Category Supply Chain Management

How Telematics Is Changing Supply Chain Management

Telematics is revolutionizing the way supply chain management operates. With real-time tracking of vehicles and assets, optimization of route planning, monitoring of driver behavior, and reduction of fuel costs, telematics is driving efficiency and productivity in the supply chain industry. But what exactly is telematics and how is it being used in supply chain management? In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of telematics, its benefits, challenges of implementation, and the future of this game-changing technology in supply chain management. So, stay tuned to discover how telematics is reshaping the landscape of supply chain management.

Key Takeaways

  • Real-time tracking of vehicles and assets enables supply chain managers to have better visibility and control over their operations.
  • Telematics helps to optimize route planning and delivery efficiency, leading to improved productivity and cost savings.
  • The use of telematics in supply chain management can also improve safety, compliance, and reduce environmental impact.

How Is Telematics Used in Supply Chain Management?

Telematics plays a crucial role in supply chain management by providing real-time visibility and control over the movement of goods and assets, utilizing GPS tracking for efficient route planning, and leveraging IoT devices for streamlined inventory management.

Real-Time Tracking of Vehicles and Assets

Real-time tracking of vehicles and assets through telematics enables precise monitoring of their locations and status, contributing to efficient operations and optimized route planning using GPS fleet tracking.

The real-time tracking feature provided by telematics offers numerous benefits for businesses and organizations. By having constant visibility into the whereabouts of their vehicles and assets, companies can ensure timely deliveries, enhance customer satisfaction, and make informed decisions regarding resource allocation. This technology enables proactive maintenance scheduling, leading to decreased downtime and lower repair costs.

Moreover, GPS fleet tracking gives the power to managers and dispatchers with the ability to choose the most efficient routes, which optimizes fuel consumption and reduces overall operating expenses. This not only enhances the sustainability of the company’s operations but also plays a pivotal role in improving environmental conservation efforts. The integration of telematics with route planning allows for real-time adjustments to be made in response to traffic or weather conditions, ultimately minimizing driver stress and maximizing safety.

Optimizing Route Planning and Delivery Efficiency

Telematics enhances route planning and delivery efficiency by utilizing GPS receivers and IoT devices to provide real-time data, enabling proactive adjustments and streamlined operations.

Through the integration of GPS receivers and IoT devices, telematics revolutionizes the transportation industry. Real-time data insights enable route optimization, enhancing delivery efficiency and customer satisfaction. Fleet managers leverage this technology to monitor vehicle performance and driver behavior, facilitating well-considered choices.

Monitoring Driver Behavior and Safety

Telematics facilitates the monitoring of driver behavior and safety, leveraging AI road safety systems to enhance compliance and mitigate risks through proactive interventions.

By integrating AI-powered road safety systems, telematics can analyze driving patterns and detect potential risks, such as harsh braking, rapid acceleration, and erratic steering. This enables proactive measures, such as real-time alerts and personalized coaching for drivers to improve their behavior. Telematics solutions can track vehicle speed, location, and adherence to traffic laws, providing valuable insights for proactive monitoring and regulatory compliance.

The implementation of telematics gives the power to fleet managers to assess and address risky behaviors promptly, thereby reducing the likelihood of accidents and promoting a culture of safety awareness among drivers. This holistic approach not only enhances safety on the roads but also contributes to operational efficiency and cost savings for organizations.

Also read: 17 Best Inventory Management Techniques

Reducing Fuel Costs and Carbon Emissions

Telematics contributes to reducing fuel costs and carbon emissions by optimizing routes, minimizing idle time, and providing insights through GPS tracking, thereby addressing the environmental impact of fleet operations.

The GPS tracking feature of telematics allows businesses to monitor and analyze vehicle movements, enabling them to identify and rectify inefficient routes and unnecessary idle time, which significantly reduces fuel consumption and subsequently lowers the overall carbon footprint. By integrating real-time data and analytics, telematics systems can assist in creating and implementing more efficient route plans, further enhancing fuel efficiency and promoting environmental sustainability.

What Are the Benefits of Using Telematics in Supply Chain Management?

The use of telematics in supply chain management offers an array of benefits, including increased visibility and control, improved efficiency and productivity, enhanced safety and compliance, and significant cost savings.

Increased Visibility and Control

Telematics provides heightened visibility and control over supply chain operations, enabling logistics companies to make informed decisions and promptly address potential issues through IoT devices and real-time data.

