The challenge of introducing IoT connected devices inside the warehouse is related to its massive amount of inventory, equipment, and workers involved in a warehouse operation. The warehouse is a potential trending platform to introduce leading technologies that will enhance the productivity of warehouse operations.
Internet of Things is a network of interconnected physical objects which is seamlessly connected to the internet to form an ecosystem of smart objects that can capture real-time feeds, monitor, and track the product in the warehouse. This crucial information is consolidated through multiple transmitting devices such as RFID, GPS, infrared, temperature, humidity, and pressure. The linked devices and sensors can help to intelligently plan inventory, space utilization, warehouse movement, and end-to-end warehouse operation. The smart warehouse is accomplished by utilizing every square meter effectively and efficiently.
IoT application in warehouse :
RFID tags can store much more information than a simple barcode. The tags can provide product name, size, type, manufacturer, dates, and serial numbers. Advanced RFID tags also can provide an accurate location through the connectivity of GPS. This information can be utilized by the manager to monitor the level of inventory stocks, order movement, and forecast the order shipment rates. These lead to determine proper space utilization and intelligently plan warehouse layout.
IoT can gather critical information from wearables. The wearables are equipped with multiple sensors including GPS, heart rate monitoring, image sensing, RFID scanner and much more. These can help the warehouse manager to assign the task to their workers effectively. The wearable is capable of assessment of individual employee productivity and can provide training through devices to seasonal employees on the floor. Additionally, heart rate sensors can monitor the employee’s heartbeat and ensure that employees are not exhausted. Through monitoring and tracking, all employees on the floor can boost efficiency and safety in real-time.
Benefits of IoT in WMS :
Real-time Inventory tracking and asset management
The IoT enhances the visibility of each item stored in the warehouse and provides insight to the manager about material movement, material location, and material status. The sensor attached to the shelves can distribute information to the manager about inventory management and worker for material pick-up. IoT eliminates the time wasted in locating the product and significantly improves employee performance and can help in improving warehouse utilization by detecting inventory levels and warehouse space.
Better customer engagement
IoT can provide unified warehouse visibility that can transit real-time product availability, stock, and order status to the customer, indirectly enhancing customer satisfaction. The data collected from the IoT device can support the warehouse manager and production heads to make an intelligent decision by accurately forecasting production demand. With quick access to information about the inventory and future demand, the warehouse can offer customers faster delivery and product availability.
In warehouse management, IoT can detect risk and avoid an accident that can lead to a breakdown in a warehouse operation. Data ingested from multiple sources such as in-ward inventory, in-house inventory, and last-mile deliveries can be combined to minimize the risk of product theft, adulteration, and spoilage.
The Internet of Things and mobile technology has revealed the flexibility, transparency, visibility, predictability in the warehouse. In terms of productivity and performance, the warehouse will gain a significant amount of profits, and externally can enhance customer satisfaction.