The future of warehouse management systems

When managing a warehouse with thousands of products and having to determine and organize inventory, monitor delivery dates for incoming stock, and ensure the correct delivery schedule, human error is all but certain to occur.

Thankfully, new technologies have emerged that are designed to specifically address warehouse management issues. With a comprehensive and an efficient warehouse management system, a warehouse operating at optimum levels is within reach.

Defining a warehouse management system

A warehouse management system manages and controls all activities, such as shipping and receiving, picking of goods, and inventory control, within the warehouse. Having such a system increases efficiency across all warehouse operations and inventory management, making sure products are handled until they are delivered or sold once they enter the premises.

What is a warehouse manager responsible for?

Warehouse management operations are complex and require attention to detail to keep business operations running smoothly.

The most common tasks that warehouse managers undertake include but are not limited to:

  • Managing and optimizing warehouse space,
  • Accurately calculating inventory,
  • Scheduling deliveries and purchase orders,
  • Managing fluctuations in product demand,
  • Managing return orders and damaged goods.

There are many more responsibilities that warehouse managers must perform, but, thanks to technology, warehouse management can be more automated and precise.

Future of warehouse management system

1. Warehouse management robots

The warehouse management robot is a classic example of an automated system, and they ease labor-intensive jobs to a great extent. From transporting goods from one panel to another to streamlining the warehouse operations, warehouse management robots seemingly do it all. They save time, energy, and help eliminate human error.

There are various types of warehouse management robots, but ones designed for picking, packing, and storage are:

  • Collaborative robots (“cobots”),
  • Articulated robotic arms.

Note: In fact, cobots also come with sensors that help them smoothly navigate a warehouse.

2. Drones for warehouse management system

We have seen drones being used at large functions such as weddings and corporate events.

Drone technology has improved so much that it can be used as a modern world application in warehouses. Drones are known to complete warehouse activities 50% faster than people can. The drones scan and record each barcode on every panel, capturing their product details, location, and relevant information.

As a result, organizations save a lot of time and effort by properly utilizing drone tech.

3. Smartphones for warehouse management system

Smartphones for warehouse management are also known as mobile warehouse management systems.

We have seen technology progress in the past couple of years, from tracking inventory through paper and pen to using computers (and then laptops). But now getting things done on the go is possible because of smartphones.

We can do all kinds of work with the help of our smartphones, like scanning QR codes, capturing data, tracking inventory and productivity, and installing workforce applications to unburden the working process.

This way, you can always track the most recent information, receive real-time updates, and have the warehouse management operations at your fingertips.

4. Real-time inventory management for warehouse management system

Real-time inventory management is an integral component of a sustainable and robust warehouse management system. With instant access to data on inventory, picking, packing, and shipping, an organization gets a clear picture of incoming and outgoing inventory, damaged goods, returned goods, and customer reviews. As a result, they know what products to order and when to order them, keeping the inventory flow running smoothly.

5. Wearable devices for warehouse management systems

Small, computerized devices fitted on the arms or wrists for easy accessibility is another area of innovation that enhances any warehouse management system.

What these devices lack in size is more than compensated for in robust software, voice recognition, and even Bluetooth applications. They help with the picking and sorting of goods, entering prices, and scanning products.

These wearable devices help with inventory management and increase productivity and efficiency along the way.

6. Smart forklifts and automated vehicles

Smart forklifts and automated vehicles have been a welcome addition to warehouses and organizations. Smart forklifts and automated vehicles have the ability to place the goods on their designated shelves and pick the assigned items from their allotted spaces for deliveries.

Like wearable devices, they have rapidly reduced the need for human resources and manual assistance, thereby ensuring smooth day-to-day warehouse operations.

In summary

Effective warehouse management will only help a business’s bottom line. Higher and more efficient productivity will improve profits.

It is imperative to monitor the latest trends and innovations in warehouse management. Doing the due diligence will help companies to better distribute their workforce and resources and concentrate more on generating revenue.

Get a demo of Cin7 today and see how a partnership with us can help save you money, time, and effort.