Are smart warehouses worth the investment? It depends really on whether speed and precision are crucial to your business. But, instead of us telling you how smart warehousing is going to help you, let’s first look at how it helped two retail giants Amazon and Ikea.
Heard of Amazon’s Kiva robots? These robots are brilliant little automated “pickers” capable of collecting goods from warehouses and delivering them to appropriate stations for packaging and shipping. With speed and precision, they were so effective that Amazon now has more than 500,000 of these roaming robots.
Swedish giant Ikea’s store in Croatia is the first to operate an innovative automated warehouse. Small radio-controlled robots bring Ikea products stocked in bins to IKEA co-workers in 15 seconds! How’s that for speed!
Covid-19 disrupted many businesses, and logistics was one of them. In May 2020, when McKinsey surveyed supply-chain executives from across industries and geographies, 93% said they wanted to make their supply chains more flexible, agile, and resilient. When McKinsey reached out to them 12 months later, they found that most companies had made moves in this direction simply because it had made their businesses more efficient. And one of the ways was smart warehousing.
In fact, according to a report by Research and Markets, the Global Smart Warehousing Market size is expected to reach $29 billion by 2028, rising at a market growth of 11.2% CAGR during the forecast period.
It is the use of automation to improve operations and processes in a warehouse. It enhances efficiency, reduces costs, and minimises human error.
A smart warehouse uses interconnected technologies. Here are some of them
Short for collaborative robots, they work alongside humans to handle complex tasks like picking minimising time spent on repetitive logistics activities.
Otherwise known as AGVs, they help optimise warehouse space and increase inventory accuracy. In fact, the global AGV market is predicted to reach $3.2 billion by 2026 from $2.2 billion in 2022.
RFID eliminates the need for analog paper tracking methods and takes control of inventory digitally using an automated scanning system
This high-speed network reduces latency and improves computing performance for example in terms of the ability to continuously trace order filling, picking, and processing.
Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems: These are increasingly being used for storage and fulfillment.
These reduce the need for manual cycle-counting processes and can track inventory, maintain order points and monitor real-time data.
The Internet of Things synchronises data in an easily accessible network, optimising inventory control resulting in improved turnaround time. It helps take charge of literally all the moving parts of the warehouse.
Blue Star E&E is a leading supply chain and warehouse automation solution provider and can help you with everything from material handling, movement, and storage solutions to order fulfillment, wrapping and hooding, packaging, and automated truck loading solutions. We offer a complete warehouse management strategy designed to improve the efficiency, safety, and accuracy of your operations. Give our experts a call today.