By incorporating telematics into their supply chain operations, companies can gain real-time insights into the location, condition, and status of their assets. This enhanced visibility allows for quick identification of potential disruptions or delays, enabling proactive measures to mitigate risks. Telematics solutions enable efficient route planning and optimization, leading to cost savings and improved delivery timelines. The integration of IoT devices and sensors within the supply chain provides a stream of valuable data, offering valuable analytics for process improvement and streamlined operations.

Improved Efficiency and Productivity

Telematics drives improved efficiency and productivity in supply chain management by optimizing routes, streamlining inventory management, and enabling proactive decision-making, ultimately enhancing operational performance.

By leveraging telematics, supply chain operators can gain real-time insights into vehicle performance, fuel consumption, and driver behavior, allowing them to make informed decisions that minimize costs and boost operational efficiency. The integration of telematics with GPS systems enables dynamic route optimization, reducing delivery times and enhancing customer satisfaction.

Enhanced Safety and Compliance

Telematics contributes to enhanced safety and compliance by facilitating driver monitoring, adherence to regulations, and proactive risk mitigation, aligning with standards set by organizations like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Through the utilization of telematics systems, businesses can effectively monitor driver behavior, including speed, braking, and adherence to traffic laws. By capturing and analyzing real-time data, companies can identify and address unsafe driving practices, thereby reducing the risk of accidents and improving overall road safety.

In addition, telematics plays a crucial role in ensuring regulatory compliance within supply chain operations. By tracking vehicle locations, routes, and driving hours, organizations can demonstrate adherence to regulations such as the ELD mandate and Hours of Service (HoS) regulations imposed by the FMCSA.

By integrating telematics with fleet management systems, companies can proactively identify potential risks and take preventive measures to mitigate them. This approach not only enhances safety but also contributes to operational efficiency and cost savings by reducing downtime, maintenance expenses, and insurance premiums.

Cost Savings and ROI

Telematics delivers significant cost savings and return on investment (ROI) by optimizing fuel efficiency, minimizing operational expenses, and streamlining inventory management, leading to improved financial performance.

By providing real-time data on vehicle usage, telematics enables businesses to identify areas for efficiency improvement, such as driver behavior modification, route optimization, and proactive maintenance scheduling, resulting in lower fuel consumption and reduced wear and tear.

The ability to closely monitor and manage operational expenses, including maintenance and insurance costs, ensures better control over budget allocation and resource utilization, ultimately leading to enhanced financial stability and profitability.

What Are the Challenges of Implementing Telematics in Supply Chain Management?

Despite its advantages, implementing telematics in supply chain management presents challenges such as initial investment and integration complexities, data security and privacy concerns, as well as resistance to change and the need for comprehensive training.

Initial Investment and Integration

The initial investment and integration of telematics pose challenges for logistics companies, requiring substantial financial commitment and seamless integration with existing systems and IoT devices.

Logistics businesses often encounter hurdles when contemplating the adoption of telematics. The financial commitment needed for the initial investment can be daunting, as it involves expenses related to hardware, software, installation, and employee training.

Seamlessly integrating this technology with existing systems and IoT devices presents another set of challenges. The compatibility and interoperability of various systems need to be carefully analyzed to ensure smooth integration without disrupting the current operational flow.

Data Security and Privacy Concerns

Data security and privacy concerns emerge as significant challenges in the implementation of telematics, necessitating robust measures to safeguard sensitive information and ensure compliance with privacy regulations.

As telematics continues to gain momentum across various industries, the need to address data security and privacy concerns becomes increasingly pressing. Organizations utilizing telematics solutions must prioritize the protection of sensitive information, such as location data, driving behavior, and vehicle diagnostics.

The integration of protective measures like encryption protocols, secure authentication methods, and intrusion detection systems is crucial to establish a secure telematics environment. Compliance with privacy regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is non-negotiable, necessitating thorough data handling practices and consent management.

By addressing these concerns and complying with regulatory standards, businesses can instill trust among customers and mitigate potential data breaches, ensuring the responsible and secure utilization of telematics.

Resistance to Change and Training

Resistance to change and the need for comprehensive training present challenges during the implementation of telematics, requiring a cultural shift and skill development to ensure smooth adoption and utilization.

Implementing telematics often faces resistance to change, as employees may be hesitant to embrace new systems and processes due to fear of the unknown and concerns about how it may impact their roles. Overcoming this resistance requires effective change management strategies, clear communication, and demonstrating the benefits of the technology in streamlining operations and improving overall efficiency.

In addition, comprehensive training becomes vital to equip employees with the necessary skills to operate and leverage telematics effectively. This training should not only focus on technical competencies but also on reinforcing the cultural shift towards embracing data-driven decision-making and enhancing customer experiences. It is essential to address any apprehensions through targeted training programs tailored to different roles within the organization.

