How the IoT Can Help Create Smart Warehouses

How the IoT Can Help Create Smart Warehouses

Warehouses have become so much more than places to store inventory. The modern smart warehouse, when equipped properly, can play a vital role in improving the efficiency of the entire supply chain.

According to the Zebra Technologies Warehouse Vision Study, 70 percent of decision makers are planning to increase their use of technology to put a smart warehouse system in place In the next four years. During this time period, retailers are expected to spend at least $2.5 billion on IoT hardware and installation.

Among the respondents who are investing in supply chain technology, three fourths are doing so with the goal of increasing the volume of the items they ship and to equip their staff members with technology. Seventy percent of respondents planned to invest in tablet and barcode scanning, and 62 percent are going to make investments in IoT.

Advantages of Smart Warehouses

Smart warehouses can be beneficial in many ways. For example, hands-free wearables enable workers to move around and get instructions without worrying about finding a workstation, while sensors and RFID tags give warehouse managers the real-time locations of every product instantly. IoT investments can also cut down on the use of manual labor and improve the speed and accuracy of shipping.

Smart warehouses can already be seen at Amazon, where autonomous robots are being used in their warehouses. They’re also being used at UPS, where smart glasses are being used in trial programs to cut down on labeling. Lids has adopted an IoE robotics approach to boost warehouse efficiency. For example, the athletic sportswear brand has robotic carts picking products and placing them in bins before delivering them to workers.

Execution is a challenge for some IoT-enabled warehouses, and this is where warehouse management systems can make a big difference. Systems need to support legacy devices as well as the new smart devices, and they need top-notch security and several connectivity options to be successful.

Industry Insights

Want to learn more about IoT in the warehouse? Join us on November 15, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. EST for our webinar, IoT and Asset Intelligence. We’ll be discussing the impact IoT is having on the AIDC industry, specifically asset tracking and asset intelligence within the warehouse. Register now.

This blog post was based off of an article from Insights. View the original here.