From the very first assembly lines to the modern day robotics assistance within warehouses, the supply chain management process has been constantly evolving. The 2019 global warehousing trends predict that the operations will be focusing more towards smart, tech-driven management to reduce the operating expenses as well as increase efficiency. Though a large of warehousing operations are still being performed manually, some of the latest technologies including cloud software, drones, Internet of Things (IoT) and wearable devices are gaining grounds thus transforming the world of warehousing industry in the coming years. Also, the recent global trends suggest that the warehouses will become hotter investment options owing to the changing retail practices and hence increase in demand.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IS EXPECTED TO LEAD THE INDUSTRY
Nowadays, advanced AI solutions have numerous applications in the supply chain network, especially in the warehousing segment. This can actually reinvent business models by revamping the way the business leaders look at supply chain management future trends. Processes are still manual and inefficient and improvements have not happened much. Artificial intelligence can make the process more efficient as companies can reduce their dependence on manual labor which will also result in the speedy execution of processes. For the effective utilization of AI, collecting, aggregating and harmonizing accurate data will be important so that it can be processed for realizing trends and insights.
DIGITIZATION OF SUPPLY CHAIN
Digitization will include the use of the latest technology solutions along with other physical and digital assets to redesign logistics practices. It will help improve the speed, dynamics, and resilience of the supply chain operations leading to greater customer responsiveness and ultimately higher revenue. The process will help the businesses to adjust better to the fast-paced, highly competitive and multiple channel business environments. The companies are expected to experience real value, increased revenue and market valuation.
Many companies who are into warehousing business will be required to fundamentally redesign their supply chain strategy. Embracing digitalized warehouses provides the ability to operate the supply chain with hyper-efficiency which will reduce asset losses, temperature stability, and warehouse inventory optimization and accuracy.
Due to increased digitalisation and growth of artificial intelligence in warehouse operations, the influence of following is expected to rise steadily:
IoT & Blockchain:
IoT refers to the system of interrelated computing devices allowing the transfer of data over networks without any need for human input. It will help companies monitor inventory, manage warehouse stocks, reduce dead mileage and optimize fleet routes. It has now become one of the hottest topics of the supply chain. The reason has been the vision to put IoT devices on all the containers, shipments, packages and get real-time data so that the owners could provide better updates for the customers and also gather information which can be used for optimization.
Similarly, Blockchain being an emergent technology concept which enables the decentralized and immutable storage of verified data. The reach of the technology is expected to reach the warehousing operation as well. Companies have started to look at it as a tool for securely improving payment handling. This could bring more transparency which is likely to improve in the coming years.
Extended Use Of Robots & Drones:
Manually managing warehouses operations might be time-consuming and it is also impossible to keep the track of all items manually. In larger warehouses, flying drones and robots now patrol distribution warehouses regularly and are fast becoming a norm. Just two drones can do the work of approximately 100 human workforces thus building up a more accurate picture in lesser time. Drones will overcome most of the limitations of warehouses including safety and payload capacity restrictions. Robots are evolving much faster in the process of warehousing automation. Packaging will be specifically be made easier as it is a time consuming and labour intensive activity that requires flexibility. A specially designed robot designed to work in coordination with human safety can support and improve this cumbersome task. Also, robotic assistance can even be used for other tasks including loading and unloading of goods.
Growth Of Cloud Based Products:
The growth of cloud software will allow the updates to be made on an ongoing basis which will lead to least tampering with the normal warehousing operations and also guarantee up-to-date software. The companies will be more inclined towards cloud-based software as it is technologically powerful, cost-effective and provides better control over the inventory. With the growing trends of cloud software, small and mid-sized companies will also be able to use it which was not possible earlier. This makes them equally capable to deal with day to day challenges in supply chain management.
2019 is expected to a year for digital transformation for warehousing operations. But before investing in these fancy technologies, investors must know that the wrongful integration will break the logistics chain. The technologies continue developing and will significantly change the way products are received, stored and shipped thus transforming the supply chain.