Technologies that can take your warehouse to the next level

Technologies that can take your warehouse to the next level

At this moment, the commerce is going through a period of transition. Almost all major retailers are turning their attention to e-commerce platforms that are accessible 24/7/365. As a result, it has become essential for warehouses to streamline their operations. In addition to this, new challenges are constantly emerging, the migration of labor to the west and the importation of workers of different nationalities would be the ones that are giving warehouses the biggest headaches lately.

Technology can be our basic ally, both on the road to modernization and in overcoming the obstacles that inevitably appear all the time.

For this reason we decided to present you some technologies that can help your warehouses become more efficient, more profitable and more productive. By adopting and integrating them into your warehouse operations, your business can be better prepared to meet the current demands of the market and therefore to serve better your customers.


1. Barcode & Scanner technology

The barcode is a representation of data, intended to be read optically by using wired or wireless reader equipment (scanners). Barcode labels are used in the warehouse to quickly identify any material or device, from stored products, shelves, rooms, fixed assets, inventory items, documents and even machinery. There are even some special labels for outdoor spaces or environments with special conditions.

Bar codes can encode any kind of information consisting of numbers or letters: product name, manufacturer's name, batch number, expiration date, etc.

Bar codes are decoded with the help of 1D or 2D scanners (QR Code, DataMatrix, etc.) that measure the light reflection, interpret the codes into numbers and letters and send them to a computer for management.

The advantages of using barcode technology are real-time visibility of data flows, reduction of human errors and shortening of operating time.


2. Mobile Terminals

Mobile terminals are small computing devices that are used by a user to send and receive information conveniently anywhere in the warehouse. Among the processes in the warehouse that benefit from the use of mobile terminals are: picking, packing, loading, sorting. Their use in warehouses increases operational efficiency because it eliminates the need to walk to a workstation, resulting in less work time. In addition, the ability to access data in real time, regardless of location, allows warehouse personnel to be more agile and faster in decision making.


3. Business Intelligence and predictive analytics

Business Intelligence is a technology that collects, analyzes and presents data in a compact and easy-to-read format. It is a particularly useful tool for operational managers, it helps them analyze problems and identify solutions, so they can make decisions in a timely manner and, above all, in an informed manner. On the other hand, Predictive Analytics is a technology that uses many techniques such as statistics, data mining, predictive modeling, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to determine patterns and trends in current data and predict possible outcomes.


4. Voice Technology

Voice technology is a solution designed especially for warehouses. It helps to optimize warehouse workflows. Its use greatly reduces warehouse management time. It has the great advantage that it can be combined with other technologies and devices you already have in your warehouse and easily connects with your WMS or ERP system. Thus, the tasks of selection, supply and storage are generated by the central system (WMS or ERP) and transmitted wirelessly to the mobile terminals of the operators.


5. AGV (Automated Guided Vehicles)

They are portable machines that navigate by themselves using stickers, radio waves, cameras, wires, magnets or lasers. This technology is most often used to transport raw materials, work in progress and finished products around the warehouse. In addition, AGVs are equipped with GPS that allows operators to most accurately direct the vehicle to the exact location where they need to pick up or drop off their cargo. Warehouses equipped with AGVs are much more efficient compared to traditional warehouses because they can semi-automate monotonous and time-consuming tasks and processes. Along with semi-automated processes in the warehouse, AGVs can operate 24/7 and on demand at constant speed and accuracy because they are not entirely dependent on humans to operate.


6. RFID Radio-Frequency-Identification - Radio-frequency identification

It is an advanced wireless technology that allows the unique identification of an object, animal or person using data transmitted via radio waves. RFID is a combination of various technologies generically known as Automatic Identification and Data Capture (or AIDC). The AIDC technique can automatically identify products, collect data and input the collected data directly into a computer, where the required human intervention remains minimal or even works without human input. Unlike conventional vision-based barcode reading technology, RFID does not need to read a code to identify objects. Because of this, RFID systems can easily track a variety of products throughout the supply chain with the utmost promptness and accuracy.


7. Robotics

Robotics is an interdisciplinary branch of engineering that deals with the design, construction, operation and use of robots that can be programmed to perform manual processes in the warehouse, while automation is a set of operations that can be performed autonomously with minimum or no human help. Because warehouses are predominantly repeatable and error-prone processes, robotics and automation are crucial to streamlining operations. Robots have the ability to take over repetitive tasks from humans and make a warehouse operation more consistent, efficient, and accurate. In addition, employee hiring and retention rates can also improve as repetitive tasks are transferred to robots, thus making warehouse staff feel more fulfilled and efficient while tackling various other operational roles, in who can bring more input. The price of robots is decreasing, their programming has become simpler, and the number of applications they can be used for is constantly increasing.


Total Technologies has all these technologies in its portfolio. Don't hesitate to ask for a consultation to find out exactly what technology suits your business better, how you can implement it and how it can help you take your warehouse to the next level. Our consultants are always at your disposal.