Warehousing today is much different than it was 18 years ago. As the age of internet shopping has evolved, so has logistics and inventory management. The rapid growth of technology during this time has put technology in customers and business owner’s hands and they have grown accustomed to getting what they want and getting it faster than ever. The good thing is that processes and technology in the logistics sector has evolved along the way to be able to meet customer needs in new and exciting ways. Let’s look at a few things we can expect to see on the horizon for the coming new year.
Fluidity of Inventory
Warehousing will only improve thanks to new inventory tracking techniques and technology. We now have access to real time inventory logging and can plan accordingly. What was once a slow and time-consuming process is becoming simpler, and accessible to more logistics providers than ever. You can real time view how much of what product you have, split shipments easily. This leads to less stagnation of inventory, decreased cost of shipping and allows flexibility and convenience for the supply chain.
Warehousing will see inventory fluctuation continue to be an ongoing frustration for years to come, as fluctuation is common across most industries. Many in the industry are considering using outsourced third-party logistics providers that offer scalable solutions for space and inventory constraints. This means that cost is reduced because you can have an adjustable amount of space in a location and only pay for that which you take up. Right now, most companies say that it is just part of the business and would rather just deal with excess than seek solutions, but with almost 75% of logistics providers claiming that inventory fluctuation is a major issue for them, outsourcing will likely continue to get more and more popular.
Warehousing seems to have made robotics a taboo word, but robotshave come and are likely here to stay. Automated labor was once a costly affair but prices have fallen dramatically, and with large scale providers now leading the way in a robotic revolution, the trend will likely filter downward throughout the industry. Systems and technologies that employ automated vehicles, sorters, and movers rapidly have rapidly advanced over the last few years as a few dedicated companies have poured millions upon millions into R&D. This hard work has paid off for them, and these technologies are now being scaled down to work within smaller supply chain operations. Aside from reducing labor costs, these systems can help improve efficiency and worker safety as well.
Warehousing is a fastidious industry and while it is hard to nail down to a science, you can bank on these ideas becoming a reality for us in 2018.