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IoT and the
Smart
Warehouse
BY: LAURA OLSON
IoT is Revolutionizing Warehouse & Supply Chain
Operations
You may have seen commercials
and online advertising for
everything from predictive
maintenance to home automation
using IoT. It is a simple, largely
intuitive concept that is helping to
digitally transform the supply chain
and the way consumers live. From
home automation in smart homes
to smart cities and DDOS attacks,
IoT is in the news frequently these
days.
You have probably heard of it, but do you know what IoT is? Cyberphysical
systems incorporate Internet connectivity with the ability to sense and react to the world
in innovative and highly useful ways.
Physical devices are now being embedded with electronics, sensors, software
and actuators and can be connected to the Internet so that data can be
exchanged. According to McKinsey Global Institute, IoT devices must be able to
monitor their environment and report their status, receive directions and act on
information they receive.
IoT: What is it?
The basic components that make an item or device part of
the IoT are:
• Sensors: needed to track and
measure activity
• Internet connectivity of some
type
• Processors to provide
computing power
Computers are embedded within the
physical devices and each device is
uniquely identifiable. This network, the
Internet of Things makes it possible for
physical devices and objects to be sensed and
controlled remotely across the existing
network infrastructure. This provides an
increased number of opportunities for
direct integration of devices in the
physical world into computer-based
systems. Beyond consumer applications,
IoT is highly useful in industrial Internet
applications as well. As with all things
Internet, security challenges abound but
have not diminished the adoption rate of
the billion devices in the IoT and mobile
world.
With wireless Internet and sensor networks, real time data is abundant for use
on Internet of Things platforms to empower greater efficiency in items including
home appliances, smart city projects, consumer electronics, smart buildings
and much more.
Here is some IoT news: IoT is BIG in the supply chain industry and growing fast!
Why has IoT become more popular and widespread in use
across the supply chain?
• As broadband Internet has become more widely available and affordable, the
cost of connecting to the Internet has decreased.
• Technology costs have gone down over the past few years and IoT devices
have become more accepted and affordable
• Having access to real time data from IoT can help to identify potential risks
in the supply chain, provide real time traceability and enable notification
when shipments will be late due to weather and other delays. These
improvements help reduce costs and enhance labor productivity, efficiency
and accuracy.
Here are some other reasons for the use of IoT in supply chain operations:
• Enables real time visibility
• Helps companies ensure compliance with chain-
of-custody regulations, especially for sensitive
cargo
• Facilitates integration between systems to enable
a more seamless supply chain
• Enables performance measurement and
monitoring so that malfunctions can be detected
• Improves forecasting accuracy
• Helps to reduce equipment damage
• Can capture load discrepancies and notify all
involved parties in real time
• Enables better track and trace of inventory
• Enables continual feedback in real time for
warehouses that “live-unload” trailers
• Can provide directions and feedback to truck
drivers regarding conditions and trailer delivery
times
• Helps to prevent loss and damage of goods
• Streamlines coordination between warehouse
operations and logistics providers
• Increases efficiency
• Provides real time data to provide insight to
support strategic and tactical decisions
• Able to integrate forecast weather changes with
route schedules to enable better delivery decisions
• Monitors health of goods during transport to help
prevent spoilage
• Aids in creation of error-free processes
• Can provide an item’s precise location, reducing
the time it takes to find inventory
• Can monitor days to expiration of goods, useful for
preventing spoilage and waste
• Ideal for asset management such as for fleets of
trucks and field service vehicles
The IoT World Includes the Warehouse
IoT devices are considered one of the
most likely type of technology
investments in the warehouse
according to “Building the Smarter
Warehouse: Warehousing 2020”, a
report by industry leader Zebra
Technologies. As omnichannel retail
and the consumer demand for fast
delivery continues to boom, warehouse
professionals report more interest in
expanding their use of technology in the
warehouse.
According to the Zebra Technologies survey of IT and operations professionals
in North America, in companies with a minimum of $15 million in annual
revenues, 90% of respondents anticipate using mobile computers or tablets and
85% project using RFID by 2020.
Emerging Technologies Including IoT Revolutionize
Warehouse Operations
Why are emerging technologies such as IoT becoming so popular? For one
thing, they provide the free flow of real time data. Information technology experts
can then analyze data and use the information from smart devices to help refine
processes, streamline operations and improve forecast accuracy, for
example. IoT generates huge amounts of new data, more than is currently used.
Other uses for IoT include the essential
nature of warehouse management,
accurate inventory management. While
always critical, inventory management
accuracy has taken on an entirely new
level of importance. This is largely due
to consumers’ penchant for online
shopping. In order to facilitate e-
commerce omnichannel retail, it is
essential that consumers have real
time accurate information regarding
the status and availability of items for
purchase. This is of strategic
importance as it helps to reduce out-
of-stock conditions, improve customer
service and aid with regulatory
compliance.
