Warehousing Challenges, Part V: Going Beyond a Smart Warehouse
In Part 4 of our Warehouse Challenges series, we identified the first 9 out of 16 areas in the warehouse to achieve accuracy, efficiency and optimal performance by gaining operational visibility. Today’s list incorporates cutting-edge “smart” technology beyond the four warehouse walls.
Asset & Facility Management
In your smart warehouse, keep track of the location and condition of your equipment to ensure a safe environment for your employees. Provide accessibility to authorized workers and know where visitors are when they come on-site. Using mobile devices, RFID, printing and locationing solutions, visibility equates to accessibility and security.
Just as you’re tracking and taking inventory inside the four walls of your smart warehouse, you also need to know where people and assets are located in the yard. Increase gate transaction speed and send the right trailers to the right place at the right time. Maximize space and resources with a Yard Management System (YMS) that incorporates mobile computers, locationing technology and RFID.
Communication is vital in any successful business. The mobile devices you outfit your employees with for other tasks can also facilitate communication using text, photo messaging, phone, or push-to-talk capabilities.
Accountability is at your fingertips as drivers communicate their whereabouts and status of cargo with mobile devices. Accurate data is invaluable for compliance checks and overall visibility contributes to reduced downtime and greater productivity.
Proof of Pick-up and Delivery
Between multiple delivery options and last-minute re-routing, mobile computers and printers help to ensure reliable records are kept electronically. Secure payment and provide peace of mind for your customers with proof of pick-up and delivery.
Postal & Courier
Mobile computers, scanners and printers contribute to increased productivity for drivers and loaders, while also providing visibility into sortation, fleet management and tracking/tracing packages. Data analytics and RFID provide further accuracy and efficiency for reliable, on-time deliveries.
A “smart dock” becomes just another component in your smart warehouse, as you connect workers to your Transportation Management System (TMS) with mobile devices for all of the shipment details. Technology such as RFID, locationing and 3D sensors improve workflow and traceability for all of your dock operations.
The Bottom Line
When you begin to implement some of these changes, you will set up your business operations for expansion in volume of items shipped as well as number of employees. As you read through the list, perhaps you noticed that many of the technologies listed are the same for multiple categories. THAT is exactly how small changes and minimal investments can affect every area of your warehouse in a very positive way.
Continue reading this blog series to learn more about how to optimize the shipping times in your warehouse in Part 6.