Explained: IoT Implications in Warehouse Management

IoT Implications in Warehouse Management

It’s no news that the Internet of Things (IoT) has an imminent role in almost all industry verticals and modern warehouses are certainly one of them. It helps automate various warehouse operations such as goods receiving, packaging, kitting, inbound and outbound logistics, and supply chain networks employing devices and the latest RFIDs.

IoT has brought about a rapid revolution in warehouse management, inventory management, and global supply chain management. In this blog, we’ll understand how this evolution of modern warehouse management will unfold. Let’s get started!

What is IoT?

IoT is a system embedded with sensors, software, and the latest tech, connected with the internet transferring data using networking without any manipulations of human or human to computer interactions.

It is a network of equipment comprising mobiles, headphones, and wearable gadgets. It detects, monitors, and reports information received, status, and acts based on data. IoT devices include security systems, remote health monitoring, emergency notification systems, etc.

IoT Applications in Warehouse Management Systems

IoT Applications in Warehouse Management Systems

The power of IoT solutions is applied by utilizing smart devices with software integrations leading to simplification of critical order management processes, removing the need for manual planning of location, and generating reports by developing a direct interface with the warehouse management system.

Let’s understand IoT applications playing a crucial role in today’s modern warehouses.

  1. Asset Tracking:

IoT in Warehouse Management Solution (WMS) helps companies with:

  • Real-time data: location, packing, shipment, transportation data
  • Instant updates: no loss of assets
  • Personnel position in real-time

2. Asset Management:

  • Manage inventory: intelligent equipment like shelf sensors and asset sensors enable quick and easy finding and streamline inventory management.
  • Out-of-stock notification helps take appropriate action when stock is about to get over.
  • IoT devices help in the transportation and return of the cargo as you can have accurate asset data, condition, and location with the help of IoT devices.

3. Inventory Optimization:

IoT provides means for detailed data Analytics that help develop future business strategies and plans. Below are the most substantial benefits of IoT when it comes to inventory management in a warehouse:

  • Real-time monitoring: IoT WMS monitor actions and process all data.
  • Forecast demands, what works, scheduling inventory, and what does not work
  • Optimization of operation and warehouse space
  • Decreases the time needed to locate products in the warehouse

4. Predictive Maintenance:

IoT sensors help warehouse managers maintain and optimize the optimum production level and minimize costing and downtime.

  • Monitor working of the equipment and their working conditions
  • Powerful machine learning: Algorithms help in the management of operational equipment data
  • Prevention of breakdowns of machines like forklifts and machines that handle equipment

5. Automation:

Automation of warehouse operations prevents long hours of manual monitoring and reporting.

  • IoT verifies shipping, tracking, and other services.
  • IoT helps to monitor all products and save data recorded in warehouses or data units.
  • Automated tracing reduces management responsibilities and human error to aid efficient working.

Benefits of IoT-Enabled Warehouse Management Systems

To stay ahead in the competition, businesses need to meet the ever-shifting and more demanding demands of customers. Warehouse management solutions are efficient for providing customers with the right product at the right time.

The proliferation of IoT has changed warehouse management and operations quickly. It makes supply chain operation seamless and eliminates third-party entities. Here’s how IoT implementation in a warehouse helps you stay a step ahead of your competitors:

  1. Boosts Overall Efficiency

IoT devices with WMS lead to SMART WMS because it increases operations and processing speeds to facilitate efficient working of the warehouse.

2. Real-time tracking: Inbound and Outbound

The usage of sensors is used to track and transmit real-time data and follow and monitor the movement of all materials inbound and outbound of the facilities. Plus, you don’t lose track of anything as it is constantly updated.

3. Enhanced Visibility

The IoT gives an adequate support system to WMS, which helps to gain comprehensive information about supply and demand. IoT improves and enhances the visualization of operation and the logistics cycle based on the current market status by providing advanced analytics and insights.

4. Automation

Automation with various equipment and devices helps avoid long manual hours of monitoring and reporting. In addition, operations automation leads to error-free and more employee morale-boosting.

5. Improved Inventory Management

RFIDS, Beacons, sensors, clever racks, containers, and pallets assist in locating, managing, and finding goods in the warehouse. Off-stock products are known to be well notified, and this helps in inventory planning.

Data analytics helps develop strategic plans, schedule, and optimize warehouse space for optimal usage.

6. Reduced Costing

IoT warehouse solutions help companies reduce costs with proper maintenance of devices and equipment. As per the demands, the goods are stored and dispatched. Thus, there is less likely wastage of resources, which results in increased revenues and decreased expenses of a business.

7. Better Risk Management

IoT implications in WMS solutions assist the business in decreasing risks, downtime, and prevention of accidents as it performs predictive maintenance and gives an early warning for any defects in equipment.

IoT & WMS Integrations By Leading Companies

IoT & WMS Integrations By Leading Companies

Amazon Warehouse Automation: A semi-automated warehouse of Amazon has robots working with staff. IoT enabled warehouses have basic activities carried out by tech, such as reading bar codes and moving goods. The sorting and moving of complicated forms is part of human work.

Amazon has hundreds of people and 400 robots. Neither are short of work, but the overall efficiency of Amazon and its warehouse is an example world over.

DHL: It is the leading global business in the logistics industry. DHL has an extensive range of IoT devices at its warehouses. They use robots, autonomous vehicles, drones, etc., enabling store managers to identify products and sort through parcels.

Alibaba: Alibaba has developed a complete robotic warehouse with 700 robots moving parcels, delivering products, and handling supply chain management. This has ensured speedy and bug-free shipments and saved time.

Final Words

A warehouse Manager’s greatest challenge is when there is not enough data available to make an informed decision. Updating Warehouse management with IoT devices helps improve overall efficiency, bringing better tracking, tracing, quality control, and business compliance.

IoT implementation by the business must consider investment cost, scalability, and security within their warehouse management system. As the cost of IoT devices continues to decrease, its implementation is rapidly becoming an efficient and cost-effective solution.



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Pratik Rupareliya

Pratik Rupareliya

Techno-commercial leader heading Intuz as head of Strategy.