• Elisabeth Nebster

IoT is Transforming Warehouses Right Now. See How It Does It

In this Article:

1. IoT for Warehouses: Areas of Usage

2. The Bottom Line

How IoT Can Boost Warehouses in 2022: Use Cases

 

This article highlights core use cases describing how supply chain businesses apply IoT to boost warehouses. During the next few minutes, you will see what IoT features can help you withstand the crisis and remain an innovator.

Today, global logistics and warehousing are going through hard times. The supply chain crisis affected businesses and made managers upgrade their processes in this area to avoid negative consequences. One of the most reliable ways to transform usual approaches is implementing new technology, like IoT.

Well, its capabilities are endless. Perhaps, the Internet of Things can also help supply chain businesses tailor to the new normal and get the most out of it. It is a question we should find the answer to.

Scroll down to discover how you can apply IoT to upgrade your warehouse both as a system and a facility.


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IoT for Warehouses: Areas of Usage

Automation & Connection

A warehouse is a huge hub. Someone brings goods there; someone takes them away. Sometimes thousands of people work in one warehouse. They need to know the location, quality, and quantity of each type of item. The dynamics around this place make accurate, centralized management unachievable. Meanwhile, warehouse operational efficiency depends on the seamless connection of all machines and software solutions supporting it.

IoT managed to change the paradigm. It gathers different equipment and software under one roof. The Internet of Things opens a blue ocean of opportunities for managers since they can run the entire system using the only management point. This approach allows companies to optimize their processes by ensuring their automation. It means lower operational costs as well as higher employee experience and productivity.

IoT Enabled Warehouse Management


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Asset management

A warehouse is a complex of assets that should operate without interruptions. Meanwhile, downtimes remain an expensive weakness for a majority of supply chain companies. Sure, it depends on the business niche, but 98% of organizations say a single hour of downtime costs over $100,000.

IoT can ensure thoughtful asset management due to accurate predictions. The technology allows enterprises to collect real-time data about equipment conditions and receive in-time notifications about any deviations. Data scientists can build data models based on received information to discover how the hardware operation will change over time.

It means that warehouse employees know when each machine will need a repair. This way, they can prevent downtimes, saving costs and business opportunities.


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Employee management

A warehouse is about people. Following The New York Times, about 600-800 employees work in each Amazon warehouse on a typical shift. Their performance is still a core asset since they should manage machines and robots there. How to ensure high productivity while working with a massive group of people?

Due to the Internet of Things, the IT world created the digital twin technology. It's an accurate virtual copy of the existing facility, process, and individual. Yes, it's not a mistake. IoT allows managers to track employee performance using human digital twins. Companies need to use unique bracelets with built-in sensors to set it up. The last ones can define employee location inside the warehouse, type of activity, and health conditions.

Sometimes, these data show managers the bigger picture even better than KPIs. Human digital twins enable companies to discover the level of staff performance and the reasons for its reduction.

The moral aspect of such tracking remains a question because it's a sort of an invasion of privacy. Meanwhile, this approach is efficient, that's why its popularity is growing.


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Facility management

A warehouse is a building first. Like any other facility, it should be convenient for employees and suitable for goods placed there. IoT-based sensors and devices allow companies to ensure warehouse relevancy by:

  • appropriate utility management

  • reducing energy and water consumption

  • keeping a required temperature and humidity to comply with storage conditions

  • creating a favorable, safe environment for employee wellbeing

Together, these capabilities help enterprises remain sustainable, take care of their staff, and make business based on a steady turnover of high-quality items.


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The Bottom Line

Implementing any Industry 4.0 technology, including the Internet of Things, creates a robust base for implementing software innovations. Enterprises usually begin with IoT and AI to perform robotization, apply the above digital twin or AR/VR in the future.

IoT opens opportunities for improving the assortment management process inside the warehouse, shows ways to boost supply chain routes, and helps companies create excellent employee experience and engagement.


To get the most out of the Internet of Things, enterprises need a platform that will be a “glue” for all systems, machines, and people inside a warehouse. If you’re looking for such a solution, let us know. Our experts will share their knowledge and experience to help you create an IoT management platform faster with the XME.fast code platform.

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