Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

Embracing IoT to Improve Warehouse Capabilities

Posted by Neil O'Connell, SVP Technology, Innovation, & Product Development on Jan 22, 2019 4:00:00 AM

Today’s supply chain is working smarter than ever before. But this is only good news for enterprises that realize the IoT (Internet of Things) and real-time insight are crucial to improving their warehouse capabilities. iot-3404892_640

Today’s user-friendly data from the latest analytics applications have merged with IoT and advanced computer intelligence to produce artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). It may sound futuristic, but these advancements can allow your facility to become more efficient without arduous effort. 

If you’re like many warehouse managers, the idea of big data and IoT may make you cringe at the thought of more information to decipher. But today’s systems require less analysis from you, not more. If you are not on board with an advanced analytics application, the time is now. 

A recent Forbes Insights survey of 700 executives found that supply chain organizations are embracing IoT to improve the capabilities of their supply chain operations.  

The survey found that: 

  • About 27% percent of enterprises employ IoT to enhance their manufacturing operations, and 22% are looking to provide greater transparency across their supply chains.  
  • About 16% leverage their IoT insight for warehousing and logistics.  
  • Additionally, 38% seek to employ IoT to enhance their operational capabilities, while 27% seek to leverage their IoT capabilities to support more intelligent logistics and routing. 
  • About 71% indicated that AI and machine-learning systems are influenced by IoT insight, and 55% of those surveyed said that IoT data is integrated to work with advanced analytical algorithm software. 

Visual information can also improve inventory accuracy and tracking capabilities. Cameras and GPS sensors on lift-trucks allow a facility to pinpoint where key assets and products are located and their status. 

The first steps to using IoT intelligence 

About 52% of companies deploy warehouse telematics software to provide advanced analytics for its user. But not all systems leverage IoT data or tell you exactly what is happening and what to do about it. The wrong system will keep you in a pattern of trying to understand the origins of your challenges instead of helping you to avoid them. 

You need leaner, exception-based management practices, made possible through a flexible toolset. 

Key features to look for:

  • Customizable dashboards, charts, and data assessments that offer a real-time, self-service, single-pane-of-glass graphical user interface  
  • Reports configured by goals or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) essential to the operation  
  • The ability to view what is happening in a facility currently or on the previous day, week, month, or year  
  • A toolset that drives continuous improvement by managing KPIs/goals 

Embracing IoT intelligence and analyzing big data doesn’t have to take a big portion of your time. Today’s cloud-service software delivers greater detail with a simplified data-management functionality.  

User-friendly big data can be delivered as actionable information on a single screen. This empowers you to leverage vast amounts of information to transform your warehouse, saving valuable time and maintaining a competitive edge. 

Topics: cloud-based telematics, the future of telematics, cloud-hosting, inventory tracking, fog and edge computing, KPIs, proactive warehouse solutions, connected warehouse solutions, transparency, OEM Systems, telematic data