We began questioning this long ago. The changes have begun a few years, starting with the technology used in the warehouse, which has led to increased productivity and flexibility, cost savings, but also to the number of operators and, last but not least, the environmental footprint.
Automation and robots will continue to replace some roles in the warehouse and perform simple and monotonous tasks, thus “freeing” time for warehouse staff to perform more complex and higher-value tasks. Cordless technology, intelligent robots, big data analysis and automation will have important roles in this story of efficiency.
We believe that as new technologies continue to grow, they will significantly change the way goods are received, stored and shipped into a warehouse and turn the supply chain beyond what we have known so far.
It is very possible that in a few years the warehouse management system will be able to control every aspect of the storage operation, not just the reception, storage, picking and dispatching of orders, but also other details such as lighting or temperature control.
Wireless technology and real time inventory tracking
RFID technology tracks real-time inventory, with every movement being traced from the entry of the goods to their exit from the warehouse.
Automatic picking systems
Picking-by-voice, picking-by-light, augmented reality or the use of specialized robots, all these revolutionary technologies change the way the orders are fulfilled. Not only the fulfillment time improves, but also the correctness of orders, excluding the possibility for the operator to mistakenly take another product instead of the one mentioned in the list.
Alternative energy sources
The use of alternative energy and energy efficiency are no longer optional. Solar panels, LED lighting, cool roof systems, thermal windows, pylon windows and other new materials and new innovations lead the warehouse in a new era.
What do you think? Will the warehouses become fully automated over time without the need for human intervention? Probably just time will tell!