Many Warehouses Don’t Have WMS
Voice-directed picking has mentioned as the greatest implementation growth among new technologies. About 25 percent of facilities are using the technology today, compared to less than six percent a decade ago. But implementation of conveyers, carousels and advanced shipping notification have declined over the last ten years.
Implementation of digital technologies has made progress in warehouses since 2008, but progress has been slow. According to the report: “Technology continues to advance at a rapid rate and implementation lags in warehousing. In the warehouse of 2018, technologies have had only a marginal implementation” for many of those who participated in the survey.
The lack of a warehouse management systems can mean trouble for warehouses that want to implement advanced technologies. WMS is considered the baseline, and without it, adding emerging technologies can prove futile.
The WERC report said that in many cases, warehouses are relying on manual systems such as Excel spreadsheets and/or standalone software to run individual warehouse functions. That approach negates technological trends, such as the internet of things (IoT) and smart manufacturing, both of which rely on communications among systems and machines.
If technology and warehouse implementation continue to grow at their disparate respective rates, warehouses will fall farther and farther behind, the WERC report concluded. “We wonder,” the report said, “how prepared warehousing and distribution are to step into their part in the digital supply chain.”