With the explosive rise of E-commerce, storage facilities have seen massive progress when it comes to modernization. To keep up with the rising demand for storage, warehouses have introduced changes in every level of their operations. Everything from worker training to equipment has been upgraded to meet new standards. Competition is stronger than ever, and warehouses need to keep innovating in order to stay relevant in the current market. Here are some of the most prominent changes that have entered the modern warehouse.
Modern warehouses need to be able to keep a wide variety of products for long periods of time. This includes perishable items like foodstuffs. Fruits, vegetables, and dairy products need constant refrigeration in order to prevent rotting. Items that are already packaged as frozen need to be kept at an even lower temperature.
This is why many warehouses have cold storage facilities where perishable items are kept. When properly maintained, they protect these products from temperature swings, sunlight, and excess moisture. Food isn’t the only thing that needs proper protection and insulation. Certain types of medicine need to be refrigerated and kept away from sunlight if they are stored for long periods of time. Warehouses without cold storage aren’t able to reach their full potential when it comes to storing products.
Coordination is key when you are trying to efficiently deal with a large number of shipments. Personnel in warehouses need to be able to communicate with each other in order to properly handle shipments. A large number of machines and pieces of equipment make their way through the warehouse every day. They need to be well-coordinated in order to prevent accidents and stalling.
Walkie-talkies are the most commonly used gadgets on the warehouse floor. As a communication tool, they are invaluable. They offer personnel medium range communication with relative ease. In some cases, multiple workers need to be in constant contact during the transport of a shipment. In these scenarios, custom radio frequencies are much more convenient.
Environmental friendliness has become an essential element of doing business. Regulations demand a certain level of sustainability in every new warehouse.
Some of the eco-friendlier measures being introduced include efficient lighting. LED lights are considered a more sustainable option compared to fluorescent and phosphorescent bulbs. They last longer and use a minimal amount of energy to illuminate a large space.
Hybrid warehouses are becoming more common throughout the material storage industry. As warehouses are trending towards eco-friendliness, automation is becoming the norm. A fully-automated picking system reduces the amount of energy used compared to traditional picking methods. It also creates fewer toxic fumes than a team of forklift drivers and crane operators.
Training plays a big part in the efficiency of work in a warehouse. You need properly trained individuals in order to coordinate large numbers of shipments in a short amount of time. Even the most experienced workers will need refreshers every once in a while. Employees need to be able to retain the information they learn, which is why training needs to be constant and engaging.
Managers must hold regular training seminars for workers. They need to be kept up-to-speed with all the new pieces of technology and equipment that are being introduced to the warehouse. With proper guidance, employees will quickly adapt and overcome obstacles.
Safety protocol needs to be strictly adhered to. Modern warehouses are dynamic environments with many dangerous elements that need to be accounted for. To avoid injury, employees need to know how to behave and communicate on the work floor. This is also achieved with training and regular seminars.
Warehouse equipment is constantly evolving to meet the needs of the business. It needs to be strong, compact, and easy to use. Despite the increasing size of warehouses, space is becoming scarce. This is why multifunctional equipment has become so prevalent. If a piece of equipment can fulfil several roles, it will take up less space and give the same quality of results.
Mobile shelves are a good example. They allow employees to store items and products that need to be shipped quickly. Their mobility makes them versatile and easy to maneuver when necessary. Workbenches have adapted as well. Technicians need to be able to secure important parts and tools once they’re done working with them. This is why it’s necessary to have a heavy duty workbench available. They allow technicians to put important items under lock and key. They are often height adjustable to allow for a diverse range of work for various projects.
The location of a warehouse is everything. To quickly deliver products to customers and businesses alike, warehouses need to be located close to large cities and major trade hubs. Optimally, a warehouse would be position at the crossroads of important and large roads that lead to big cities. At the same time, this crossroad must be as close to a city as possible.
Trading hubs that feature multi-modal transport systems are ideal locations for warehouses. If a town has access to air, sea, and rail transportation systems, this allows for efficient product shipping. In old times, warehouses were located at the very centre of these kinds of trade hubs. This made the shipping of products quick and affordable. The old model is making a comeback, as warehouses are slowly inching towards the centres of trade hubs. The closer they are, the lower the costs of operation.
Warehouses have seen some significant changes in the past couple of years. Advances in technology and training philosophy have dramatically increased efficiency. Employee turnover has been decreased and work is as dynamic as ever. Thanks to the introduction of tracking and communication technology, workers are able to work under the safest possible circumstances, which has reduced the number of injuries. Warehouses are constantly evolving to meet new demands, which means these changes are only the tip of the iceberg.