Trend Watch: Connected Warehouses and Visibility

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Making warehouse aisles transparent

Getting your warehouse set up with solutions that can increase visibility starts with increasing information sourcing. Just as our senses help us understand our surroundings, IoT-generated data takes guesswork out of the equation and allows managers to make critical decisions with the most up-to-date information.

When spread around a warehouse, IoT devices can compile detailed data and relay it further up the chain where AI can process it for human consumption. Among other tasks, IoT devices can:

  • Manage the performance of warehouse machines
  • Always know where each pallet, box or even item is located
  • Provide accurate, real-time inventory information and tracking
  • Get the most out of legacy equipment
  • Send alerts about low supply or factors that might damage machinery or products like temperature changes, theft, mishandling, etc.

By replacing more traditional methods of sharing information, IoT can open doors that used to be locked. It also can give managers a magnifying lens to study everything going on inside the warehouse.

AI is the lynchpin that makes connectivity possible

The surge in IoT usage means there are now limitless amounts of data that need processing—and AI is the perfect solution for leveraging this information.

By augmenting a human’s critical thinking skills, AI allows warehouses to channel their information flow in a way that boosts floor efficiency and proactively predicts issues before they even develop.'kh52

Leveraging the latest data, warehouse execution systems (WES) can create streamlined workloads that account for workers’ picking rates, predict consumer demand and more.

AI’s future-predicting abilities have wide-scale applications too. Whether it’s forecasting the date a machine will fail or anticipating shipping delays, AI-powered WES software enables accurate planning and management.

Perhaps its most appreciated feature is the ease with which AI can reprioritize orders. Using machine learning, AI can take an item from a lower-priority order and assign it to a higher-priority one without ever disrupting shipment times.

Connectivity enables full visibility across the entire supply chain

The benefits of connectivity aren’t limited to the warehouse floor either. Thanks to increasing integration and app technology, stakeholders of every kind can access logistical information regardless of their location.

Managers using WES software can orchestrate the flow of goods, machines and personnel in real-time and with more precision than what traditional warehouse management systems (WMS) allow.

Coupling WES software with customer relationship management (CRM) tools also gives other stakeholders, like sales or accounting, round-the-clock visibility to inventory and orders. That way they can swiftly manage any swings in customer demand.

From a couple of connected warehouses to a whole network, automation technology can be an invaluable tool to boost visibility, efficiency and productivity throughout the enterprise. And the benefits don’t end there!

See for yourself how warehouse connectivity can transform your business today. Experience the latest in AI-powered automation and other automation technologies in person at the Automate Show in Chicago, IL, USA. Register today!

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