By : Tod Hummert
October 02, 2017 12:00 PM
The retail sector has been undergoing one of the most dramatic transformations in the last few years, driven by changes in consumer behavior and new technologies. Digital shopping, Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data all promise to give businesses more visibility and control over their operations and the ability to personalize the experience they deliver to consumers.
While the most visible results are the new ways in which consumers shop, it may be behind-the-scenes that holds the greatest potential for leveraging technology to make a difference. In the warehouse, for example, automation, mobility
An up-to-date warehouse management system helps businesses manage their labor more effectively, reduce costs and reduce the time taken to move orders through the process and into the hands of customers. Having full visibility across the supply chain helps retailers develop more efficient workflows, boost overall productivity, and improve maintenance operations by forecasting and predicting where issues may arise and
Solutions for efficiency
Among the innovations now available are voice-enabled solutions that direct warehouse labor throughout daily tasks to help optimize warehouse productivity. A newer development is a pallet jack that lights up the pallet position to place the selected product. This gives the selector a visual cue as to which pallet to physically place the product, thereby reducing the opportunity
Elsewhere in the warehouse, mobility tools and wearable technology help give both managers as well as workers on the floor visibility into product traceability, order fulfillment status, the movement of resources throughout the warehouse, and automated alerts. This technology helps users make better decisions about how they manage their time and activities to boost productivity and optimize the use of warehouse space.
Automation: Realizing potential in the retail warehouse
When it comes to retail warehouse productivity, automation solutions offer a huge potential. For example, replacing manual labor planning with automated systems saves time and ensures the most efficient routing and lowest operational costs. Meanwhile, moving from inefficient, paper-based inventory management to digital alternatives makes life easier for employees, while automated storage retrieval and put-away systems are also hugely valuable to the business.
Modern technology can help retailers of all sizes. For smaller companies still heavily reliant on manual processes, embracing automation can free up resources and mark a key first step
Any time an organization can utilize automation, productivity will go up, and accuracy will go up – and therefore efficiency within the warehouse is going to go up. In today’s environment, where every business is seeking to reduce costs and increase margins, these are results anyone can get behind.