Adding digitization to the warehouse optimizes the various daily processes that occur with the movement of inventory while also reducing the labor-intensive duties that come with warehouse operations. Warehouse digitization moves inventory with as little human intervention as possible, diminishing the amount of physical work that takes place, eliminating manual data entry, and simplifying analysis.
Warehouse employees might load autonomous robots with heavy packages, moving inventory from one side of the warehouse to another, with software in place to record all inventory movement. With digitization, warehouse workers improve the efficiency and speed of operations while maximizing the quality of their inventory. Additionally, other handling devices are used to pick and sort items at will. The benefits and opportunities provided by warehouse digitization are plentiful and more companies that look to specialize in automated logistics should consider them before implementation.
Why Are Some Companies Hesitating With Adopting Digitization?
While digitization is an attractive prospect that modernizes day-to-day logistics for several businesses, many companies are hesitant to adopt this type of management. They are still skeptical about how the technology works and how it will affect their labor force.
For some, there is a lack of clarity about the new technology and how it will simplify logistics and improve productivity. Additionally, companies are hesitant due to the unusual competitive nature of the eCommerce space, with a constant demand to speed up inventory across the board. Omnichannel distribution is also a hold-up for companies trying to determine which channels work best to allow for the purchasing and receiving of orders with seamless, one-touch integration.
Companies also don’t have the infrastructure required to adopt the new technology or the equipment to work alongside it. There’s also a concern about the lifespan of the equipment they’re adopting.
From a shipper’s perspective, contract lengths are an issue as many logistics contracts today span three years, a significantly shorter time than past contracts.
However, digitization presents several opportunities that immediately offset the potential pitfalls.
Digitization Counters the Long-Standing Labor Shortage
For one, the digitization of management operations reduces a dependency on a labor market still reeling from the effects of the global pandemic. While unemployment rates have dipped and wages increased, some of the largest e-commerce facilities require many full-time employees, a number that outweighs what traditional distribution centers bring in. Labor shortages are especially inconvenient during the holiday peak season, usually one of the more demanding periods for companies.
With automated logistics at the forefront, companies can become more resourceful, better utilize what they have, and reduce their reliance on human intervention. Additionally, increased digitization eliminates huge equipment expenses and manual order processing costs. Furthermore, digital management processes minimize labor costs and limit expenses related to any problems or issues that digitization can readily resolve. Many jobs will also be reassigned to involve the leveraging and maintenance of the equipment used to make digitization possible.
Reducing All Handling and Storage Costs
Companies can add reduced storage and handling costs to the labor costs they will cut by introducing digitization into their management processes. Saving and solutions are provided thanks to the equipment being leveraged. The use of special guided vehicles moves pallets and cases on-demand. The use of software and equipment to retrofit forklifts and make them autonomous shows how far digitization has come. All new technology and equipment can be switched when necessary, especially during seasonal changes.
Furthermore, swarm robots shift shelves with goods to conveyors that can transport goods anywhere. New handling technologies use robotics arms with sensor technology that determine the structures and shapes of different objects before grasping them. Many handling devices are fixed, letting goods be brought to them by guided vehicles before proceeding.
Eliminating Human Error With Digitization
The human element is necessary for businesses but can also be a hindrance when handling management processes. Human error is inevitable at some point, whether because too many things are happening at the same time or workers experience struggles when doing specific tasks manually. Digitization isn’t meant to eliminate human involvement but guide them as workers can use and maintain the technology to improve their throughput and boost productivity.
With the increased use of technology, including handling and sorting devices, companies can expect a more streamlined flow of daily operations, ensuring that tasks are completed efficiently without needing to repeat them much, if at all. Streamlining operations changes how daily business is conducted, with things done easier, allowing for increased shipments, more sorting, and less time spent on tasks. Some of the systems used for digitization augment human strengths to aid the seamless movement of goods and other inventory.
Improving Brand Image and Customer Service With Digitization
With improved processes, a streamlined flow of daily operations, producing cost-efficient services, and easing burdens for workers who otherwise would be overexerting themselves with manual tasks, automated logistics helps companies to improve branding quality. The brand imagery and reputation gain credibility due to an increased focus on speeding up processes without compromising throughput.
With improved operations, it’s easier for companies to track shipments and ensure that they reach their destinations on time. Companies can also track orders and processing, reducing the time spent on both. Any businesses or clients that companies work with using increased digitization will be more likely to do consistent business, appreciating the increased focus on timeliness and efficiency. Plus, with less time spent on specific tasks, companies can spend more time directly addressing customer needs, further improving daily operations.
Whether for multiple touchpoints or singular solutions, digitization makes things more straightforward regarding daily operations, adding much-needed scalability to reduce the complexities of handling, scanning, sorting, and picking, among various other processes. Custom software can also be used to aid each of these processes and help the technology implementation processes smoothen out over time.