IOT in inventory tracking, warehouse optimization
Industrial IOT solutions produce rich inventory data from operations. Enhanced with Bluetooth low energy beacons and sensors that enable data capture and cargo identification down to the item level, IOT enabled warehouse systems can ensure a continuous flow of real-time information on inventory levels, trucks, cargo, drivers and location. This factor alone could increase inventory accuracy by up to 95 percent, apart from reducing cases of theft and abuse. Read about logistics eCommerce solutions
Further benefits of implementing IOT in warehousing environment includes inventory loss, theft and damage prevention, forecasting demand based on historical sales data, timely detection of load discrepancies, bottleneck identification, workplace safety, environmental conditions, intruder detection, etc.
Industrial IOT also enables workflow automation for warehouse optimization and improving supply chain logistics visibility. The traditional step-by-step approach to filling purchase orders involves capturing requests via a logistics software, allocating existing inventory tracking to the orders, and manual picking them up.
Indoor positioning in warehouse management
Lowest cost per asset tracking solutions with up to 5 meter accuracy, battery life of 5 years, and reporting interval of 10 minutes. Immensely improves efficiency, locates inventory, cargo, people, and equipment. Helps in improving storage patterns, understand people’s movement to fine-tune workflow. Track forklifts and improve their productivity. Read about indoor tracking solutions
Implementation of IOT in a warehouse optimization
Although industrial IOT in the warehouse (track and trace, environment, condition monitoring, worker safety, security) is steadily making its way to storage facilities in Beira, Nairobi or Singapore, the adoption of connected warehouse systems remains the exception rather than the rule and is mostly driven by the Asia Pacific (APAC) market’s key players. SME companies can benefit much from the adoption of IOT in the warehouses and the government grants can be put to good use here.
In the age of real-time connected objects “everything”, visibility is crucial to ensuring that a company’s supply chain works like a well-oiled machine. IOT powered factories, warehouse management, and control applications offer a whole new way to manage production work-flow, administer storage space, equipment, tasks, and material flows.
Warehouses & digital transformation
That said, IOT in warehouse enabled digital transformation initiatives are largely undermined by slow technology adoption rates.
As mentioned earlier, WMS — which is considered the baseline for implementation of more advanced technology — is still missing from one-third of warehousing facilities. In most cases, companies rely on spreadsheets and standalone software solutions such as pick-to-light or voice-directed picking tools, which do not work in sync.
Furthermore, the cost of implementing custom IOT systems — especially across smaller warehouse facilities — often outweighs the benefits. Despite the diminishing price of sensors and greater availability of cloud-based infrastructure solutions, Industrial IoT app development involves integration with third-party devices and services, while the business logic of web and mobile applications being coded from scratch.
While retail and logistics companies are still struggling to create a holistic IOT perspective, truly connected warehouse optimization experiences and seamless supply chains are supporting the growing amount of smaller customer orders. The answer might lie in mobile technology and industrial handhelds.
Air quality & hygiene monitoring in warehouses
Additionally, potential IOT applications in warehousing stretch beyond specific equipment. Smart sensors, for instance, maybe incorporated into legacy building management systems to reduce energy consumption, monitoring CO2 levels, ambient light, inventory tracking, forklift safety or be installed on delivery vehicles to track mileage and driver behavior.
All things considered, it’s safe to say the future of the warehouse is connected. Is your company ready for the change?
Call us to know more about implementing IOT in the warehouse for improved productivity, safety, and compliance.
Also, read about Logistics management software and warehouse optimization solutions for the Asia Pacific and Africa regions