Consumers who order online only to arrive at brick and mortar retailers only to
find that their orders are incomplete with backordered items are not happy
customers. This directly affects the likelihood that they will purchase from those
retailers in the future.
The IoT World of the “Smart Warehouse”
What is driving the adoption of smart warehousing? Consumer
expectations. Today’s consumer expects immediate gratification. They want to
point, click and receive their orders in days or sometimes hours.
The traditional supply chain was not designed to handle a high volume of small
consumer orders for immediate delivery. Manufacturers, retailers, warehouses
and logistics providers are all struggling to adjust to meet these needs. To be
sure, everything is on the line.
When consumers are dissatisfied with their buying or delivery experience, they
are not shy about sharing their impressions of brands via social media. News
can spread like wildfire. Because of this and the fickleness of consumers,
companies are adjusting processes, people needs and technology to meet the needs
and expectations of demanding consumers.
Investments in the latest technologies are powering transformative changes
across supply chain networks. Warehouses are being re-imagined as hubs to
increase efficiency and speed across the entire supply chain. Using devices
such as wearables, sensors and radio-frequency identification tags (RFID),
warehouse managers now have real time visibility of the location and progress of
inventory. Wearable devices free up warehouse workers to move anywhere in
the warehouse.
This enables warehouse workers to access information and instructions without
being constrained by the location of workstations.
IoT devices help to reduce the use of
manual labor, incidence of errors and
increase the speed of processing
goods. Warehouse errors are
costly. Inaccurate operations and errors
require more labor to remedy, adding
unnecessary costs. With the deluge of
data available from IoT devices including
wearables, retailers and other supply
chain partners now have vital insight
into inventory and supply chains. This
data can be used to build more effective
processes, more efficient warehouses
and provide insight that helps to drive
costs down.
Here is a look at two
technologies being tested
or used in smart
warehouses:
IoT Innovation of Smart Glasses
Talk about smart devices, an ingenious idea, smart glasses enable warehouse
laborers to work hands free, ideal for busy warehouse operations. Augmented
reality provides essential information regarding the process and helps warehouse
workers to learn quickly. No specific infrastructure is typically required.
Popular in order picking, the use of smart glasses, also known as vision
picking helps to achieve productivity improvements of 15% on average. How
does this work? Warehouse workers can see visual displays of order picking
instructions and information on item location in visual displays on the smart
glasses. The smart glasses also show the warehouse worker where the items
need to be placed on the cart.
The smart glasses also show the
warehouse worker where the items
need to be placed on the cart. Order
pickers are then freed up from
carrying and reading paper
instructions or devices so that they
can perform their duties more
efficiently. In international trials,
warehouse workers found smart
glasses to be user friendly, reducing
onboarding and training times by half.
@picavi
Benefits of using smart glasses for picking include:
Greater picking accuracy
Improved picking performance
Better ergonomics
IoT-based Robotic Systems
Introducing IoT Robotic
Carts: Autonomous Mobile Robots
(AMR)
Autonomous mobile robots often
referred to as AMR can move
independently and utilize sensors
and cameras for help with
navigation. Different from
Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV),
AMR do not operate on a fixed
path. AMR sense and perceive
their environment, find their
specific position within it, analyze
and then execute movement. AMR
are most frequently used to move
or handle product within the
warehouse.
Robots are designed to handle a variety of functions within the warehouse
facility. Some robots are coordinated by software to transport and move
shelving to workstations while others carry shelving bays to pickers at
workstations. Some autonomous robots help warehouse workers by
minimizing the travel of the order picker. Some types of robots work alongside
human warehouse workers and can detect different human languages. The
robot can contain an integrated scanner that can confirm the picked item to
ensure nearly perfect pick and put operations.
Some robots also contain
sensors and software to enables
them to track data so that
feedback can be provided to
workers, both positive and
negative, thereby encouraging
improvement.
Conclusion
It may seem to you as if we live in an Internet of Everything IOE world
today. Between smart grids, your connected car, building automation
and all the smart devices on the Internet of Things market, it is hard to
get away from all the innovation of the fourth industrial revolution. New
business models are being developed to improve customer
experiences. Keeping Internet of Things secure is a top priority to
safeguard personal data.
In the world of warehousing, IoT has taken hold. To speed up the
handling, storage and shipping of inventory, warehouses are relying
more on IoT-enabled devices including wearables, smart glasses, AMR
and AGV. Robotic and artificial intelligence solutions are being utilized
in warehouse and logistics operations in concert with warehouse
workers to improve performance and reduce errors. Facility managers
now can rely on Chuck to be the workhorse of their operation and
reduce their dependence on seasonal or unreliable workers.
