It is no secret that the most successful businesses are those which are flexible, adaptable to change, and well informed about and proactively engage with the newest technologies and trends. With many businesses still repairing the damage caused by Covid-19, now more than ever, it is imperative that operations leaders find realistic and sustainable ways to be both efficient, and cost-effective, whilst simultaneously improving team well-being and productivity within the workplace. Here, the Supply Chain Network team explores the variety of options available to warehouse managers, including both technologies and software to implement, to improve facility performance, time management, communications, and right-first-time initiatives.
Invest in Voice Solutions
Already popular within many warehouses, voice technology consists of communication using everyday language between warehouse workers and supply chain systems. A great way to endure labour challenges and manage supply chain pressures, popular operations include pick-by-voice and voice-led warehousing. Furthermore, these operations are paperless, removing any requirement for warehouse workers to interact with facility systems using their hands or eyes.
Being so direct, voice technology can therefore enable warehouse operations to Increase picking accuracy and efficiency, can integrate seamlessly with existing systems within weeks, not months, and can facilitate precise multi-order picking.
Overall, this can improve employee productivity, satisfaction, and retention. When both hardware and software are optimally integrated, Voice Technology proves to be the chosen productivity solution to implement in warehouses, to prepare your business for the future of warehouse management.
Upgrade your Scanners
RFID barcode scanner devices and software have been a popular choice of software and hardware pairing in warehouses now for several years. This technology enables the ability to track and trace the journey of inventory throughout the supply chain journey.
This holistic overview of the overall logistics network cleverly provides both supply chain managers and consumers with reassurance and a real-time connection and journey updates of items ordered and their subsequent final delivery time and place. RFID technology allows you to view orders, whilst tracking allows you to receive email updates as the order status changes.
With so many changes since the pandemic, and those induced by Brexit, these increased supply chain pressures can hinder processes that were once efficient and reliable. Addressing these changes proactively by making decisions to upgrade processes and the subsequent technology in your facility can ensure that you keep ahead of your competitors; whilst also continuing to achieve optimum customer satisfaction with accurate real-time distribution progress updates.
Invest in Micromobility Centres and Sustainable Logistics Strategies
To enhance the sustainability of its deliveries, retail conglomerate Amazon, recently announced the launch of their Micromobility centre in Central London. In an effort to quash increased emissions and their ever-growing carbon footprint, there are plans to launch a new facility and a new fleet of e-cargo bikes and ‘walkers’ instead of traditional delivery vans, with the aim of using this new sustainable initiative to make more than five million customer deliveries a year.
Following the success of this trial, and to expand its fleet of zero-emission vehicles, Amazon then plans to continue to implement more of these new Micromobility hubs across the country. Solar panels and air drones are also planned future methods of supporting greener logistics to be implemented by the business by 2025.
For Amazon, this represents an important step in their journey to be net-zero carbon and power their operations with 100% renewable energy, by 2040. This transformation of transportation could write the future of more sustainable supply chains.
Explore the Sustainability Benefits of Autonomous Delivery Robots and Electric Fleets
Whilst in February 2021, the McKinsey Global Institute predicted that 45 million Americans would lose their jobs to automation by 2030 – they also predicted that from farmers to factories, manual workers to machines - that automation only changes jobs - rather than replaces them.
Suggestions that the economics of Ocando’s robot-operated warehouses imply a lower net present value than originally predicted have left some more so hesitant about the take-over by robots. However, robotic delivery fleets still offer many other benefits that lead to more sustainable solutions within cities. One such example is robotic fleets reducing pollution, carbon emissions, and traffic congestion, no matter the cargo.
Additionally, autonomous delivery robots and electric fleets allow for cost-effective cyberinfrastructure and automatic data collection. This can help build real-time data maps, which prove very beneficial when utilised for sustainability and efficiency initiatives such as improving city planning and developing solutions for greener logistics operations.
Prepare for the future of warehouse management
As many changes across all sectors continue to develop, the supply chain industry is also constantly adapting as best it can to much-needed - yet as of recently unprecedented - technology and labour shifts. Experts in all aspects of warehouse and network design, The SCN team understands the importance of remaining competitive in what is a very dynamic industry and the critical data analysis required to achieve this.
Specialists in Warehouse Design and Fit-Out, the SCN team can help you reach your facility’s fulfilment potential in 2022 and beyond. Visit www.scnuk.com to learn about the work that we do and to ensure you are ready, and future-proof your business plans and warehouse design. We work with our clients and ask questions about their supply chain at all levels.
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