Warehouses have been used by businesses for decades and play a huge role in their running and management. When you think of warehouses, how do you see them in the future? With expanding technologies and an increase in improvements, what is the ecological future of warehouses? The future will be a completely different world to that we are used to today, so what can these improvements bring?
The Future Warehouse
Throughout the years, so much has changed in the way the world works. Any individual who grew up in the 1960’s and 70’s would not have predicted the growth of the internet and the effect it has on the way we conduct business today; the same can be said for the future of warehouses. Robots are already used for conducting warehousing manual work, although, at one time, this seemed an impossible task – the improvements of technologies have allowed this to be true.
Warehouse productivity is a large factor in how businesses can run successfully, effectively, and smoothly. Continually seeking to implement new procedures and looking at new technologies in the market save both time and effort in daily warehouse operations, and this is the same for ecological warehouses.
According to the recent Zebra Technologies report, due to the increase of online consumers, warehouse management systems must keep the pace by creating more warehouses and greater expansion, increasing the 46% of 2015 to 74% in 2020, with an eye to boosting productivity.
Successful practices will improve the overall performance and can lower overall labour cost. With streamlining and automating processes, the aim is to increase mechanisation from the 54% from 2015 to 63% in 2020.
New technologies will significantly change the way goods are received, stored, and shipped in a warehouse, transforming the supply chain. Try picturing how the future warehouses will look; can you see improved productivity and flexibility while reducing costs, the drudgery of work, and the environmental footprint?
By 2020, it is expected that 58% of warehouses are reducing/recycling packaging materials used during shipping. Other green initiatives include reducing energy consumption (43%), the use of biodegradable packing materials (40%), adding timers or sensors to lighting, heating and cooling (30%) and review vehicle utilisation to reduce transportation costs (28%).
And with the use of digital equipment, the use of old methods such as pen and paper will drop from 97% in 2015 to 26% in 2020, as new methods of mobile data and capture load optimisation take over.
This will lead to an enhancement of technological and programming skills, and the involvement of employees in digital transformation and environment, which results in better working conditions and increased productivity. And, of course, in increased sustainability.
With self-maintained machinery, machines and equipment are becoming more connected to warehouse management systems, allowing real-time indicators of functioning – the built-in notifications systems alert when something is wrong with the machine, for example.
In short, this technology allows direct data connection with maintenance experts and an automatic order of consumable supplies.
The future for warehousing isn’t far away, and so much development can be achieved by 2020. Are you ready for the future in warehousing and manufacturing?
The team will help you optimise your warehouse fulfilment through the right combination of Wi-Fi networking, barcode scanners, stock control software, printers, and professional support. Don’t hesitate to get in touch today to learn more.
To learn more about this and the technologies that can help you stand apart from the competition, increase your productivity and improve your warehousing, download the full, free report below: