We have heard about Connected Trucking, but what about connected warehousing? There are many moving parts in supply chain operations that are completely disconnected from the logistics technology but have a huge potential if connected. The labor shortage isn’t going away any time soon, the cost of crude oil per barrel isn’t coming down any time soon either and we can count on every logistics job turning into an express service due to rigorous customer demands. Here is an insider’s scoop from DreamOrbit, where a team of 301 members dedicated to digitizing, connecting and transforming world’s many Logistics and Freight companies.
Until recently, lift trucks have been limited to picking orders in the warehouse and has never been imagined as a critical hub that collects and exchanges valuable information. However, in the world of connected logistics, a lift truck is a mobile data collection tool around the other infrastructure which is mostly immobile and there are lot of opportunities within to boost productivity. Here is an example that is already being used by handful of creative warehouses and can turn into a futuristic connected warehouse solution.
Since order picking and putting away is one of the major part of warehouse operations and can consume up to 55% of operational cost, it is a right place to start saving some money by consolidating the order picking. Usually, picking two orders at the same time can doubles risk of error, but if we manage to mitigate the risk by using technology, we can then enjoy the other side of the coin, that is – doubled productivity and halved operational cost. In a connected environment, WMS can assign picking tasks in the real time, even consolidating them on the go to reduce the travel time.
This solution can be implemented using any one of these technologies or solultions – IoT and sensor, mobile application for drivers, voice-command based solution, indoor mapping, wi-fi, bluetooth, NFC etc. By implementing any of these solutions, a WMS can guide the forklift driver to the right location and indicate the correct pallet by activating an LED light or voice command. This will decrease picking error and automate batch picking, therefore improving productivity at less operational cost in the longer run.