Same-day delivery has become an e-commerce battleground. This is speeding up the rate at which warehouses need to move products through their facilities. According to a survey by Go People, 88% of consumers are willing to pay for same-day (or faster) delivery services. To keep warehouse operations at peak performance, warehouse managers need to have good knowledge on how to quickly leverage technology.
Warehouse operators need to identify their current automation capabilities
A warehouse operator needs to implement new improvement strategies to gain critical efficiencies, reduce costs, and maximize productivity. It is also important to know how automation fits into their company’s strategic goals. According to Zebra Technologies’ Warehousing Vision Study, by 2024, automation will enhance worker performance rather than replace workers. Warehouse modernizations such as the adoption of wearables and mobility solutions will help to gain basic control of business operations through enhanced individual worker productivity.
Types of wearables used in warehouses
Wearables used in warehouses come in the form of:
- Wearable Computers provide the functionality of rugged tablets and vehicle-mounted computers but offer much more ease for warehouse clerks.
- Smart Glasses like AR/VR glasses provide advanced efficiency in navigation, labeling, picking, etc.
- Voice Headsets are already popular in distribution centers where workers can work hands-free using voice commands.
- Activity-tracking Bracelets allow managers to monitor the activity and performance of the warehouse clerks.
- Finger-trigger Gloves equipped with barcode scanners allow full use of hands while sorting.
Eliminating paper-based processes
The first step in the modernization of warehouses should be the elimination of paper-based processes, reports sdcexec. Wearables can help workers by offering visual or voice-directed guidance paired with hands-free scanning that gives workers direct access to the Warehouse Management System (WMS).
Workers can use wearable mobile computers with touchscreens and keypads, enabling hands-free operations. Real Wear’s voice-enabled headsets improve communication amongst a distributed workforce, as well as safety compliance. These wearable computers make communication easier, reduce errors, improve compliance, and ensure workflows can be accessed and followed easier and quicker.
Robots to help humans
Robotics is another technology receiving a lot of attention for its ability to transform warehouse operations. Increasingly, this technology is being offered as RaaS (robotics as a service) to make it easier for companies to increase or decrease their investments based on the needs of their businesses. Autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), commonly referred to as cobots are helping to move assets through the warehouse to save workers time and energy.
The future of warehouse modernization
Warehouses will build on current effective technologies, such as widespread supply chain automation, hyper-effective robotic technologies and, yes, plenty of drones to go around. Wearables can offer significant improvements in efficiency compared to mobile or handheld technologies. AI-enabled robotics can be used in combination with voice technology for an extremely optimized experience in the warehouse.