The pandemic changed everything. The New Normal is nothing close to normal and while we cope with the waves of new strains, it is getting increasingly difficult to predict the future, or even the immediate future. In such an uncertain times, warehouse management can get increasingly difficult to keep businesses running. And what works in the short term from a coping perspective may not work in the long term.
From coping to securing a business, warehouse management needs to plan for the present and the future, a hope filled post-pandemic period. Technology is bound to play an integral role in being future-ready.
Here are some tech innovations to plan for that.
Technology for Safety
Your workforce is the heart of the business and protecting them should be your priority. From getting them life to medical insurance to conducting a vaccine drive, secure them first. Resuming work at your warehouse can then be less worrisome and taxing for your business. But, once they have resumed work, technology can be put to use to keep them safe. Thermal scanners help determine body temperatures with no contact and keep the environment safe. Deploy units at all relevant entrance and exit points to ensure that temperature is monitored round the clock. Explore pathbreaking innovations like the Shycocan, a virus attenuation device that neutralises viruses in the current pandemic with upto 99.9% efficacy indoors. This revolutionary device can be placed in indoor spaces to create safe zone areas where transmission of the virus can be managed with ease. Coupled with the power of iOT, this technology can be integrated into facility management systems and can be tracked to ensure the net of safety is always up.
Technology for Business Continuity
Business continuity is of paramount importance in today’s environment. Ensure your employees can work from home and give them the necessary tools to keep in touch with cross-functional teams and communicate efficiently. Logistics has taken a new form that quickly eliminates paper processes and conventional methods of management. Automation is now a major differentiator as customers look forward to the fastest and most efficient providers to meet their needs, rather than an option. In the new normal, customers simply cannot afford the risk associated with manual processes and their potential inefficiencies. This is where the power of automation for meeting market demands and providing adaptable solutions comes in. This pandemic has made it clear that supply chain needs to be more agile, and adaptable that is nimble footed to meet the dynamic challenges and requirements of the marketplace.
Technology for preparedness
The pandemic has been one of the most disruptive challenges the industry has ever faced. It is not enough to focus on the New Normal we have today, but predict the challenges of the future and be prepared for the Next Normal. The competitive marketplace will continue to be far more competitive in the future.
E-commerce is booming and customers are leaning more on these businesses to keep them comfortable indoors. At a time when it is difficult to conduct business, the demands from clients is sure to rise. This is where warehouse digitisation is key. A warehouse digitization initiative requires a diverse set of skills such as warehouse domain functional analysts, digital technology specialists, data scientists, agile coaches and change leaders. Once they are in place and work together efficiently, businesses can be better prepared to predict what the future holds for them, how to be ready for new challenges and how to stay relevant in the present.
Technology for productivity
Finding the right mix of technology and human capital in warehouses is critical to cost-effective daily output. With low labour costs in India, automation must be implemented in such a way that it enhances the productivity of the people employed in these warehouses. Human capital must be empowered with technology to enable cost-effective, efficient warehousing solutions. For example, an innovative technology like voice picking can enhance manpower productivity and operational accuracy as it keeps them physically free. Workers are easily trained to be efficient in using their voice to function. Ring scanners have replaced bulky hand scanners and enable ease of operation. With lockdown conditions and lowered manpower resources in warehouses, technology needs to be depended upon to help the warehouse achieve its daily, weekly and monthly targets.
This pandemic is unprecedented and warehouses have to rely on innovative technology to keep their businesses running today and in the future. We began by saying ‘the pandemic changed everything’, but, optimism says, ‘technology will change everything for the better.’
Alok Sharma is CEO, Shycocan Corporation, the Company behind a breakthrough new technology, the Shycocan. A virus attenuation device that can disable the entire Coronavirus and Influenza family of viruses with 99.9% efficacy in enclosed spaces as per multiple virology test reports from accredited laboratories globally. He’s the former MD of Apple India, an angel investor, entrepreneur, dad and eternal optimist.