Optimizing Your Supply Chain Warehouse By Implementing Modern Technology
Warehousing is a crucial component in streamlining the supply chain. As technology rapidly advances in the industry, many companies are implementing modern solutions such as warehouse management systems, robotics, and other forms of automation. If you want to run an effective supply chain warehouse, optimizing your operations according to the latest trends is crucial.
What is a supply chain warehouse?
Warehousing should be a top priority in your supply chain business strategy. A warehouse is a space where you can efficiently store and handle goods and materials before distribution. Understanding how to operate an organized and productive facility is important for anyone involved in supply chain operations or management. They are a key component to running a successful business.
Types of warehouses in supply chain management
Modern facilities can be grouped into four main warehouse categories, each serving a specific purpose in the supply chain:
1. Fulfillment warehouses
Often called distribution centers, these warehouses serve as a primary link between suppliers and consumers. They act as a center for order fulfillment, packaging, labeling, cross-docking, and transportation. To improve customer service, lower costs, and boost productivity- these centers utilize automation on a large scale.
2. Production warehouses
Production warehouses are used to meet the demand for raw materials, semi-finished, and sometimes finished goods. These facilities are usually located within a manufacturing site and stock materials to ensure that material shortages don’t bottleneck the production process.
3. Storage warehouses
These warehouses are commonly used to store finished goods for long periods as part of a business’s outbound supply chain operation. Storage warehouses used to be fairly common when many companies employed a push strategy in their supply chains. However, they’re used to a lesser degree today.
4. Sorting and consolidating warehouses
These facilities are not primarily used for storage but for receiving high-volume shipments and sorting them into more manageable outbound loads. They also consolidate small inbound shipments to dispatch to consumers such as retail chains.
Supply chain trends affecting warehouses
Modern companies are seeking to maintain an organized and efficient supply chain system to remain competitive in today’s cutthroat market. This supply chain trends significantly impacts warehousing as many businesses are looking to upgrade their facilities to meet consumer demands.
1. Time of delivery is now the main competitive differentiator
Businesses used to compete with one another by offering the lowest price possible. Now, customers are buying from businesses that can deliver their orders the fastest, which is why Amazon is an industry leader. Therefore, fulfillment responsiveness, or the time it takes from receiving an order to deliver, will become significantly quicker over the next few years.
2. Increasing visibility of warehouse operations and supply chain
Transparency is one of the most crucial elements of supply chain management. Increased visibility helps you to understand the state of your whole supply chain and each component. This is now achievable for many warehouses due to supply chain digitization. Accessing information quickly helps to prevent issues such as order mistakes and delays.
3. Supply chain warehouse safety and sustainability
To enhance their business ethics, many supply chain leaders are now prioritizing warehouse safety and sustainability. Many consumers now want to make sure that they are purchasing goods from a company that prioritizes the wellbeing of their employees and is environmentally conscious. Companies are now committing to sustainable manufacturing processes to maintain their client base, and some are even attempting to become zero-waste.
4. Applying the latest & customized technologies and equipment to achieve maximum effectiveness
Even though warehouse robotics in supply chain are still fairly new to the industry, they have proven to be effective for many successful companies. Many companies have implemented robotic technologies to streamline logistics by utilizing driverless vehicles and drones since they are focused on speeding up tasks and assisting human workers in boosting productivity.
5. Increased focus on artificial intelligence
The most efficient facilities now run on technology and invest in automated tools to streamline their operations. One of the most prevalent technologies currently used in supply chain is a warehouse management system. WMS and automated sortation systems are essential in today’s market if you want your warehouse to remain competitive. Other advantageous AI investments include picking voice recognition, AGVs, palletizers, and transport management systems.
Impact of a warehouse in supply chain management
Effectively storing goods is a crucial component in maintaining smooth supply chain operations. This means that warehousing should be a top priority in your business strategy since incorporating it into your process has many benefits.
Here are a few of the advantages of implementing a supply chain warehouse:
Storing materials and goods in a warehouse facility makes it easy to manage and keep track of your inventory. Warehousing ensures that you always have enough raw materials and products to meet demands, allowing you to streamline your production.
When you outsource your storage and distribution to a warehouse, you can keep anything you don’t urgently need off-site. This means that your supply chain growth isn’t limited by the need to store everything in your manufacturing facility. As your company expands, you can increase your inventory without frequently buying more space.
Centralized storage and distribution in one facility lowers operation costs and increases profits since you won’t need as many employees, equipment, and buildings. A supply chain warehouse increases the productivity of your operations by allowing for flexible storage, improved fulfillment accuracy, lower fulfillment times, and easier inventory data monitoring. These benefits all save you time and money to focus on expanding your operation.
Storing your products in a warehouse lowers the chances of inventory being damaged, lost, or stolen. With improved security, inventory management, and visibility, you can keep better track of your items to lower the risk of losing money due to mishaps.
Optimize your warehouse using modern technology to achieve your supply chain goals
There’s no doubting that the supply chain is moving towards more technologically advanced operations. Leading companies already use modern solutions such as robotics, WMS, and other automation tools since they’re proven to be effective solutions. If you want to remain competitive in today’s market, improve your productivity, and boost your profits, you must get on board with these advancements.