We feel that we’ve brought a lot to the warehouse space in 2016 , and along with our partners and clients we’ve learnt a lot about what will be shaping the industry in the coming year.
Technology is becoming increasingly integral to the warehouse space. At the start of the decade lots of warehouses might have shunned the words cloud and mobile but these have shown to have brought about a measurable impact on productivity for early adopters.
Now those technological trends are common place and the supply chain is faster and more efficient because of it. However, technology hasn’t slowed down or stagnated. We are constantly seeing breakthroughs in technology that will define the warehouse space in the next five, ten, twenty years and beyond.
With this in mind we look at some of the top warehouse trends for the year ahead:
Integration will remain integral
As technology has become more sophisticated it has made it easier to integrate different tools to accommodate the entire warehouse workflow. Open source platforms possess the ability to connect your entire warehouses’ systems easily and this is allowing businesses to grow faster. It means employees have quicker access to better data, as it is easily distributed across the entire warehouse. Real-time data across integrated systems has removed the painless process of searching across different platforms and brought each area of the warehouse closer together.
The cloud will become the right choice for your data
Cloud providers have robust security mechanisms in place that are constantly being improved through things like pattern matching technology and AI systems. As this InfoWorld article suggests, the public cloud is becoming an increasingly safer place than your traditional data centre. Choosing the right security for your warehouse operations is integral, as any breach can result in the suspension of operations that could last days. With three quarters of all Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) projected to be in the cloud by 2020, we expect many more businesses to move to the cloud in 2017.
Shopping holidays will continue to put a strain on logistics
The shipping crunch during the holiday period is one every e-commerce and multi-channel retailer knows too well. Retailers of all types have tuned into this and have taken steps to avoid a scenario like in 2013 where an estimated two million packages were delivered late. Multi-channel retailers are expected to continue investing in fulfilment technologies as they ramp up their competition with pureplay e-commerce companies, as shown by this recent market study on fulfilment technologies from the ARC advisory group.
Home delivery will take to the sky
We saw Amazon trial their first home delivery drone flight in the UK, just last week. Then you have operators like DHL who are investing in drone solutions as they look to the future. Even large auto manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz are getting in on the act with electric, networked vans that launch drones from their rooftop. Although this technology is still in its infancy, we expect it to make more of a splash in the next year.
P.S. to celebrate that fact we’re giving one lucky winner the chance to win a camera enabled drone. Click here to enter.
As with 2016, the year ahead will see more and more warehouses adapt to technology and try to integrate their systems. As the cloud comes more and more into focus, and technology continues to evolve rapidly it will be an interesting year ahead, and one we can’t wait to be a part of!