The extreme climate event that kept Texas in the news for over a week put the spotlight on a lot of challenges that are growing due to climate change and extreme weather events. Putting aside the issue of Texas’ 80-year process of distancing their energy economy from the rest of the country, the tragic lack of preparation that appears to almost be intentional not only crippled the entire state, resulted in unnecessary deaths that were entirely preventable.
This year Zebra Technologies is introducing a new concept to drive decision-making in your planning and investment strategies for new devices and equipment in distribution centers and other warehouses. Referred to as the “Warehouse Maturity Model”, it provides a structured roadmap for modernization for your facilities.
‘Twas the week before Christmas,
And in the warehouse,
EVERYTHING was moving, it was a madhouse.
The entire year itself, was off the rails,
No one saw it coming, but one day they’ll tell the tale,
Of “The Year that Wasn’t”, or “The Year That Never Ends.”
A year after which the world will need much to mend.
2020, for all its faults, is the year that almost every company and business “decided” to finally jump into Ecommerce. This includes not only selling online directly to end users, but the various means of getting the product into their hands including in-store fulfillment. While Retailers’ online sites in 2018 totaled sales over $400 billion, they will far exceed that in 2020 and are expected to grow to over $700 billion in 2020, with some of the fastest growth coming in food and beverage (23.4% - 58.5%) and health and beauty increasing from 16.6% to 32.4%. (source: eMarketer.com). That pace along with the expected drop in total brick-and-mortar sales means Ecommerce will make up over 14% of total retail sales in 2020.
What is the quickest way for a dock manager to load two trucks from one bay, each with twelve pallets, loaded equally with three different products and intended for delivery at two different stops? This can be done faster with Voice Technology. But how?
Ask a facility manager to list the biggest challenges they face, and they almost unanimously include “space” in their top three, if not number one. This is often a symptom of growth outpacing the ability to expand into more space, but is most often the result of space being used ineffectively. In a perfect world, your facility is full of robots, modular racking that adapts to changes quickly, and A WMS with an AI feature that automatically places everything in its optimal space, ensuring every inch is utilized and every unused inch is known and tracked.
Like much of the warehouse and logistics industries, the cold storage aspect of it is growing rapidly as well in almost every major KPI. Driven by the continued growth of the frozen food industry, cold storage has been evolving and adopting many of the same technologies and process innovations as standard warehouses and is expected to grow about 3.4% in 2019. However, the fact that the room is required to be cold, means that there are a long list of other process adaptations, equipment, uniforms and other accessories that are required to run a cold storage facility and make it function for the purpose it was designed for.
Today we’ll review some of the basic features of a cold storage warehouse that set it apart from a more typical one.
“Warehouse modernization” is an evergreen term that businesses use regularly as a reference to their intentions. However, intentions don’t necessarily equate to serious action. While incremental improvements are easily embraced, there are four major improvements that many businesses are less enthusiastic about. These updates aren’t glamorous, but they’re essential for operation continuity and profitability.
While Wi-Fi connectivity is generally ubiquitous throughout the workplace, our homes and even in most public spaces where we dine or travel, wireless technology evolved from warehouse and distribution centers. Given the origins of wireless networking, providing reliable wireless connectivity in this environment is not entirely mastered by many businesses in the same way it is in the front offices.
Large open facilities like warehouses, distribution centers and their adjacent yards pose specific challenges coming from the building materials, the distances (and height), interior equipment and infrastructure and the types of wireless devices in use.
Order fulfillment continues to become more efficient as warehouse automation technology evolves. Voice collection is one of the most recent technological advances to disrupt the order fulfillment status quo. Vocollect is a hands-free order fulfillment solution that tackles the problems traditionally encountered in complex order fulfillment to offer a simple, user-friendly solution. The result is a comprehensive lineup of organizational benefits across varying use case scenarios that increase profitability, employee retention, and customer satisfaction.