How Can Wireless Technology Change Warehousing Practices?

 Wireless technology has revolutionized every aspect of modern life. From implantable medical devices that send data to doctors miles away, to augmented reality games we play on our cell phones, wireless technology is the foundation of modern communication.

Warehouses have been using it for decades, but innovations continue in the industry. Here is a look at how new wireless technology can change warehousing practices.

Private Wireless Networks Support Increased Automation

WiFi has some severe limitations in a warehouse environment. Some warehouses find their WiFi networks insufficient to allow them to use technology to their best advantage. There are often blind spots, where metal shelving and other obstructions prevent the signal from penetrating and interfere with operations.

Private wireless networks could offer the solution. They have better signal penetration than WiFi and work well even when connected devices are in motion. WiFi works best when the connected devices are stationary. Finally, private wireless networks can work with several thousand devices per cell, whereas WiFi can support only a dozen or so devices per access point.

Warehouses that are free of WiFi’s limitations could increase their investment in autonomous robots, automated storage and retrieval systems, and digital twins to enable customers to track shipments in real time throughout the supply chain. These innovations could significantly reduce costs and increase customer satisfaction.

IoT Leads to Increased Efficiency

The Internet of Things (IoT) works in tandem with cloud computing to allow machines to communicate with each other without human intervention or supervision. Machines and goods equipped with sensors can relay information to each other and base their decisions upon it. The IoT has a huge role to play in warehousing and throughout the logistics industry.

The IoT is taking over many warehouse management functions like inventory control, ordering, and tracking deliveries and shipments. IoT could also track human assets, providing real-time information on someone’s location and productivity. Space optimization and environmental control are other IoT functions that are highly useful in a warehouse setting. IoT could tell workers or machines where to place inventory in order to make the most efficient use of space. It can also ensure that temperature and ventilation are optimal for perishable goods.

Supply Chain 4.0 Puts It All Together

The combination of increased automation, digitization, more robust telecom networks, and the IoT creates Supply Chain 4.0. As these new wireless technologies develop, the entire supply chain will communicate in real time, warehouse processes will be largely autonomous, and AI will provide self-optimizing systems.

Supply Chain 4.0 will utilize 4.9G and 5G networks to support drones and smart glasses that increase picking and packing efficiency by using augmented reality, hands-free searches, and other technologies. Warehouses adopting these strategies could speed delivery and increase the percentage of perfect orders, thereby increasing customer satisfaction.

Supply chain 4.0 uses historical data and predictive algorithms to enable more nimble responses to customer demands and supply chain disruptions. Elastic logistics allows greater flexibility and resilience.

Take Advantage of Developing Technologies With a Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Provider

As the brave new world of wireless technology continues to develop at a breakneck pace, small to mid-size warehousing operations might fear being left behind. Many such companies lack the financial resources or human expertise to adopt these new technologies.

Teaming up with a 3PL provider might be the answer. A 3PL provider has access to the most modern technology, scalable and customizable to suit your needs. Reach out today to find out how a 3PL provider could bring the future of wireless technology to your facility today.

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