TOP 7 Trendy Features for Warehouse Management
The larger a manufacturer, retailer, or distributor, the more extensive their warehouse network is and the more challenging it is to manage this network. And increasing customer demand makes warehouse efficiency and distribution operations crucial because if you can’t deliver products by the time when clients need them, other companies will do this.
But the good news is that modern technologies offer various solutions and tools to efficiently manage companies’ warehouses and ensure on-time delivery. Let’s look closer at these trendy features of warehouse management.
#1 Discrete Automation in an Intelligent Warehouse Environment
Customer retention is one of the biggest challenges in a modern cut-throat market. It motivates companies to increase stocking efficiency, manage inventory wisely, and quickly replenish fast-selling products.
Modern warehouse management systems (WMS) are more than just software. WMS has a high computing capacity, large data storage, and the capability to integrate with other essential solutions, including enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), and many more.
Nowadays, the Intelligent warehouse environment goes beyond “simple” tracking of shipments. WMS helps businesses optimize warehouse processes, from storing raw materials to manufacturing, marketing, and product delivery to end consumers.
#2 Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics
Seasonal demand is one of the biggest challenges manufacturers, retailers, and distributors face. But dealing with increasing demand and the need for additional labor is becoming more accessible due to artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms and machine learning.
They can generate prescriptive data-driven analysis based on previous events and user behavior. Such information helps businesses identify fast-selling products or regions with higher sales. Thus, companies can place high-demand products closer to a loading dock and create a basis for implementing mechanized restocking.
#3 Sustainable Warehousing
Nowadays, environmental responsibility and sustainability are the order of the day. To implement sustainable practices in supply chains and logistics, businesses collaborate with providers who promote sustainable logistics management practices and use electric vehicles, drones, parcel machines, bicycles, etc., to deliver products.
Every detail, down to the size and number of boxes produced, is controlled to minimize the percentage of rejects. Warehouse automation is becoming the key to modern intelligent warehousing and helps companies deploy carton and air-bubble packing systems that save time and materials. Such systems generate boxes from a board roll or other packaging material based on the optimal product size these boxes will contain.
Companies also use sustainable and biodegradable packaging materials. For example, Amazon introduced paper mailboxes, refusing to use single-use thin-film plastics in favor of recyclable materials to achieve the zero-waste manufacturing goal.
Attracting labor remains today one of the main issues of distribution companies. If employees are happy, they offer better customer service. Gamification is a powerful tool to motivate employees that include such elements as leaderboards, reward programs, individual and team recognition, and employee feedback. All these approaches are essential to modern WMS, which helps businesses transform and optimize supply chains.
#5 Mobile Robots
Mobile robots use real-time route planning to move more freely around obstacles. This function makes them perfect for order fulfillment. This technology is still relatively new, but once mobile robots will be used at the proper level, it will help companies reduce costs and increase the efficiency of operations.
#6 Inventory Management
It can be challenging to predict consumer demand, especially in the current economic environment that creates risks of under- or overstocking. Therefore, inventory management software can be crucial by delivering full real-time inventory visibility, even if third-party logistics providers store products.
Additional software features include the following:
- Sales structure analysis to help forecast supply and demand
- Auto-creation of lists of goods based on inventory data
- Redistribution of the marketing budget in favor of goods available in the warehouse
#7 Acceleration of Last Mile Delivery
Nowadays, last-mile delivery is on the rise. Experts predict that by 2023, 80% of logistics companies will be able to deliver their goods on the same day. Almost every e-commerce business has the last mile delivery. It helps companies stay ahead of their competitors while offering a reasonable price and increasing customer bases.
Warehouse management trends in this article only scratch the surface of trends that impact modern warehousing. The end of 2023 will show which can help businesses succeed and which won’t benefit companies.