Zebra-Warehouse-Q3C1-eBook_Mockup-(EN) Honeywell-Warehouse-Q3C1-eBook-Mockup-(EN)

Warehouse 4.0: Accelerating Innovation November 10th, 2021

Warehouse 4.0: Accelerating Innovation

New challenges require new solutions – and solutions providers who can tailor them to business needs.

Warehouses and distribution centers (DCs) are meeting new challenges head-on by driving progress toward Warehouse 4.0 operations. First, global e-commerce has sharply increased since early 2020, and analysts predict continued growth at a CAGR of 14.7 percent through 2027. This rise in e-commerce translates into greater demands on warehouses and DCs to pick, pack, and ship more orders quickly and accurately. Second, even though demand and throughput have grown significantly, consumers still expect the same – or a higher – level of service. Some customers in competitive markets now expect next-day or even same-day service. Zebra-Warehouse-Q3C1-eBook_Mockup-(EN)

Additionally, increased demand has driven some DCs to "divide and conquer." Instead of one regional distribution center, businesses have changed their strategies to favor multiple micro-fulfillment centers that use existing space in stores or other facilities and give organizations the ability to process orders more quickly. Automation technology takes the micro-fulfillment center to new levels, increasing speed, efficiency – and customer satisfaction.

The rise of technologies that transform legacy DCs into Warehouse 4.0 operations coinciding with the change in consumer behaviors has created a lightning-in-a-bottle moment for resellers ready to seize the opportunity and deliver the solutions warehouses and DCs are looking for.

Warehouse 4.0 Technology

Businesses advancing their roadmaps toward building a warehouse 4.0 operation can leverage various technologies to automate and digitize processes. Consider expanding your portfolio to include:

  • IoT
    Internet of Things (IoT) systems allow warehouses and DCs to create interconnected networks that share data from equipment monitoring, asset location, and pallet or package tracking. IoT increases visibility across the operation, enables automation by feeding data streams to edge devices, and enhances safety by sensing and alerting employees to potential dangers.
  • Robots
    Operations can overcome labor shortages or other factors standing in the way of improved KPIs by deploying robots. Robots can provide value across an organization, from picking and transporting products to packing them and staging them for shipment. For example, collaborative robots, or "co-bots," save workers' steps by following or meeting them as they pick and then transporting products. Additionally, automated guided vehicles can navigate the warehouse independently and perform tasks that enhance speed, accuracy, and productivity, and drones can fly between aisles, reading barcodes and collecting data to provide real-time inventory data with little or no human intervention.
  • Smart Technologies
    In addition to powering robots, artificial intelligence (AI) can also help employees perform their jobs better. For example, vision picking combines machine learning and augmented reality to guide pickers with visual cues provided via smart glasses. AI can also optimize storage for perishable items and quickly analyze data from multiple sources to predict demand or bring trends or other insights to the forefront.
  • Mobile Devices and Wearables
    In a Warehouse 4.0 connected environment, people are essential parts of the network. So keep them connected – and keep their hands free – with wearables and ergonomic mobile devices. Examples include voice headsets, wearable computers, and wrist, ring, or glove scanners.

The Demand for Warehouse 4.0 Solutions Providers
To achieve the 4.0 vision, warehouses will need to do more than deploy technology. They will need purpose-built solutions that address their business needs. Even if warehouse operators are tech-savvy, they may not have the expertise or resources to implement advanced technologies that automate receiving processes, improve materials moving speed, increase picking accuracy, and multiply throughput, even during a labor shortage. They will turn to solutions providers with knowledge of warehouse operations to build systems to solve their pain points.  Honeywell-Warehouse-Q3C1-eBook-Mockup-(EN)

Warehouses and DCs also need your expertise to implement systems that can grow with their businesses and integrate with new supply chain partners and new technologies as they become available. As a result, your clients will be more likely to invest in flexible solutions with long lives rather than one they'll need to rip and replace when technology advances or operations change again to align with customer expectations and demand.

Your industry knowledge, experience, and network of vendors and partners uniquely position you to deliver Warehouse 4.0 systems and build sticky, long-lasting relationships that help you grow your client base and your business.

Warehouses and distribution centers need your help now. Don't miss this opportunity.




Zebra-Warehouse-Q3C1-eBook_Mockup-(EN) Honeywell-Warehouse-Q3C1-eBook-Mockup-(EN)