Many supply chains were shaken due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The challenging economic situation has shed light on the key gaps in many companies’ transportation systems. While every supply chain executive is looking for ways to build resilience, inventory, and warehouse management become another top priority for businesses in 2021.
Companies have realized the need for better warehouse management to combat struggles with under or overstocking. Additionally, with many businesses reducing their budgets, there’s an increased need for efficient warehouse organization.
What are the 3 main warehouse and inventory trends for 2021?
Keeping and maintaining warehouse facilities is costly, and no one wants to overspend for inefficient space use. Additionally, warehouses are mainly backed by facility workers and their manual labor, which can include lots of paperwork and human errors. Using technology like robust WMS (warehouse management system) software can reduce labor costs, eliminate operational issues, and help increase warehouse functionality. Deep learning algorithms can significantly improve product arrival and delivery process, simplify documentation circulation, and automate many other processes.
Complex supply chains involve working with multiple warehouse locations, and machine learning can help streamline operations between all these joints and keep all your facilities connected and integrated.
2. Robotic devices
Another trend in warehouse and inventory management is robotic devices. According to Tractica Research, worldwide sales of robots for logistics management are anticipated to reach $22.4 billion by 2021. Retail giants like Amazon are actively using collaborative robots alongside their human workforce to increase operational efficiency. It might seem like only a few industry leaders are able to use top-notch technology for optimizing their warehouses. But the Deloitte 2019 Annual Industry Report states more than 32% of supply chain professionals are actively using robotics and automation for their warehouses, inventory, and fulfillment management.
While sustainability has been an industry buzzword in recent years, it still remains an influential trend and will lead the industry in 2021. In terms of warehouse management, sustainable practices can involve using renewable energy sources, like solar batteries. Reportedly, energy expenses on average account for 15% of general warehouse maintenance costs, so implementing a sustainable approach can be a cost-saving strategic shift.