Digitalize your warehouse operations and ride the tech revolution

Retailers, Distributors, small businesses are looking at building automation that allow for functions such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, heatmaps, and intelligent routing, etc. It looks like you are playing catchup. It’s time to make a change.

The time of the foreman walking around the warehouse with a clipboard in hand, cigarette in mouth shouting out orders are long gone. Let’s not start with you putting your hand up to say, “We don’t allow smoking at work anymore.”

At least a decade ago, this would be the quintessential warehouse operator’s daily scene. It was even considered “romantic” for those who miss it.

Is there anything wrong with this image? It’s the almost-dirty word “manual” if you haven’t already guessed. Sure, it may not be four letters, but in today’s warehousing and fulfilment landscape – the dreaded swear word may be doing its rounds in your facility when things go missing, customers start complaining or worse still – clients start going elsewhere.

We are seeing more retailers and brands investing in artificial intelligence (AI), robots, and other technologies. Science fiction? It’s a nightmare for anyone not moving in the same direction.

We are, my friends from the warehousing and fulfilment business, talking about automation – and we don’t mean the drinks vending machine.

Automating your business is a serious consideration. You should catch up fast, just like your customers, such as distributors, retailers, and brands, who are moving up in the technology chain.

Customer portal

First, let’s look at keeping your customers updated; in real-time, anytime. This is what’s known as a customer portal. They will pay a lot to have your space, and they look forward to receiving the next shipment when they arrive. They need to know what inventory they have, and where it is stored. Organizations are constantly operating a business. So, knowing all this with accuracy and in real-time is crucial. It is crucial to be accurate and fast with consumer trends constantly changing.

Mobile barcode scanning

An electronic device can register a wide range of data simply by scanning the SKU. This is extremely useful. It is immediately stored in the system, unlike old-school paper recording where errors by the person recording it and losing the sheets of paper is a real thing. Imagine being able instantly to access data or share it with customers. The machine does that.

Billing automation

How many times have you heard people say, “Have I billed company X or not?” Billing not made means not charging for services rendered. Paying in cash is more expensive than not getting paid. When billing is automated, the machine never forgets and it even sends reminders if payments are not received.

Prepare for the flood of orders

Your customers are swiftly moving into omnichannel or multi-channel distribution. If business is strong, an increase in order processing will strain your resources. All hell probably breaks loose when orders go up by two or three hundred percent.

Prepare for the huge volumes, inventory allocation by letting WMS help you. You’ll be grinning from ear-to-ear when the money rushes in – rather than pulling your hair out just trying to cope.

Like the Dutch building levees in anticipation of the big floods, you too should get digital help to prevent being drowned by the “big event”.

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