The exponential growth of e-commerce has strained manufacturing industry and distribution channels. To cope up with ever increasing demand for distribution of goods will result in advancement in field of warehousing. The future innovations that can be added to warehousing industry are as follows;
Robotics & Automation
For meeting the fast pace demand, warehouses will be upgraded to robotics and automation. In robotics, droid will be introduced in replacement of human labor. This will increase the efficiency by reducing downtime and higher accuracy. This will decrease the human interaction with inventory which can also results in reduction of fatal mistake during operations.
Automation of material handling equipment is also in line. Equipment like forklifts, pallet stacker and pallet mover etc. . Automation of this equipment will minimize human intervention avoiding accidents; it will also streamline the vehicle movement as per guided protocol. Drones have already been introduced majorly in e-commerce warehouse industry. These perform the function of locating, picking and dropping items on dispatch bay. Both robotics and automation will decrease the operational cost of 3PL warehousing in Auckland but it will require heavy capital investment for installation of droids and equipment. Conclusively this will help to maintain uninterrupted and efficient operations but with high maintenance cost.
Shared Warehousing Concept:
In future, with increased demand of warehousing, the shared space model for warehousing will get popular. This will be the replica like Uber or Airbnb, in which client can login on app and look for vacant available place, ready to for rental purpose. It will create ease for smaller business models to rent out place in their vicinity or near their client facility. This will also boost competition among warehouse service providers and this business will be getting affordable for general public to run. Client will get benefits with fierce competition in terms of low storage charges and better services.
Warehouse Management System 2.0:
Warehouse management system (WMS) is performing the stock movement function at the moment. But upgradation of WMS will be made in which it will able to perform not only operational but administration tasks also. Like warehouses will be equipped with physical sensors like heat, light, pressure. Data from all the sensors will be shared on WMS; it will share the real picture of warehouse environment and also monitor the surroundings to avoid any exceptions. Even these sensors will maintain the environment as per desired level. Research on 3D visualization of warehouse has already begun and in near future. Physical inventory can also be visualized through WMS.
Gadgets & Wearables:
Presently, mobile phone comes with app which can help warehouse staff to get the required information on their devices. New wearables are also in development which will be connected with WMS and workers can access any required data with mobility. This will speeds up updating of physical inventory with system inventory. End to End visibility will be available to all staff.
The future of warehousing and associated services is directly linked with dynamics of e-commerce customer demands and its derivatives.