One of the questions imaginative or inquisitive people may be asking themselves is what the warehouse of the future will look like. According to an electrical director, they may extend vertically into the sky and use robots for lights-out fulfillment of orders. She also added that they may also depend on drones for delivery.
It is important to note that the future is not as far away as many think. There are already warehouses that are fully automated with systems that allow automated materials handling using robots today. This implies that the people there are simply for show.
The robots and automated systems carry out order fulfillment as well as the warehousing. This is an amazing thing to see, even to someone that is familiar with warehouse automation processes.
There are some important market changes and trends that are having a great impact on the operation of the warehouse of the future. Let’s take a quick look at a few of them.
One of the functions of current warehouses is that they serve as storage for finished products that are transported in and out of pallets. Companies saw them as a cost center and a necessary evil. Warehouses are promise keepers in our world today. They keep the promises made by the sales and marketing departments by enabling the firm’s go-to-market strategy. Order turnaround is often measured in hours not days. An order turnaround time is the picking and parking duration of an order in other to make it ready for delivery. Visit smart-space.co.uk for amazing automated warehouses.
VELOCITY AND SELECTION
One of the many tasks of a distribution center is carrying SKUs or items in greater quantities to keep the customers on-site. Spending less time in inventory in distribution centers than in the past is also one of their responsibilities. A recent study shows that the number of inventory turns went up by 10% while that of SKUs went up by 6%.
The labor shortage is old news to managers of warehouses. The battle for talent has been a war that they have been involved in for years. The growth of e-commerce makes it more acute than before. The result of this is those distribution companies are now in the middle of the boom in automation. This is motivated by the dire need to remove as many manual labors from the process as it can. Tech like pouch sorters, shuttle systems, high-density storage that is automated, automated packing systems, and put walls are perfect for item handling. Lift-trucks that are automated are also on the horizon. However, they are not yet as popular as they should be. A few leading retailers depend on drones to take inventory in their warehouses.
The adoption of robotics when it comes to handling various processes in distribution centers is slow but ongoing. There is an emergence of robots collaborating and traveling to a picking location. The associate in the warehouse then drops them into a tote. Items are then picked from the tote used for storage and placed in a shipping container by stationary piece-picking robots.
The future looks great for distribution centers and their warehouses as this is an amazing time to work in warehousing and distribution.