Gone are the days of warehouse workers aimlessly puttering around the floor in search of an elusive box or pallet, driving their forklifts in endless circles, only to eventually discover they have to spend an hour moving around other boxes that are in the way of what they need. Thanks to new warehouse technology like warehouse management systems (WMS) and labor management systems (LMS) that are quickly gaining popularity, efficiency and productivity in the warehousing industry are at their peak, and warehouse mishaps are becoming a thing of the past. Due to the productivity perks, large companies with their own warehouses and distribution centers were quick to invest in this technology. Many of the features of these systems have the added benefit of decreasing the chances of product being damaged.
One of the most significant benefits on the WMS side is the ability to recognize the opportunity for a backhaul. Often, the system will redirect workers to pick up an item for replenishment that happens to be on the way back from wherever they’re headed. Another awesome feature employed by some is called “layer picking,” which can lift up entire stacks of boxes at a time, eliminating the need to move boxes one-by-one, which is a lengthier task with a greater risk of a mishap.
By utilizing a LMS in a warehouse, employee productivity skyrockets, too. Managers can directly evaluate employee performance and pinpoint where someone may need more training (in turn, decreasing the risk of an undertrained employee accidentally damaging your product!) They can also determine incentives based on employee-tailored, specific and accurate data, rather than sometimes misleading general averages. By determining the ideal amount of time it should take to complete any given task, the system can be programmed to measure productivity in incredibly accurate ways.
More cool features: an impact tracking system can be implemented that alerts the system every time a truck or forklift runs into an object, leaving the driver accountable and available for coaching if necessary (another way of minimizing risk.) Some of these systems are so intricate that they can honk a loud horn and slow the vehicle down on impact, minimizing damage and bringing attention to the guilty party. Systems like this, when put in place, greatly increase individual worker accountability, and again, keep your product safer by heightening caution.
This is just skimming the surface of warehouse technology, but I’m sure you can see how these new technological advances greatly increase the chances of your product making it out of the warehouse just the way it entered – in tip-top shape! Did you know that Trinity now offers third-party warehousing services? We can help you find a high-tech warehouse that meets your needs. If you’d like to chat with us about it, you can send us an email by clicking here!