It’s a different world out there everyone. We all need to get SMART…
800.933.2839
marketing@datexcorp.com
datexcorp.com
Contact Us Today!

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IoT and the Smart Warehouse

  • 2. IoT is Revolutionizing Warehouse & Supply Chain Operations You may have seen commercials and online advertising for everything from predictive maintenance to home automation using IoT. It is a simple, largely intuitive concept that is helping to digitally transform the supply chain and the way consumers live. From home automation in smart homes to smart cities and DDOS attacks, IoT is in the news frequently these days.
  • 3. You have probably heard of it, but do you know what IoT is? Cyberphysical systems incorporate Internet connectivity with the ability to sense and react to the world in innovative and highly useful ways. Physical devices are now being embedded with electronics, sensors, software and actuators and can be connected to the Internet so that data can be exchanged. According to McKinsey Global Institute, IoT devices must be able to monitor their environment and report their status, receive directions and act on information they receive. IoT: What is it?
  • 4. The basic components that make an item or device part of the IoT are: • Sensors: needed to track and measure activity • Internet connectivity of some type • Processors to provide computing power
  • 5. Computers are embedded within the physical devices and each device is uniquely identifiable. This network, the Internet of Things makes it possible for physical devices and objects to be sensed and controlled remotely across the existing network infrastructure. This provides an increased number of opportunities for direct integration of devices in the physical world into computer-based systems. Beyond consumer applications, IoT is highly useful in industrial Internet applications as well. As with all things Internet, security challenges abound but have not diminished the adoption rate of the billion devices in the IoT and mobile world.
  • 6. With wireless Internet and sensor networks, real time data is abundant for use on Internet of Things platforms to empower greater efficiency in items including home appliances, smart city projects, consumer electronics, smart buildings and much more. Here is some IoT news: IoT is BIG in the supply chain industry and growing fast!
  • 7. Why has IoT become more popular and widespread in use across the supply chain? • As broadband Internet has become more widely available and affordable, the cost of connecting to the Internet has decreased. • Technology costs have gone down over the past few years and IoT devices have become more accepted and affordable • Having access to real time data from IoT can help to identify potential risks in the supply chain, provide real time traceability and enable notification when shipments will be late due to weather and other delays. These improvements help reduce costs and enhance labor productivity, efficiency and accuracy.
  • 8. Here are some other reasons for the use of IoT in supply chain operations: • Enables real time visibility • Helps companies ensure compliance with chain- of-custody regulations, especially for sensitive cargo • Facilitates integration between systems to enable a more seamless supply chain • Enables performance measurement and monitoring so that malfunctions can be detected • Improves forecasting accuracy • Helps to reduce equipment damage • Can capture load discrepancies and notify all involved parties in real time • Enables better track and trace of inventory • Enables continual feedback in real time for warehouses that “live-unload” trailers • Can provide directions and feedback to truck drivers regarding conditions and trailer delivery times • Helps to prevent loss and damage of goods • Streamlines coordination between warehouse operations and logistics providers • Increases efficiency • Provides real time data to provide insight to support strategic and tactical decisions • Able to integrate forecast weather changes with route schedules to enable better delivery decisions • Monitors health of goods during transport to help prevent spoilage • Aids in creation of error-free processes • Can provide an item’s precise location, reducing the time it takes to find inventory • Can monitor days to expiration of goods, useful for preventing spoilage and waste • Ideal for asset management such as for fleets of trucks and field service vehicles
  • 9. The IoT World Includes the Warehouse IoT devices are considered one of the most likely type of technology investments in the warehouse according to “Building the Smarter Warehouse: Warehousing 2020”, a report by industry leader Zebra Technologies. As omnichannel retail and the consumer demand for fast delivery continues to boom, warehouse professionals report more interest in expanding their use of technology in the warehouse.
  • 10. According to the Zebra Technologies survey of IT and operations professionals in North America, in companies with a minimum of $15 million in annual revenues, 90% of respondents anticipate using mobile computers or tablets and 85% project using RFID by 2020.
  • 11. Emerging Technologies Including IoT Revolutionize Warehouse Operations Why are emerging technologies such as IoT becoming so popular? For one thing, they provide the free flow of real time data. Information technology experts can then analyze data and use the information from smart devices to help refine processes, streamline operations and improve forecast accuracy, for example. IoT generates huge amounts of new data, more than is currently used.
  • 12. Other uses for IoT include the essential nature of warehouse management, accurate inventory management. While always critical, inventory management accuracy has taken on an entirely new level of importance. This is largely due to consumers’ penchant for online shopping. In order to facilitate e- commerce omnichannel retail, it is essential that consumers have real time accurate information regarding the status and availability of items for purchase. This is of strategic importance as it helps to reduce out- of-stock conditions, improve customer service and aid with regulatory compliance.
