Warehouse’s have come a long way since their first introduction during the industrial era. However with the introduction of the internet we have seen a rapid change in the speed in which things are demanded, largely effecting warehouses. How have warehouses and warehouse management systems been able to keep up with this ever increasing speed?
Recently due to advancements in technology we have seen vast changes in equipment and procedures used in warehouse management. A piece written by Steve Banker of Forbes (linked here) goes into discussion of the impact of new “smart” forklifts. What is an “smart” forklift though? Well Banker describes some of it’s features as anti-slip technology, speed controls (both for forks themselves and general movement), and GPS locators that allow workers to skip the step of scanning every pallet that they pick up. Largely these new forklifts have increased warehouse productivity, which of course leads to higher profits and happier customers.
So what’s the downside? This new equipment has made warehouses more efficient, but the technology has changed so fast that not everyone is caught up. As Banker mentions in his article many people have not had time to change their warehouse management systems to adjust to the new smarter equipment they now have. Translating to lost potential of some machines, because they are being implemented with systems designed for older equipment. Some features are being used but with a new management system they could reach their full potential and capacity. Now comes the hard part for these companies, determining how to change their warehouse management system. That is a task that is different for each company and needs some serious thinking time.
How has the internet and new technology revolutionized your work place? Do you agree that management needs to change as we get more tech savvy? What can management do to change as technology changes? Please give us your opinions!
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