Online sales continue to drastically increase as a direct reflection of the pandemic. At the same time, traditional warehouse management methods and security protocols are struggling to adapt to new demands. From an increased need for health and safety measures in the workplace, to poor preparedness for seasonal demands and a decrease in the quality of damage control—your business needs innovative strategies to survive the changing climate.
Here’s what trends successful merchants are implementing into their businesses:
1. IoT Technology
IoT technology can be implemented in your warehousing to ensure more transparency in your logistics operations. The internet of things is introducing sensor systems to the warehousing sphere that can assist environmental quality assessors in monitoring and providing transparency in daily logistics and warehousing practices, particularly for sensitive and high-priority inventory.
2. People Flow Management
In addition to protecting the perimeter of your warehouse for additional security, you must also manage the flow of people into your building. You will need solutions to ensure that queues work well, and you can do this using stanchions and chains.
Stanchions allow you to control queues inside your building, and you can use chains to manage the flow of visitors outside your building. By installing this equipment, visitors will have an increased sense of direction, and queues will be more manageable for your staff.
On-demand is a solution that is helping eCommerce businesses to face the current supply-chain challenges brought on by the pandemic.
What Is On-Demand Warehousing?
When warehouses find themselves with extra space, they can offer businesses on-demand warehousing. On-demand warehousing offers businesses temporary storage and fulfillment services should they struggle to find a solution for their supply chain issues.
Why Is On-Demand Warehousing On The Rise?
If you’re unsure of the benefits of on-demand warehousing, and why it is becoming a popular solution for both small and large eCommerce businesses, here are just a few of the ways you can benefit from using on-demand warehousing:
- Increased flexibility – eCommerce sellers need access to temporary warehousing solutions for products they sell on a seasonal basis. You can appeal to this market by using on-demand warehousing.
- Filling unused space – if your warehouse frequently has free space, you are losing out on potential profits. Offering your unused space for on-demand warehousing is a win-win, offering eCommerce sellers access to warehouse space and ensuring your warehousing business is achieving maximum profitability.
- Taking advantage of a lack of supply – if you offer on-demand warehousing, you can fulfill the lack of supply in the warehousing industry.
4. Temperature Control
Temperature control is essential to ensure that products stored in your warehouse are kept at the correct temperature. Temperature control is especially important for the storage of food items and perishables. A significant portion of warehouse goods does not require temperature control, such as household items, textiles, and electronics. However, if you are housing perishables in your warehouse, you must invest in a temperature control solution that will keep your warehouse’s temperature regulated using heating and cooling technology.
5. Perimeter Protection
Perimeter protection is the foundation of warehouse security. Warehouse theft costs businesses between $15-30 billion annually in the U.S.
Your warehouse is an attractive target for theft due to the cargo stored inside. So, you need to ensure that access is strictly prohibited to unauthorized users.
You can add several installations to your warehouse security to increase protection and control access without added inconvenience for your employees. These options include:
6. Access Control
Access control is the best way to manage who is permitted to access your warehouse and at what time. Employee theft is an increasingly apparent security threat in warehouses. If you have a system in place that can deter employee theft by providing you with logs of who was in your warehouse at one time, you can resolve incidents quickly.
Access control is the installation of door locks that require a key for entry. Cloud-based access control is an emerging and increasingly popular access technology because it allows for touchless entry.
Depending on the frequency of your readers, employees will be able to open doors without having to withdraw their access cards. This is because cloud-based access control involves using digital access cards on employees’ mobile devices that can communicate with readers via BlueTooth. So, employees do not have to place their mobile devices directly in front of the reader to gain access.
If you install access control, it can be integrated with other features in your warehouse security system to provide you with all security information on one interface. An integrated security system makes for a more user-friendly experience for security staff and will allow for quicker incident identification and resolution.
7. Door Gates
Warehouse doors are the biggest entry point in warehouses, and protecting them from intruders is a priority. Warehouse doors are often left open for deliveries and let fresh air in to cool workers down in the warmer weather.
To allow your doors to remain open while being protected from intruders, you should consider investing in door gates for your warehouse security. Door gates are easy to install and allow for ventilation and protection.
8. Green Warehouse Practices
With the climate crisis in full swing, businesses are starting to implement better waste management in the workplace. Eco-conscious waste practices are essential for moving companies towards change and environmental responsibility.
Consider installing waste receptacles in your warehouse, with color-coded bins for individual materials, so that your business can dispose of waste in a more eco-conscious way.
Since warehouses can store many flammable goods, it is prudent to ensure that cigarette butts are disposed of safely, ensuring no additional threat to fire safety in the workplace. Consider investing in cigarette disposal bins with closed lids to avoid fire safety risks.
You can also make changes to the energy supply in your warehouse by implementing solar panels and more energy-efficient LED lighting. Since your warehouse must be well-lit at all times, considering the energy supply and your lighting choices could make you significant savings and reduce your business’ environmental impact.
9. Smart Security Cameras
Your security team needs to provide real-time responses to security incidents. Traditionally, security cameras installed in warehouses serve only to provide evidence after a crime. This is because security staff have duties to perform that prevent them from consistently viewing video camera feed.
Artificial intelligence is being used more frequently in video camera systems to allow smart data management.
Artificial intelligence can analyze your video data and trigger alerts when suspicious activity occurs, allowing your security team to take action and potentially prevent a crime from occurring. Your smart video system can analyze data and trigger alerts for the following security events:
- Unexpected lighting changes at preset times of day
- People or object counts exceeding a predefined threshold
- Identification of unauthorized personnel in the building
- License plate identification for unauthorized personnel
Your security staff does not have the means to observe security footage 24/7. By installing smart video software, you will be able to identify potential security incidents before they occur and increase the likelihood of your team preventing a security event.
10. Inventory Visibility
Inventory management is one of the most crucial aspects of warehouse management. Manual data entry is becoming a thing of the past, with more businesses moving towards using RFID scanners to manage inventory.
Traditional data entry methods leave room for human error, and RFID inventory processing methods can eradicate the potential for human error. RFID can identify and track inventory using a scannable barcode to provide complete accuracy when it comes to shipments.
Consider investing in RFID technology to speed up warehouse processes and allow your workers to improve efficiency and focus on more important tasks. You can integrate RFID systems with video camera technologies to provide actual evidence that goods were received or shipped.
This means that your company can avoid being held liable for lost goods. HD security camera systems can provide indiscernible evidence of an event in your warehouses so that your video proof of a shipment is beyond reproach or doubt.
Are you using cutting-edge tech?
If you have read this guide, it will equip you with knowledge of the cutting-edge technologies that will allow you to provide a more secure workplace for your employees and protect the goods you ship. Consider which elements of your warehouse management need improvement, and try implementing some of these trends to improve organization in your warehouse business.