In recent times, e-commerce has experienced a boom in business as more consumers and retailers take their activities online. Behind the scenes of the e-commerce industry is the art of warehouse management. Effective warehouse management will have a direct impact on the time taken for goods to be shipped, and therefore the time it takes for goods to reach the hands of customers. This is a crucial part of the supply chain equation for the successful shipment of goods around the world.
As such, the role of the warehouse manager is extremely important, and therefore stressful. With the increase of high demand order and shorter fulfilment timeframes, any errors or delays in the warehouse can result in customer dissatisfaction, which affects the company’s brand image and revenue. As such, the warehouse management piece needs to be streamlined, well-organised and optimised.
When dealing with large volume orders, spreadsheets alone are definitely not enough. Integrating warehouse management technologies can make your operations more time, manpower and cost effective. One of such future-thinking technologies are Augmented Reality (AR) Warehouse Management technologies.
Types of AR Warehouse Management Technologies
1. Warehouse Planning: Optimize the use of warehouse space with the help of a 3D interactive layout
2. Inventory Management: Manage stocks digitally, and more accurately
3. Order Picking: Locate and deploy products in a timely and effective manner
Warehouse space is one of the key components of any successful warehouse management. Though business is conducted online, warehouse managers are acutely aware of how the physical space constraints can play into inventory issues and therefore revenue figures.
Furthermore, warehouses are not just a glorified garage. Some warehouses incorporate other services such as product assembly, quality control and even repair work. These value-added services are part of the supply chain ecosystem, and take up additional storage space in the warehouse. Having the right strategy to utilize space in a way that is effective both physically and operationally can have far reaching impacts on the business.
A physical floorplan of the space does not account for the vertical space management strategies that warehouse managers need to consider. As such, a 3D interactive layout with the use of AR Robotics and Automation can help managers to visualize the spaces with greater clarity. Through the use of AR glasses, the warehouse managers can see, in the right scale, the best spatial planning strategies to employ.
Inventory management is critical for any retail business, from your mom-and-pop shop to global e-commerce businesses. Traditional paper-based stocktaking methods may be sufficient for a small retail store, but even a well formulated spreadsheet may not be able to support the inventory management of goods in a warehouse.
In order to prevent human errors and stock mishaps, managers and staff members can use AR to take stock hands-free. The AR glasses can provide detailed information on the stock information, and connect the task to the location where the goods are stored. This provides a great physical-digital connection that can speed up the process of inventory management.
Though this sounds simple enough, but a missing link or error in the order picking process can create problems down the line for the business. Essentially, order picking is about taking the right product at the right time. With increasing consumer demands in shipping times (think one day shipping), streamlining your order picking process can be the deal breaker between you and your competitor.
Warehouses typically use barcode scanners to identify products. Though this eliminated many human errors in the manual picking of orders, it was still time consuming and labour intensive.
AR technology can simplify this process further.
Agile Automated Storage And Retrieval System (aASRS), developed by AR Robotics and Automation Pte Ltd is a multi-pick robot system to improve productivity, efficiency and mobility at your warehouse. aASRS robot travels freely between warehouse racking and workstation, while integrating with existing WMS product identifier barcoding system to boost operational accuracy. It is an Intelligent Warehouse Management System that combines the computing prowess of effective Fleet Management and Scheduling, Control and Algorithm Platform, Intelligent Device/Equipment Interface and Big Data Analysis for an optimal operating environment.
Speak to our team if you’d like to find out how you can integrate these forward-looking technologies into your operations, and watch our Agile Automated Storage and Retrieval System (aASRS) in action.