If you are a supply chain executive, you know the drill. You’ve been under consistent pressure to reduce costs and achieve more with fewer resources to meet the growing demands of customers.
2022 will be no different and might even be more challenging, especially in a post-Covid ecosystem.
Your challenges remain the same:
- First, you need to improve your warehouse performance continuously.
- Second, you need to ensure maximum uptime.
- Third, you need to get products to even more demanding customers faster.
To help you navigate the increasingly complex world of warehousing, we have curated three of the top (and perhaps quirky) warehousing trends in 2022 that could affect how you conduct your operations in the future. We found them to be insightful and hope they will be helpful to you so that you can create a warehouse of which you can be proud.
1. Going Green
The South African warehousing industry is constantly under pressure to adhere to world standards when it comes to going green and saving the planet (and rightly so).
When it comes to going green, the South African warehousing fraternity can undoubtedly be at the forefront of this movement, which many of our customers are. They’re already adopting strategies and tools to reduce their carbon footprint in South Africa.
Not only is it the right thing to do, but it also creates goodwill from consumers. Savvy and environmentally conscious customers use companies that align with their values. Conversely, companies that are harming the environment will lose out to those actively trying to reduce their carbon footprint.
So, what can you do?
- Use less packaging. Purely from a business point of view, if you can find efficient packaging that weighs less, it will cost less to ship, creating savings to share with your customers.
- Use biodegradable materials. Synthetic plastics, for example, can take 100s of years to break down, while biodegradable materials can break down in a couple of years, putting less strain on the environment.
- Companies are being encouraged to use solar panels, LED lighting, Cool-roof systems, and green building material.
- Lights out warehouses that go dark in areas where human workers are absent are being encouraged, too.
2. Rise of the Machines
Rise of the Machines is the title of the 3rd Terminator movie franchise. But, unlike the Terminator movies, the machines we are talking about in warehousing are benevolent and will improve efficiency. In 2022, we will see more integration of robotics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence into warehouse operations. However, the new automated warehouse creates a dilemma for many businesses as they will require more skilled operators (skills not readily available) and fewer manual workers. Therefore, it becomes the responsibility of all companies to help prepare the country for the changing roles required in the workforce by helping create the skilled workforce of the future.
We’re going to see more and more automatic guided vehicles like stackers, pallet trucks, forklifts, and inventory carrying robots in warehouses in the future. The machines are coming, whether we want them or not. Savvy warehouses are already exploring the options and benefits that technology can bring and preparing their workforce to make the opportunities count.
3. Introduction of drones
Companies like Walgreens, Amazon, and Staples (among others) successfully use drones in their warehouses. Studies show that two drones can do the work of 100 humans and do it more accurately. Camera scanners allow drones to scan barcodes 10 metres away with close to 100% accuracy. Companies that are using drones have reported massive savings. We think that South African warehouses are still years away from adopting drone technology. Still, there’s an inevitability about it, and savvy warehouses will use drones in conjunction with humans to reduce costs and meet the growing demands of customers.
For companies looking to navigate the complex world of warehouse management, Apex’s many years in the business ideally positions us to guide you in making the right choices.
We provide world-leading warehouse and supply chain management technology solutions that create operational efficiencies and enable faster delivery of goods to customers. Unlike other supply chain management software providers, we ensure maximum uptime across all sites through proactive and preventative support that actively monitors the system, ensuring it runs optimally.
Check out our warehousing solutions now.
If you want to find out more trends (like big data, wearable technology, millennial management, blockchain, cloud computing and more) to help you manage your warehouse efficiently, check these websites out.