Business Marketing

6 ways technology is making large warehouses a thing of the past


Warehouses are the pulsating heart of the logistics sector, and over the past years, they have become vital links in the global distribution network.

As international supply chain technology evolves, so does the role of today’s warehouses.

In particular, new technologies to streamline logistics operations reduce the need for large warehouses.

In the sections below, you’ll find out more about how the warehousing sector is evolving thanks to emerging and disruptive technologies.

Tailored warehouse management software can more accurately manage inventory

image: Computer

The global warehousing and storage market will grow to a whopping international value of $447.96 billion in 2021, and it will continue growing at an annual rate of nearly 5%.

But while the sector is undeniably booming, it is also changing at an unprecedented rate – thanks to the evolving technologies in logistics.

In warehousing, one of the most impactful technologies is Warehouse Management Software.

WMS systems are tailored to each warehouse’s unique needs and goals and can help streamline inventory management.

In turn, these systems help warehouse managers prevent the accumulation of goods, thus eliminating the need for large storage and warehousing spaces.

On-demand logistics systems handle paperwork electronically

While the global supply chain becomes more layered and far-reaching, the logistics sector is developing towards on-demand services and operations.

Thanks to on demand logistics frameworks, brands can fulfill orders in real-time, access warehousing services as needed, and reduce product storage costs.

For warehouses, on-demand services mean better-organized spaces, more efficient warehouse designs, and paperless systems.

On-demand logistics represent the new standard for the global logistics sector.

It will affect the warehousing niche by requiring smaller and more agile storage spaces rather than large and cumbersome warehouses.

Automation streamlines processes and prevents human error

automation in a warehouse moving boxes
Image: Unsplash

Human error in warehousing is a significant pain point for any company operating within the logistics sector.

Indeed, human error can compromise the workplace’s safety, cause damage to machinery, and increase the cost of business through retail rejections.

What’s more, according to a 2017 survey, nearly 50% of issues in retail and warehousing are caused by human error.

Fortunately, new automated systems can prevent human error and free up employees’ time on repetitive, labor-intensive, or dangerous tasks.

IoT and smart packaging provide real-time tracking

Modern smart packaging solutions often leverage technologies such as scanners, sensors, RFID/NFC labels, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and blockchain solutions.

These technologies allow consumers and manufacturers to track and trace units through the supply chain. Additionally, they verify a product’s status and guarantee consumers’ authenticity.

This reduces the need for physical interactions or checks, often conducted by employees on storage premises, thus freeing up space and resources.

AI-powered systems and big data prevent the accumulation of goods

guy with a post it letters AI
Image: Unsplash

To meet the growing consumer demand for immediately accessible and affordable products, the global supply chain is introducing systems that allow companies to reduce waste and costs.

They also avoid the unnecessary accumulation of goods and streamline their operations.

Some of these technologies include:

  • Blockchain
  • IoT
  • Real-Time Tracking
  • AI-driven Systems
  • Big Data
  • Predictive Assets Lifecycle Management Software

Moreover, these systems assist warehouses in freeing up physical space and improving key metrics such as OAU (Optimal Asset Utilization).

Additionally, increasing efficiency and reducing costs for warehouses and consumers.

What does the future of warehousing hold?

New technologies in the logistics sector are offering a peek into what the future of the warehousing niche will look like.

Today, drones and robotics are new entries in the industries. Still, they are expected to cover a more prevalent role in all aspects of warehousing operations, including the picking and fulfilling phases.

Moreover, technologies such as voice tasking are boosting warehouse efficiency and reducing the need for repetitive tasks that can drain precious resources.

Lastly, innovations such as digital twinning, the Metaverse, NFTs, and blockchain will likely support the development of digital, fully-automated warehousing processes.

Have any thoughts on this? Carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

Editors’ Recommendations:

Chris has been blogging since the early days of the internet. He primarily focuses on topics related to tech, business, marketing, and pretty much anything else that revolves around tech. When he’s not writing, you can find him noodling around on a guitar or cooking up a mean storm for friends and family.

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