Many people could be forgiven for thinking that the core operation of a warehouse is the movement of forklifts, pallets and boxes; however, although these elements are key, just as important for any warehouse is the flow of its data. The future of eCommerce distribution will cause fundamental changes in the way customers receive their orders, and will rely heavily on data and innovative new technologies.
The Importance of Data
Data is an essential aspect of many operations in a warehouse, including the receipt and storage of goods; picking, packing and tracking; and outbound transport. How companies organise and manage their data processes can have a profound impact on the efficiency of a warehouse.
According to Inbound Logistics, unreliable, outdated data that languishes in partly-connected systems can result in inefficient warehouse operations.
Using Data Effectively
There are a number of ways in which businesses can ensure they are making the best use of their data systems to create an efficient and fully-connected warehouse.
Having the correct resources and products in place to manage and organise data is critical for easy storage and retrieval. Options such as racks and Linbins from specialist suppliers such as http://www.rackzone.ie/bin-racks offer a good starting point for warehouses of any size.
Using Innovative Technologies
Another option helping to connect warehouses is the use of real-time data, which can flow through a centralised system to ensure all processes are accurate, up to date and providing reliable information. Using real-time data is not only beneficial for providing correct data about products or stock but can also be used effectively to better manage supplier and customer relationships.
A connected warehouse also has the option to link to the Internet of Things. This means utilising robots, voice picking and smart forklifts, for example, which can all help to improve and simplify processes. In addition to making use of smart devices for many processes, warehouses can take advantage of the many benefits associated with using cloud-based solutions.
The Benefits of a Connected Warehouse
A connected warehouse that makes use of the latest technologies can enjoy many benefits, including better decision-making, more streamlined processes, reduced waste and cost savings. A connected warehouse can also plan and forecast more effectively and help its business to grow. Using real-time and smart solutions also makes it easier for warehouses to react to change much quicker, reducing any inconveniences or disruptions while maximising consumer and supplier relationships. This ensures a warehouse can remain as flexible as possible in its operations.