  • 13. Consumers who order online only to arrive at brick and mortar retailers only to find that their orders are incomplete with backordered items are not happy customers. This directly affects the likelihood that they will purchase from those retailers in the future.
  • 14. The IoT World of the “Smart Warehouse” What is driving the adoption of smart warehousing? Consumer expectations. Today’s consumer expects immediate gratification. They want to point, click and receive their orders in days or sometimes hours.
  • 15. The traditional supply chain was not designed to handle a high volume of small consumer orders for immediate delivery. Manufacturers, retailers, warehouses and logistics providers are all struggling to adjust to meet these needs. To be sure, everything is on the line. When consumers are dissatisfied with their buying or delivery experience, they are not shy about sharing their impressions of brands via social media. News can spread like wildfire. Because of this and the fickleness of consumers, companies are adjusting processes, people needs and technology to meet the needs and expectations of demanding consumers.
  • 16. Investments in the latest technologies are powering transformative changes across supply chain networks. Warehouses are being re-imagined as hubs to increase efficiency and speed across the entire supply chain. Using devices such as wearables, sensors and radio-frequency identification tags (RFID), warehouse managers now have real time visibility of the location and progress of inventory. Wearable devices free up warehouse workers to move anywhere in the warehouse. This enables warehouse workers to access information and instructions without being constrained by the location of workstations.
  • 17. IoT devices help to reduce the use of manual labor, incidence of errors and increase the speed of processing goods. Warehouse errors are costly. Inaccurate operations and errors require more labor to remedy, adding unnecessary costs. With the deluge of data available from IoT devices including wearables, retailers and other supply chain partners now have vital insight into inventory and supply chains. This data can be used to build more effective processes, more efficient warehouses and provide insight that helps to drive costs down.
  • 18. Here is a look at two technologies being tested or used in smart warehouses:
  • 19. IoT Innovation of Smart Glasses Talk about smart devices, an ingenious idea, smart glasses enable warehouse laborers to work hands free, ideal for busy warehouse operations. Augmented reality provides essential information regarding the process and helps warehouse workers to learn quickly. No specific infrastructure is typically required.
  • 20. Popular in order picking, the use of smart glasses, also known as vision picking helps to achieve productivity improvements of 15% on average. How does this work? Warehouse workers can see visual displays of order picking instructions and information on item location in visual displays on the smart glasses. The smart glasses also show the warehouse worker where the items need to be placed on the cart. The smart glasses also show the warehouse worker where the items need to be placed on the cart. Order pickers are then freed up from carrying and reading paper instructions or devices so that they can perform their duties more efficiently. In international trials, warehouse workers found smart glasses to be user friendly, reducing onboarding and training times by half. @picavi
  • 21. Benefits of using smart glasses for picking include: Greater picking accuracy Improved picking performance Better ergonomics
  • 22. IoT-based Robotic Systems Introducing IoT Robotic Carts: Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR) Autonomous mobile robots often referred to as AMR can move independently and utilize sensors and cameras for help with navigation. Different from Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV), AMR do not operate on a fixed path. AMR sense and perceive their environment, find their specific position within it, analyze and then execute movement. AMR are most frequently used to move or handle product within the warehouse.
  • 23. Robots are designed to handle a variety of functions within the warehouse facility. Some robots are coordinated by software to transport and move shelving to workstations while others carry shelving bays to pickers at workstations. Some autonomous robots help warehouse workers by minimizing the travel of the order picker. Some types of robots work alongside human warehouse workers and can detect different human languages. The robot can contain an integrated scanner that can confirm the picked item to ensure nearly perfect pick and put operations. Some robots also contain sensors and software to enables them to track data so that feedback can be provided to workers, both positive and negative, thereby encouraging improvement.
  • 24. Conclusion It may seem to you as if we live in an Internet of Everything IOE world today. Between smart grids, your connected car, building automation and all the smart devices on the Internet of Things market, it is hard to get away from all the innovation of the fourth industrial revolution. New business models are being developed to improve customer experiences. Keeping Internet of Things secure is a top priority to safeguard personal data. In the world of warehousing, IoT has taken hold. To speed up the handling, storage and shipping of inventory, warehouses are relying more on IoT-enabled devices including wearables, smart glasses, AMR and AGV. Robotic and artificial intelligence solutions are being utilized in warehouse and logistics operations in concert with warehouse workers to improve performance and reduce errors. Facility managers now can rely on Chuck to be the workhorse of their operation and reduce their dependence on seasonal or unreliable workers. It’s a different world out there everyone. We all need to get SMART…