What Is the Future of Telematics in Supply Chain Management?

The future of telematics in supply chain management points towards increased integration with IoT devices, advanced AI capabilities, and heightened relevance in the context of evolving e-commerce dynamics and supply chain digitization.

These advancements will revolutionize the way supply chain operations are managed, fostering greater efficiency, transparency, and predictive insights. With enhanced connectivity through IoT, telematics systems

  • will capture and transmit real-time data from various endpoints, enabling proactive maintenance and inventory management.
  • will leverage AI algorithms to analyze data patterns, anticipate disruptions, and optimize routes and delivery schedules.

The integration of telematics into e-commerce frameworks will cater to the growing demand for last-mile delivery efficiency and customer-centric service. As telematics continues to evolve, it is set to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of supply chain management.

Frequently Asked Questions

How has Telematics impacted Supply Chain Management?

Telematics has revolutionized supply chain management by providing real-time tracking and monitoring of goods, vehicles, and drivers. This has enabled companies to optimize their operations, reduce costs, and improve efficiency.

What are the key benefits of incorporating Telematics in Supply Chain Management?

Some of the key benefits of using Telematics in supply chain management include improved visibility, enhanced fleet management, better route planning, reduced fuel costs, and increased customer satisfaction.

How does Telematics improve visibility in Supply Chain Management?

Telematics provides real-time data on the location and status of goods, vehicles, and drivers, which enhances visibility and allows companies to proactively address any potential issues or delays in the supply chain.

What role does Telematics play in enhancing fleet management?

Telematics enables companies to monitor and track their fleet of vehicles, including the speed, location, and fuel consumption of each vehicle. This data helps improve fleet management by identifying and addressing any inefficiencies or issues.

How has Telematics helped reduce costs in Supply Chain Management?

By providing real-time data and insights, Telematics has helped companies optimize their operations, reduce fuel costs, and improve efficiency, ultimately leading to cost savings in supply chain management.

Can Telematics improve customer satisfaction in Supply Chain Management?

Yes, Telematics can improve customer satisfaction by providing accurate and timely updates on the status of their orders, allowing for better communication and a more efficient supply chain process. This can also lead to increased customer loyalty and retention.

What role do intermediaries in the US pharmaceutical supply chain play in ensuring the quality of the drugs they are distributing

The United States pharmaceutical supply chain is a complex and multifaceted system that plays a critical role in ensuring the quality and safety of drugs available to the American public. This intricate network consists of various intermediaries that act as crucial links between drug manufacturers and patients. These intermediaries include wholesalers, distributors, pharmacies, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), and health insurers. Each of them has a distinct role in safeguarding the quality of drugs while also serving economic and logistical functions.

Wholesalers and Distributors

Wholesalers and distributors are the initial intermediaries in the pharmaceutical supply chain. They purchase pharmaceuticals in bulk from manufacturers and then distribute them to pharmacies, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. Their role in ensuring drug quality is multi-faceted:

  • Storage and Handling: Wholesalers and distributors are responsible for maintaining proper storage conditions to prevent degradation of drugs. This includes controlling temperature, humidity, and other environmental factors that can affect drug efficacy and safety.
  • Product Authentication: They implement procedures designed to reduce counterfeit or substandard products from entering the supply chain.
  • Recall Management: In case of drug recalls or safety issues, wholesalers play a crucial role in swiftly removing affected products from circulation, preventing potential harm to patients.
  • Documentation and Record-keeping: They maintain detailed records of drug transactions, which can aid in traceability and accountability in case of quality issues or recalls.


Pharmacies, as the last link before the drugs reach the patients, have significant responsibilities in ensuring drug quality:

  • Dispensing Accuracy: Pharmacists are responsible for accurately dispensing medications and ensuring that the right drug, in the right form and dosage, is provided to patients.
  • Patient Counseling: Pharmacists offer counseling to patients on how to properly take their medications, including potential side effects and interactions with other drugs, enhancing patient safety.
  • Storage and Handling: Pharmacies must also maintain proper storage conditions, especially for medications that require specific environmental controls.
  • Reporting Adverse Events: Pharmacists play a role in monitoring and reporting adverse drug reactions or quality issues to the manufacturer and regulatory authorities.

Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs)

PBMs are responsible for managing drug benefits for health insurance plans. They have a substantial impact on drug quality in several ways:

  • Formulary Management: PBMs decide which drugs are covered by insurance plans. They assess the safety, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness of drugs, influencing which medications patients have access to.
  • Drug Utilization Review: PBMs conduct reviews to identify potential issues, such as drug interactions, excessive dosages, or potential adverse effects, helping to ensure patient safety.
  • Cost Control: While primarily focused on cost containment, PBMs indirectly contribute to drug quality by ensuring that expensive medications are appropriately managed and used when necessary.

