The emergence of new technologies, skills gaps, disparate information systems and the rising need for deployment of robots and automation technologies are only a few conundrums faced by manufacturing practitioners on a global scale. Amidst these conflicts come the ineffective management and monitoring capabilities of warehouse operations. Managing the dynamic threads of inventory is a daunting and high-stake responsibility of manufacturing players of today. A single ineffective warehouse decision can lead to an abundance of stock and organisational resource wastages. As warehouse management can lead to economically, managerially and operationally perilous aftereffects, most manufacturers rely on Smart Warehouse Management System- the latest evolution of Warehouse Management System (WMS) solutions in the manufacturing technology world.
Continue Reading this 4-minute article to learn what a Smart Warehouse Management SYstem is and how it can facilitate your manufacturing entity.
Understanding the drawbacks of conventional WMSs can help you understand why Smart Warehouse Management System Solutions are more convenient, cost-effective and irreplaceable in the manufacturing industry.
Legacy WMSs are usually paper-based systems or inventory management that is a sub-module of existing ERP solutions in a company. Legacy WMSs are more dependent on IT specialists; therefore, they can only be maintained by a limited number of technology-savvy manufacturing specialists in a business. When these experts retire, manufacturers spend copious amounts of investments in training newcomers to replace the legacy professionals. Therefore, the expert lock-in of Legacy WMSs stagnates manufacturing information systems to old-school inventory management methods.
Another disadvantage of convention or old-school WMS is that it keeps the mobility growth stalled even when the new-age technologies are opening up space to innovate and grow in the inventory management sector. Legacy WMS risk in tackling mobile services and are incapable of flexibly offering services because of the multi-level complexity, user interface requirements and other technical demands of the new manufacturers. This led to a plethora of compatibility issues. Business wedges will use retro-fitting data setups and file setups that are no longer compatible with the modern systems of the stakeholders (followers, dealers, suppliers, customers and more).
To add even more burden to manufacturers relying on legacy WMS, these systems are prone to security issues because their security breaches and data threats can only be resolved by technology experts. Thus the cost of maintaining legacy WMS solutions, ironically the very solution that they install to reach the best ROI levels, will lead to nothing but another expense of organisational time and money. This is why most manufacturers are considering transforming their existing inventory technologies into Smart Warehouse Management System solutions.
With the product selection and client preferences being wider and wider with time, an impatient customer base, hyper-responsive competitors, manufacturers are struggling to fasten their logistics service deliveries to keep up to the pace. This is why the adoption of a Smart Warehouse Management System is a mandatory advancement to your technology capacities.
A Smart Warehouse Management is a technology suite that enables real-time inventory tracking, smart and automated process scheduling and the foreground to enable an ‘dehumanised’ inventory management system. It enables insight to isolate threats, risks, theft or any anomaly in the operational processes of the warehouse and improve the warehouse decisions making processes with new-age technological appliances like Blockchain Technology, Simulation Platforms, Digital Twin, IIoT, AI and ML algorithms, Predictive and Prescriptive Maintenance Technologies and more; in short, allowing warehouse managers to do more with minimal time wastages, exhaustions and investments.
The key to remaining in the unapologetic competitive manufacturing environments of the concurrent world is to be flexible. To attain a state of fidelity in executing managerial decisions and warehouse operational workflows, the adoption of a Smart Warehouse Management System is inevitable. Here are some of the phenomenal features of a Smart Warehouse Management System that you must not overlook.
Relying on human effort alone to move items within the warehouse is less than ideal for corporate-scale manufacturers and warehouse service enablers. This is why many companies invest in dehumanised systems, in other words, robot-based systems. Smart Warehouse Management Systems are advanced with IIoT technology to accumulate data from robot, AGV, UAV, drone and smart vehicle fleets. The abundance of data streaming from these machines helps the managers smartly control and manage space in warehouses, accelerate deliveries, and earn client trust.
This feature is one of the most intriguing technological capabilities that your manufacturing firm can employ. It allows manufacturers of third-party warehouse service enablers to match logistics demands and warehouse requirements based on certain events. In other words, your processes can be scheduled based on the dynamic client demands. As the information systems are enabling updates on every nook and corner of orders, your warehouse managers have the capability to match operations to meet the preferred objectives of the warehouse. To generate faster insights, Smart Manufacturing Systems uses AI, digital twin, predictive and prescriptive technologies and simulation tools to enable event-driven insights and help to choose the best process execution scenario out of many alternatives.
Smart Warehouse Management System solutions also allow impressive analytics capabilities. With battle-tested predictive and prescriptive technologies, manufacturers gain the advantage of predicting the future supply demands, warehouse requirements, logistics service potential and other functional insights that will help them meet the client order requirements in a timely and trustworthy manner.
Smart Warehouse Management System Solutions are advanced with non-intrusive, smart control and intuitive interfaces trained under realistic warehouse events. The AI and ML models are advances to detect errors made by humans and eliminate them with protected control and automatic action execution protocols.
The status tracking of capabilities enabled by a competent Smart Warehouse Management System is truly fascinating. The technology has penetrated edges where it now can allow a warehouse manager to track the navigational routes of an item’s roadmap, pinpoint where an item or batch and tag processes based on their priorities without any difficulty. These technology suites enable smart dashboards, digital twins, and GIS-based GPS Maps to know what, when, and why certain events are happening in a warehouse across the country in a singular effort.
Another main feature of Smart Warehouse Management System solutions is that the data accumulated and dispersed can be interconnected in CPS (Cyber-Physical Systems) enabled by the IIoT and multi-protocol integration platforms. Thus, warehouse information will be integrated into ERP, MES, CRM, cloud platforms, E-commerce Systems, Procurement Management Systems and other data sources, allowing the warehouse manager to manoeuvre and schedule work processes based on prioritised events (not based on time). This allows the warehouse to operate reliably and with a clear understanding of the full picture of the end-to-end resource availability, client responses, and other prioritised elements.
Smart Warehouse Management Systems are the future legacy warehouse management systems, for they are going to be commonly and generally used by manufacturing players not as a technological luxury but as a necessary technology upgrade to survive the unforgiving competition. With online buying and selling, personalised product demands, virtual shopping malls and more disruptive and innovative business approaches transforming the world, the warehouse processes will also have to augment and adapt. Smart Warehouse Technology is guaranteed to mitigate risks, upheaving warehouse operational performance, saving an abundance of negligible costs, effort exertions and time wastage. Therefore, the adoption of Smart Warehouse Management Systems and the adaptation of manufacturers, warehouse managers and other related experts to the employment of Smart Warehouse Management SYstems solutions is a fact. It is simply the future of warehouse management.