The advent of the Internet of Things has led us to the dawn of a digital transformation of the warehouse logistics and product transport sectors. These perspectives present several human and technological challenges. Let’s take a closer look at what this means for a workforce in the field, interacting with inventory management and logistics.
Providing a mobile data center for the workforce
By 2020, experts anticipate that between 26 to 80 billion objects will be connected. The data will come, in a proportion of 40% – almost half! – Of machines exchanging between them.
In such a context, it is essential for companies to consider today what could be the impacts on supply chains and the challenges of the current “revolution,” to agree on a strategy and implement initiatives.
The main advantage of the Internet of Things is that it provides a mobile data center for employees in the supply chain.
This is reflected in a more efficient line of movement in a facility or warehouse. For example, thanks to specific tags (RFID technology), the workforce has real-time visibility of products on environmental flows, not only about tracking but also about the problem of stock evaporation (losses, theft, inventory gaps, etc.).
These new technologies, combined with the Internet of Things, also facilitate the analysis of product barcodes. Significant impacts are observed in inventory management, reducing the cost of inventory by up to 8 times, while improving the reliability of results! It is no longer necessary to stop activities (for hours or even days) in warehouses and points of sale to carry out the inventory.
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Generating data on the product’s history
The connection object can provide a file with data that is useful both to employees, such as “proof of work,” but also to the carrier, such as “proof of delivery.”
In concrete terms, this means that a kind of electronic “pedigree” or reliability of stock management is created, accompanying pharmaceutical or agri-food products, among others. As conditions related to their manufacture and transport are recorded (such as humidity or temperature) throughout the logistics and freight transport process, these data provide support and enhance process efficiency.
Transforming a traditional operations center into a global unit
Data from Big Data is now mobile and can be accessed not only from the Operations Center but can be used to manage inventory remotely.
It creates a dematerialization of the documents concerning the products and the inventories. The tasks of the employees are considerably simplified, especially in the case of customs declarations.
Also, the information recorded can help improve the customer experience. Startups are busy designing connected objects that will allow consumers to view product history and authenticate the quality of processes and operations as a whole, by accessing what is becoming a global command center. : from manufacturing, through logistics, to verification of the state of delivery.
Warehouse security: the solution goes through the technology
Warehouse security started from a strategy where the importance of this component of the supply chain is assumed, as an integral part and integrated with other elements. The warehouse is no longer seen as a simple place to store merchandise, where it can be stored until it is sent to its destination, but also plays a crucial role in the company’s results.
The organizations oversee optimizing the inventory management, relying on the advanced analysis, working to gain in adjustment and preventing losses and, of course, also prioritize warehouse safety.
The protection of the merchandise improves the integration of the warehouse along the supply chain, increasing operational efficiency while enhancing the competitiveness of the business.
Among the technological solutions that are usually implemented to increase warehouse security are the following:
- Control of access to the plant: although it is a measure that most warehouses put into practice, today, the advances allow to carry out much more efficiently. The Card Access Smart (Smartcards), mobile credentials associated with mobile devices of employees, or biometrics recognition ( CRM systems ) are some of the trends in this field.
- Control of access to information assets: warehouse security must focus not only on the goods on the shelves but also on the data collected about them and the orders. Information about customers, suppliers, and products is handled daily in a warehouse and, to avoid attacks and prevent threats, it is necessary to resort to the latest security solutions, such as new generation firewalls or SIEM solutions.
- Visibility of real-time inventory: Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is one of those technological solutions that has been increasingly incorporated throughout the supply chain and, in addition to improving warehouse security, facilitates inventory tracking.
- Monitoring of warehouse activity in real time: by combining RFID technology with CCTV solutions, it is possible to provide evidence to customers and logistics companies that the goods were received or sent, offering guarantees for both parties and full transparency in the supply chain. HD CCTV provides high definition details that allow even facial recognition.
An adequate security policy in warehouse simplifies the management, avoids losses and improves the image for the client, contributing to delivering a much more complete and higher quality service.