Is your Supply Chain ready for a Digital Warehouse?

The digitalisation of the Supply Chain (SC) is not new but has become now a new tool to look at. It ...

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Posted by Dave Food on Jul 9, 2019 2:41:40 PM
Dave Food

The digitalisation of the Supply Chain (SC) is not new but has become now a new tool to look at. It merely is an efficient process which gathers different SC processes into digital data, making use of different Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning devices.

The Automated Digital warehouse is recognised for its potential to pull together data from a considerable number of sources, the growth in real-time data, next to the traditional data sources, application competencies, and more alternate-effective routes.  It integrates sensor data from an Automated Storage and Retrieval System AS/RS, then interprets that raw data and combines it into a significant-preventive maintenance use case.

A visual system provides info regarding every piece of equipment in the warehouse system, all in real-time.

Numerous IoT devices are the way in to connect the physical and the digital world. They play a central part in:

  • Maintaining a high level of production while allowing the system to respond in real-time to unanticipated capacity margins.
  • The integration of Real-time Location Systems (RTLS) considerably boosts asset visibility, particularly in huge facilities.
  • Real-time Location System (RTLS) for indoor tracking based on ultra-wideband (UWB) tech that drives results to detect precisely where an individual is at any given time in a facility, and based on it, make decisions in terms of allocating product, deciding specific tasks of each operator, and much more; AI capabilities to optimise labour and space
  • The uncomplicated photoelectric sensors also play a crucial part to inform you if something is present or not, as do the scanners to track and read whatever product on conveyor belts.
  • An ASRS based on a variety of computer-controlled systems for automatically setting and repossessing loads.
  • Sensors that make available information in wireless data transmission.
  • Barcode scanners or ID systems to acknowledge identity or number of products.
  • Data provided by positioning systems, such as the location of a machine or a product; or a sensor that can look along a path to assure safe movements
  • Specialised devices that provide data such as distance or height.
  • A visual system which provides info regarding every piece of equipment within the warehouse system, all in real-time.

The Cold Chain has an efficient use case for Digitisation.   There are sensors placed on pallets of goods; the data from these tags will direct actions at the warehouse level, by readings temperature and humidity.  These sensors have stated rules warehouse workers should follow, alert in case of failure to rapidly notify the manager of an uncommon situation.  The warehouse also uses raw sensor data to support functions such as preventing measures to maintain equipment.

Labour and Resource Management

Labour management is becoming gradually more important, still in highly- automated warehouses, to gather data from workers to determine staffing requirements for uppermost and off-peak episodes. If you want to understand a fulfilment business, you need to understand labour management. This approach helps you determine the spot of incompetence whilst driving significant behavioural changes in the warehouse.

Further comments: Digitalisation does not only involve the Supply Chain but expand to your entire business, encompassing your partners and customers as well. Segment it to avoid complexity.

It covers many of the next generation Supply Chain technologies: Internet of Things, 3D printing, Blockchain, Cloud, Artificial Intelligence, to mention only a few. Not all of them should be part of the digital transformation you are planning for your SC, but think through them as the coming generation of tech leading the world, it will be advisable considering the crucial advantages they bring no matter the time it takes.

Digitalisation implies more than just data but of best practices and processes too to align with digital strategies. It’s strongly recommended that companies take into consideration going back to the basics of SC renovation to get ready for Digitisation. Assess your SC framework for chances to put together better-siloed roles. Then, identify the best point to digitalise, considering your company capabilities, culture and C-suite. Digitalisation is an evolutionary process that will transform supply chains. It is worth the try!

Dave Food

Prophetic Technology


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