Warehouses have long been the backbone of many businesses, whether manufacturing, retail, or as a supplier to other businesses. Ensuring they operate efficiently is critical to business success, but how has e-commerce brought warehouses into the digital age?

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Streamlining shipping and storage

Like most technologies, those implemented in warehouses are designed to make the job easier and more efficient. As consumers and clients demand an ever-increasing number of delivery options and competition increases, the demand to provide slick, quick delivery is real for most businesses. Increased competition has another knock-on effect, of course – stock loss must be kept to an absolute minimum to maximise profit.

Technology is helping warehouses to manage to their inventory, minimising loss of stock and making it quicker to find items amongst an ever-growing product range. Warehouse operatives today are more likely to been seen sporting a hand-held device than a pile of old-fashioned bin cards. As with all technology, there are myriad options available to warehouses.

Solutions range from simple barcoding systems to complex stock management software that can track stock right from goods in to delivery to the client’s door. These more complex systems can even talk directly with suppliers and consumers in some cases, auto placing orders to suppliers as stock levels fall and notifying customers exactly when their order will be delivered.

No amount of technology can help if your warehouse is unstructured and haphazard, of course, with shelving and racking playing a big part in ensuring the space can be maximised and well organised. If you are looking for industrial shelving in Ireland, companies such as https://www.rackzone.ie/shelving/industrial-residential-shelving supply a wide range at competitive prices.

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What does the future hold?

According to the Financial Times, warehouses will be full of robots fulfilling grocery orders if Ocado’s model is followed; however, this is state-of-the-art technology, with its automation intelligence and collaborative nature, is unlikely to be the norm for every warehouse for some time. More realistic further technology advancements are likely to include improvements to the existing barcode structure, which has been in place for decades, and an increase in the number of wearable tech gadgets available for employees.

It is also likely that warehouses will become more segmented to further improve efficiency and meet the ever-increasing delivery demands of clients and consumers.

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