Technology is essential in the manufacturing industry. Read this blog to discover top trends and how it helps with warehouse automation and management.

Technology is continually progressing in the field of warehousing and logistics, particularly in the domain of warehouse automation and management 

The trends shaping this discipline are also changing, and being updated with these innovations can help you edge the competition.

Why is warehouse automation and management important?

Warehouse automation and management plays a significant role in today’s supply chain. It provides cost-efficient solutions by simplifying decision-making about the transportation of goods.

  • Streamlines order processing – Warehouses are often busy with goods coming in and out round the clock. Unfortunately, this can cause confusion and picking errors when things get too hectic. Automation provides more accuracy in order fulfillment because it lessens human errors while increasing overall efficiency.   
  • Makes customer service more transparent – A proper warehouse automation and management system can keep track of stocks and pinpoint the precise status of a particular order within the supply chain. This access to information allows for better communication and transparency with customers. 
  • Achieves better scheduling accuracy – Software and robotics efficiently manage material flow, conveyor and sortation systems, the transport and loading of commodities, etc. The technology furnishes orders within the designated delivery period.  
  • Increases efficiency of inventory management – Automated warehouses have greater inventory control. As such, managing, tracking, and moving supplies are efficient. Automation also results in good space utilization through vertical storage, without needing large aisles for people and cars to pass through.

8 Trends in Warehouse Automation and Management

These trends are shaping the future of warehouse automation and management.

1. Increased drone utilization

Drones are no longer limited to outdoor flights; automated warehouses are starting to use them in managing inventory and automating processes such as cycle counting.

Drones linked to a cloud-based warehouse management system (WMS) make data collection quicker, as they can scan and count merchandise. By 2027, the drone market will likely increase by $29 billion, with an estimated 20% annual growth rate

2. More use of automation storage and retrieval systems

Automation storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) increase picking accuracy levels, improve ergonomics, and provide real-time inventory control while maximizing the storage density of the warehouse. These systems come in the form of automated carousels, shuttles, and vertical lift modules.

The 2019 AS/RS market was approximately $7,351 million. This figure may rise to $12,928 million by 2027 at a 7.2% CAGR.

3. Amplified role of robotics 

Robotics are prevalent in warehouse automation and management, but cobots are a great addition. Lighter, more compact, and easily programmable compared to robots, cobots can complement human labor, increase safety and comfort, improve accuracy, and perform other tasks simultaneously. 

In 2021, the Warehouse Robotics Market was worth $9.88 billion. It will likely grow at a CAGR of 15.33% from 2022–2027, with an astounding value of $23.09 billion by 2027.

4. Exploration of voice-picking solutions 

Voice-picking helps lower employee distraction, reduce errors, and increase efficiency when picking inventory. This innovative device can connect to a warehouse’s ERP or WMS and give verbal instructions to pickers through a headset. The $1.19 billion market for voice-picking solutions worldwide in 2018 may post a CAGR of 14.7% from 2019 to 2025.

5. The steady rise of the Internet of Things

Warehouse automation and management consist of various equipment, with the Internet of Things (IoT) linking these devices and systems to enable smooth communication. Through IoT, managers can oversee and control everything, from production and inventory to order fulfillment. The IoT market may rise gradually at a CAGR of 15% from 2021 to 2031, with a projected value of $15 billion.

6. More ERP integrations

Numerous companies consider inventory and distribution vital functions. With the help of ERP systems, warehouse supervisors can access real-time data about operations. The result is better management of 

accounting, sales, and other departments and procedures. As such, you can expect more ERP integrations with warehouse automation and management systems.

7. Harnessed power of the blockchain 

Blockchain technology helps warehouse automation and management by allowing seamless data access, transfer, and sharing via a shared digital ledger. Its immutable records are also great for security and auditing. The value of blockchain technology in the supply chain management market was $262.9 million in 2021. This trend could have a 51.3% CAGR to $3.15 billion by 2028.

8. Improved processes with ML and AI

Machine learning is naturally part of warehouse automation and management, but AI enhances it. ML and AI combined can learn from experience and be flexible with changes to improve decision-making and performing tasks. Warehouses with integrated AI-enabled supply-chain management have reported better service levels by 65%, inventory levels by 35%, and logistics costs by 15%. 

Endless Possibilities with Warehouse Automation and Management 

There is a growing demand in the warehouse industry, making technology essential and beneficial. Your business can lead the competition by adopting various trends or utilizing innovative solutions like cloud ERP.

Acumatica’s warehouse management system is an excellent tool in the manufacturing industry, as it can automate multiple business operations. To learn more about warehouse automation and management, schedule a consultation with an expert from Yondu.