Warehousing

Warehouse Transformation: The Future of Warehousing

Future warehouses will be more advanced and efficient. Technological advancements are transforming warehouses to improve productivity & reduce costs.

Team Hopstack
September 27, 2022
Warehouse Transformation

Warehouse Transformation: The Future of Warehousing

Warehouses are used as storage spaces for products post-manufacturing, prior to their dispatch for sale or to other facilities down the line, and in later stages if the goods are returned. These facilities are used by businesses to store inventory before they are shipped to customers or dispatched to another location from which they will be sold via retail or redistributed. 

Most warehouses work in two ways:

  • A retailer stores their goods and dispatches them directly from there. This setup is common for eCommerce businesses.
  • A wholesaler or distributor stores a variety of goods in large quantities in a warehouse before sending them to a retailer or reseller.

Warehouses are crucial assets for many businesses as long-term storage for their goods. They ensure that brick-and-mortar stores do not accumulate too much stock that they cannot yet display or sell.

The future of warehouses is exciting as there is so much potential for improvement and scaling. Upon leveraging technological advances across industries, future warehouses promise to be much more advanced and efficient.

Read on for everything you need to know about the latest warehousing technology and the future of warehousing. 

Logistical and Tracking Advancements

Technological innovations and their integration in all aspects of economics and business have led to sweeping changes across industries worldwide. These advancements have led to the evolution of the logistics and tracking industry, thus changing the future of warehousing

Due to the massive advancements in recent years, industrial warehouse technology is now leading the charge on all levels of supply chain data processing and analytics. What used to be labor-intensive, manual tasks such as processing payments, dispatching orders, and updating tracking information are now accomplished in a blink through advanced automation. All logistical and tracking procedures are only going to get easier with time.

Maintaining accurate inventory was a challenge faced by warehouses in all industries, from makeup products to clothing items. Today, high-end futuristic warehouse technology can track inventory and provide up-to-date numbers to business owners and warehouse managers no matter where they are in the world. 

Warehouse Automation

The warehouse of the future is one where automation is seamlessly integrated into all its processes. Modern warehouse design includes non-traditional technology that enables you to maintain an accurate digital inventory and have an on-the-go office. 

When it comes to smart warehouse management, warehouse automation is the future. Installation and integration may be complicated in the beginning, but partnering with experts to assist you with automated warehousing solutions could ease the burden of your warehouse transformation.

Automation can streamline processes that otherwise take a lot of time and effort, such as maintaining incoming and outgoing stock, keeping track of orders and payments, and ensuring proper dispatch and delivery. With technology at the center, the future of warehouse management systems will continue to evolve and become even more efficient than you can imagine. 

Artificial Intelligence and Warehouse Innovation

Warehouse inventory tech and supply chain automation is expected to grow exponentially in the next half-decade. Estimates suggest that the $700 billion spent in 2020 on Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) by growing companies will increase to $1 trillion by 2023.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are changing how the supply chain industry works. They are now optimizing processes beyond what humans can deliver, and at previously unfathomable scales. This means all warehouse duties will be completed more efficiently, freeing time and resources for more specialized tasks.

Leveraging AI is so beneficial because it optimizes capacity planning, improves productivity, and boosts efficiency by helping with higher quality output at a lower cost.

Some of the main benefits of the latest technology used in warehouses, including AI technology, are:

Inventory Management

AI provides accurate numbers regarding inventory levels, and all its related variables, at the drop of a hat. It can also calculate demand forecasting and planning with the basis of calculating data from previous stock inflow and outflow. You can get real-time stock updates along with storage optimization recommendations with the help of AI integration.

Improved efficiency

AI and machine learning help improve efficiency by reducing the costs and resources required in processing orders and running a functional warehouse facility. This is achieved by reducing the amount of time and effort spent to manually input, update, and check data while providing a smooth and seamless experience. In the span of minutes, AI and ML can gather data from multiple sources and offer much-needed recommendations.

Smoother, cheaper operations

AI warehouse operations can function day and night, ensuring that all warehousing processes are taken care of, such as customer service and order tracking. This reduces the amount of work required of your associates, thus improving productivity while lowering costs. There are also minimal chances of errors because AI systems perform quality checks at every stage of the process. The quality of work is elevated, thus ensuring accuracy and precision in handling all the important details.

Prompt and punctual processing

From accepting orders and processing payments, to updating packing and dispatch information, AI is extremely prompt and seamlessly smooth, thus ensuring faster and punctual deliveries to customers and retailers.

On-Demand Warehousing

An on-demand warehousing platform allows sellers to store inventory in warehouses offering their extra space. These warehouses of the future are different from traditional warehouse storage and enable new activities in distribution centers. 

Sellers looking to increase their stocks during a specific season where the demand is higher than usual can opt for on-demand warehousing. AI facilitates these processes, thus enabling modern warehouse management that improves profits and turnover rates. This is the exciting future of warehouse management systems that businesses in any industry can look forward to.

On-demand warehousing is beneficial to warehouse owners and renters alike. Renters are free to avail of warehouse space without needing to sign long-term leases, and they can boost their inventory and inventory management on an as-needed basis. At the same time, warehouse operators can tap into a previously untouched clientele and will not have to worry about empty spaces in their facilities.

The on-demand structure is thus one of the best ways to make the most of existing warehousing infrastructure. Add to this the simplicity and ease of warehouse management with the help of AI and machine learning, and it’s a recipe for success.

Conclusion

Retailers, resellers, drop shippers, and all other types of businesses continue to depend on warehouses of the future to flourish. Future-proofing warehouses with the help of modern technology and the latest innovations are the way to go when making changes in traditional distribution center processes. 

The future of warehousing is bright, and big changes are happening in the industry. Retailers and sellers can boost their competitive advantage when they stay updated and don’t fall behind on the curve. Modern warehouse design and management professionals help make the process smoother by providing data visualization, ensuring proper automation integration, and improving all elements of the supply chain.

Team Hopstack Author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Team Hopstack

Hopstack brings you the latest articles, guides and long-form explainers on topics relating to warehousing technology and automation, supply chain and robotics