The New Year is upon us, and that means it’s time to start looking to the future. As with any industry, we can expect some new trends to emerge in the warehouse sector in 2015.
Experts have some ideas about what trends we can expect to see in the coming year, and many of them have to do with new technology. Here are a few trends that are predicted to make an impact for warehousing in 2015.
A Time to Upgrade
Some warehouses are still using management systems that were put in place ten or more years ago. These older systems haven’t been upgraded or replaced simply because it was a major chore to do so, plus upgrades were quite expensive.
However, with new technology being introduced and new industry regulations going into effect, many warehouses are going to need to replace these older software solutions with new ones. Thankfully, with cloud technology and other modern techniques, upgrading is no longer as expensive or as difficult.
Drones aren’t just for Amazon any more. While the large online retailer has been one of the leaders in warehouse automation, many other companies are expected to begin or continue to implement some form of automation into their warehouses during 2015.
This will allow warehouses to do more work in a more efficient way, although each company will need to determine just how much automation they can easily integrate into their current systems.
Tablets will Rule
As little as five years ago, tablets weren’t that prevalent in any workplace. They certainly weren’t standard issue for every employee. However, that’s changing.
Today, tablets, smartphones, and other portable computing devices have made many tasks much easier. Everyone from the warehouse managers to dock workers has a tablet these days. With the ability to instantly update the warehouse database, see where certain products are stored, and look at shipping schedules, tablets are now a necessity.
For years, warehouses have basically been large, fairly open buildings full of shelves. That’s been the most efficient design for years simply because everything was about storing product safely. Today, though, that’s changing.
Instead of being only about protecting products from the elements and from theft, warehouses are now looking at ways to organize things in the most efficient manner. Newer warehouses are designed with this in mind.
Many are also being designed for automation, even if these automated systems aren’t in place yet. Doing the work to implement these systems now means less remodeling and expense later.
Doing Jobs Better
One of the current buzzwords in the industry is engineered labor management. This term basically means doing tasks the best way possible, or the most efficient way possible.
By evaluating how things are done, teaching warehouse workers new methods of doing tasks, and improving the work environment, it’s actually possible to increase a warehouse’s operations up as much as 35 percent without making employees work longer or hiring more workers. Simply doing the job a better way can have amazing results, and as both budgets and schedules become tighter, these types of solutions will become more and more appealing and necessary.