That’s why today, we’re discussing how technology can streamline warehouse operations. From efficient pick systems to order fulfilment optimization technology, we’re covering a range of ways you can ensure your processes run smoothly with better accountability and fewer errors, all while leaving the customer happy and satisfied with the service provided.
Used by commercial giants such as Amazon, pick-to-light systems are a basic yet robust way of streamlining warehouse picking operations. With benefits from lowering labor costs to improving picking accuracy and efficiency, pick-to-light systems operate by guiding employees towards picking and sorting processes. Operators are able to scan barcodes or RF technology, which could be attached to a range of packaging materials like cardboard boxes or shipping containers, upon which the system will offer a path to guide them to the storage location - making the picking process easier and more accurate.
On high quality picking systems, expect to see LED displays or even some further digital instructions to ensure that operations go ahead as planned. Such instructions could include variations in pick size or slight differentiations in model numbers, which may have previously caused the wrong item to be sent. Not only that, you can integrate a pick-to-light system with other existing work zones - or even on to mobile carts or conveyor systems - to improve on picking time too. This is an efficient way of ensuring that each operator can easily identify the right item, leading to increased customer satisfaction as a result.
Warehouse AI technology
Smart robot technology is efficient in helping everything from movement to storage and warehouse inventory. Communication between employees is essential to the smooth running of day-to-day tasks and carrying out responsibilities in the warehouse environment, but with the assistance of artificial intelligence, subsequent human inaccuracies are eliminated. Given the increasing demand for higher levels of performance and flexibility in warehouse processes, warehouse robotics are able to meet and exceed these expectations with faster cycle times, all while reducing safety issues.
For maximum efficiency, combine artificial intelligence with voice tasking technology to get the most out of your bionic assistants. Voice technology operates hands-free and uses spoken commands for picking, putting and replenishing anything which may be required in a warehouse environment. Not only does this system improve picking productivity, but it also increases picking accuracy despite being operated by minimal human effort. Therefore, there will be no need to take time out of employees’ day to carry out intense operator training to use artificial intelligence accurately.
Given that robots can communicate real-time data analysis, when it comes to fixing errors promptly or writing the monthly forecast, the entire process can be completed and immediately transferred to organized storage - negating the need for wasted data-gathering time. Consequently, warehouse managers will see improved system control and a higher return on investments.
Machine to machine technology
In the last few years of its development, machine to machine technology has evolved to help monitor and streamline all automation aspects of warehouse processes. Machine to machine systems are increasingly negating the need for human resources, making it easier to control all equipment with less effort - leaving human intelligence to be utilized in other processes.
Automated guided vehicles, for example, operate autonomously to follow guided routes around warehouses, running continuously without breaks to observe and pick. By connecting this technology with cloud storage, you could revolutionize productivity in your warehouse by increasing the speed and accuracy of in-house communication between machines and people.
As cloud storage is user-friendly and can be used by all employees, by connecting machine to machine technology, you could save on labor costs and generate greater return on investment.
Each of these tips are powerful ways to streamline warehouse operations and keep costs down. However, to implement such processes effectively and develop an efficient end result, warehouse managers should be prepared to be constantly innovating and questioning where systems could be improved.