Safety and speed. These are two critical terms that warehouse managers want to keep at the forefront of their operations. But, it’s often hard to keep employees safe at all times, with large equipment and moving parts.
And, it is tough for managers to maximize speed in operation, to ensure optimal efficiency when they have to worry about maintaining a safe workplace for their staff. With new technologies, distribution is not only more reliable, but it is also more efficient as well.
So, what can companies do, and which warehouse technologies are helping maximize efficiency while keeping the warehouse workspace safe?
These are a few of the many ways in which technologies are making organizations safer, while maximizing their workload, in the warehouse setting.
Improved warehouse design is critical to safety and operability. New designs today implement the use of
- Space-saving technologies
- Finding the optimal warehouse layout
- Optimizing hidden storage spaces and compartments
- Using new technologies to determine where to store products in the warehouse
It’s possible to create the most efficient warehouse design for machines and humans to work side by side together.
This not only ensures operations are smooth and seamless, but when everyone is where they are supposed to be within the warehouse setting, it is also going to make it far more efficient and more comfortable to move around the space, to speed up processes that take place throughout the course of the day.
Utilizing Handheld Devices
On construction sites, in warehouses, or in areas with machinery, we never anticipated it would be okay to use handheld devices, let alone safe. Not only is it safe, but it is also helping to improve safety and efficiency in the warehouse setting.
Barcode scanners, RFID, GPS, and other tracking devices are highly used in warehouses. These systems make it faster to track and count inventory. They also allow employees to input immediately when something is out of stock.
It eliminates the need to look down, write, and manually count items. All of this helps to speed up the process at which work is getting done. And, by taking employees out of danger zones or high traffic areas in the warehouse, it is also going to make the space safer and more efficient to operate in.
Using Robots And Drones
Robots and drones are fast, efficient, and eliminate the need for humans to do dangerous tasks in the warehouse. For example, a drone can pick up an item that is 200 feet in the air quickly and easily. This would require a human having to climb a ladder or use electric lifts.
Although it’s still safe if the human is paying attention, errors can always occur. And, when people aren’t careful, this is when injuries take place.
Robots and drones can also maintain track of items neatly. So, things that are on the floor, out of order, or out of their proper location, can quickly be returned.
In addition to eliminating the possibility of tripping (or other injuries), this also maximizes efficiency, as the item is where it has to be, so you won’t have to go out looking for it in a vast warehouse setting when it’s needed.
Implementing Pick By Voice
What’s pick by voice? This is where organizations are using drones and robots, or other driverless forklifts and equipment, to pick inventory and drop it off.
Using RFID and GPS tracking in these systems, managers and warehouse workers can use their voice to enable picking up items for packing. This helps make the workplace safer by
- Reducing walking/movement (employees know exactly where things are)
- Improving efficiency in the workspace as it keeps inventory organized
And, it’s obviously going to make the workplace more efficient, as it eliminates having to look up barcodes or tracking numbers manually. The work is already done for the employee or the machine that will be collecting the inventory.
JD Edwards Managed Services can help improve your organization’s warehouse management. With the latest technologies, keeping up with industry trends, and real-time information, we can help your organization better streamline its operations in warehouse settings, to maximize efficiency, while keeping workers safe.
Learn more about our services and how we can help improve productivity, while minimizing waste within your company’s culture.
Chris Giarratana is the co-founder of StrategyBeam, an Orlando marketing agency, where he works with small businesses. He specializes in SEO marketing, Google AdWords management, and copywriting services.