De­ci­pher­ing the chain of tech­nol­ogy

Tech­nol­ogy is a key en­abler to en­sure seam­less work in ware­houses. Vikrant Ya­dav, Coun­try Man­ager - In­dia, GreyOrange, shares his views on how tech­nol­ogy is help­ing ware­houses be more or­gan­ised and re­source­ful.

Cargo Talk - - Guest Column -

For decades, sup­ply chains and ware­houses across the world have re­mained tech­no­log­i­cally starved.Ware­houses in In­dia too are poorly man­aged and cum­ber­some, mak­ing even the most ba­sic op­er­a­tions like sort­ing, pick­ing, stor­ing and documenting, in­ef­fi­cient and of­ten er­ror-prone and un­re­li­able. Stor­age and in­ven­tory man­age­ment con­sti­tute 60 per cent of the en­tire sup­ply chain, while ware­house op­er­a­tions make up about 25 per cent of the en­tire sup­ply chain cost. As the global race for busi­ness to stay ahead in­ten­si­fies, sup­ply chains are in­creas­ingly un­der pres­sure to de­liver higher per­for­mance and lower costs. Com­pa­nies around the world are turn­ing to tech­nol­ogy in or­der to im­prove op­er­a­tional ef­fi­cien­cies in their ware­houses, ful­fill­ment and dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ters.

En­abling IoT

Ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies such as AI, ma­chine learn­ing and ro­botic au­to­ma­tion can solve th­ese com­plex prob­lems, en­abling a typ­i­cal in­crease in through­put by as much as 200 per cent, mak­ing th­ese tech­nolo­gies in­dis­pens­able for run­ning su­perla­tive and ef­fi­cient ware­houses. Adop­tion of th­ese ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies will en­able ware­houses of the fu­ture to be more ag­ile, dy­namic and smart. The ware­houses will be guided by al­go­rithms which would be deeply in­flu­enced by ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and ma­chine learn­ing, thus reach­ing com­pletely dif­fer­ent lev­els of ef­fi­ciency. With less fixed in­fra­struc­ture and pro­cesses, the ware­houses of the fu­ture will work on AI and real-time an­a­lyt­ics for man­age­ment of ware­house op­er­a­tions. They will be in­tel­li­gent enough to an­tic­i­pate, un­der­stand and adapt to the ex­ter­nal ecosys­tem around them (e.g. sea­sonal peaks, weather con­di­tions etc.). IoT will en­able in­ter­ware­house com­mu­ni­ca­tion to de­vise cost-ef­fec­tive ways for quicker de­liv­er­ies and min­imise op­er­a­tional in­ef­fi­cien­cies.

With less fixed in­fra­struc­ture and pro­cesses, the ware­houses of the fu­ture will work on AI and real-time an­a­lyt­ics for man­age­ment of ware­house op­er­a­tions

The ware­houses of the fu­ture will de­ploy a va­ri­ety of com­mu­ni­ca­tions, sens­ing and se­cu­rity tech­nolo­gies at the core. One cru­cial area where au­to­ma­tion is be­ing tested is qual­ity check, with the aim of sup­ple­ment­ing hu­man ef­fort. In­tel­li­gent sys­tems are go­ing to be de­ployed that will en­sure the best qual­ity prod­ucts. Through th­ese in­tel­li­gent sys­tems, even the mi­nor flaws in a prod­uct would be de­tectable. They will re­duce the chances of com­mit­ting er­rors that could pos­si­bly be ig­nored by the hu­man eye dur­ing large scale man­u­fac­tur­ing. Newer ways of de­liv­ery – from self-driven ve­hi­cles to drones are also be­ing con­tem­plated to bol­ster the de­liv­ery mech­a­nism and make ware­houses and sup­ply chains more ef­fi­cient end-to-end.

GST and sup­ply chain

Fur­ther, as the Goods and Ser­vices Tax (GST) sub­sumes a range of cen­tral and state taxes to turn In­dia into a sin­gle mar­ket, it re­moves all vari­a­tions in lo­cal tax­a­tion rates that once forced busi­ness to op­er­ate mul­ti­ple ware­houses across states. Large en­ter­prises, SMEs & end con­sumers, ev­ery­one will reap the ben­e­fit from the im­ple­men­ta­tion of GST. The max­i­mum im­pact of GST will be on the sup­ply chain, as this will en­able com­pa­nies to fi­nally op­ti­mise their sup­ply chain net­works based on sci­en­tific prin­ci­pals and logic, in­stead of dis­parate tax struc­tures across the coun­try which has been the case so far.

Cur­rently, busi­ness de­sign their sup­ply chains to save tax­a­tion. For ex­am­ple, an e-com­merce com­pany would like to have its ware­house in each of the states where it sells its prod­ucts, so that there are no in­ter-state trans­porta­tion taxes. How­ever, op­er­at­ing many small ware­houses means that the size and ca­pac­ity of each of th­ese is very small. This, in turn, means that there is not much scope to take ad­van­tage of au­to­ma­tion. Now, with GST im­ple­mented, com­pa­nies can look to have larger state-of-the-art ware­houses in one lo­ca­tion as a re­sult of the con­sol­i­da­tion of many smaller ware­houses spread across var­i­ous states. Larger fa­cil­i­ties would mean mil­lions of pack­ets to be dis­patched ev­ery day. Th­ese gi­gan­tic dis­tri­bu­tion hubs will put im­mense pres­sure on the abil­ity of the ware­house to re­li­ably dis­patch goods, mak­ing the back-end pro­cesses of in­ven­tory man­age­ment even more com­plex. Busi­ness can­not rely on the ex­ist­ing in­fra­struc­ture alone to be able to carry out such a mam­moth task. Adop­tion of ro­botic au­to­ma­tion will be im­per­a­tive to ad­dress th­ese chal­lenges. This is where GreyOrange prod­ucts play a crit­i­cal ro­leto automate the ware­houses in or­der to make th­ese more ef­fi­cient and ac­cu­rate.

(The views ex­pressed are solely of the au­thor. The pub­li­ca­tion may or may not sub­scribe to the same.)

Vikrant Ya­dav Coun­try Man­ager - In­dia GreyOrange

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.