Health Insurers

Health insurers have a broader role in the healthcare system, but they indirectly impact drug quality by:

  • Network Selection: Insurers create networks of healthcare providers and pharmacies. They often require adherence to quality and safety standards as a condition for network participation.
  • Coverage Policies: Insurers establish policies for medication coverage, which can impact the types and quality of drugs accessible to policyholders.
  • Patient Education: They may provide resources and information to policyholders about drug safety and adherence.

The collective efforts of these intermediaries in the U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain contribute to drug quality assurance through various mechanisms:

  • Regulatory Compliance: They must adhere to the regulations and quality standards set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulatory bodies. Failure to comply can result in legal consequences.
  • Product Authentication: The supply chain intermediaries play a role in monitoring that the drugs they handle are authentic and safe. Counterfeit and substandard drugs are significant threats, and their vigilant efforts help mitigate these risks.
  • Traceability: Comprehensive record-keeping and documentation of transactions enable efficient traceability of drugs throughout the supply chain. This aids in tracking the source of any quality issues or recalls, allowing for targeted interventions.
  • Recall Management: Intermediaries work in tandem with manufacturers and regulatory agencies to swiftly remove potentially harmful or defective drugs from circulation, protecting patients from harm.
  • Patient Education: Through patient counseling and educational resources, intermediaries also contribute to ensuring that patients understand how to take their medications safely, including possible side effects and interactions.

However, the pharmaceutical supply chain in the United States is not without its challenges. Issues such as drug shortages, pricing concerns, and the need for innovative technologies to address coverage gaps, and improved transparency and interoperability of data among intermediaries continue to be subjects of debate and reform efforts.

In recent years, technological advancements, such as blockchain and track-and-trace systems, have been introduced to enhance transparency and traceability within the pharmaceutical supply chain. These innovations aim to strengthen the role of intermediaries in ensuring drug quality by providing real-time visibility into the movement of drugs.

Also read: The Changes And Challenges in The Healthcare Supply Chain

Additionally, the opioid epidemic in the United States has highlighted the need for increased vigilance among intermediaries in the distribution of controlled substances. Regulatory agencies have implemented stricter controls, and intermediaries are under increased scrutiny to prevent the diversion of prescription opioids to the illicit market.

ARTiFACTS Verify offers an integrated approach to identifying substandard and falsified drugs:

  • Identification of suspect medicines through on-site testing at any point in the supply chain using paper analytical device technology that is cost-effective and requires minimal training.
  • Confirmation of the properties of medicines failing the initial test through further testing at specialist labs, using advanced scientifically recognized techniques, including high-performance liquid chromatography, mass spectroscopy, among others.
  • Coverage of over half of WHO’s 600 Essential Medicines.
  • Recording and analysis of results on a purpose-built blockchain platform which provides an immutable record of test results, including active pharmaceutical ingredients, product origin and manufacturer.

In conclusion, intermediaries in the U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain play a vital role in ensuring the quality of drugs they distribute. Their responsibilities encompass various aspects, from verifying the authenticity of drugs to ensuring proper storage, handling, and dispensing. They also contribute to patient safety through education, monitoring, and reporting of adverse events. While challenges persist, ongoing efforts in regulation, technology, and transparency aim to strengthen the role of these intermediaries in maintaining the integrity of the pharmaceutical supply chain and, ultimately, the safety and well-being of patients.

5 Tips to Prepare for Peak Shipping Season

From mid-August through November, businesses are prepared for the rush of orders and deliveries coming into. This is because everyone is getting ready for blowout sales at back-to-school and Christmas shopping. We know that this time of year can be a bit hectic. With a flurry of requests, staying on track with the latest news and events isn’t easy. Peak shipping season demands careful preparation to meet high demand. This article provides essential tips to ensure a successful shipping season.

However, with a little preparation, you’ll be able to deal with the increasing demands and minimize disruptions to your business. Don’t get caught up this year. Follow these five steps to prepare for the peak shipping season.

How to Prepare for Peak Shipping Season

Recall your previous seasons

The best method to get through this peak season is to begin reviewing your experiences from previous seasons. By reflecting, you’ll discover ways to enhance your workflow and excel in areas that you’ve already mastered. This will allow you to make the necessary adjustments to ensure that your operations are functioning properly.

Speak to teammates who have been with the team in previous seasons for more feedback. By listening to their perspective you’ll gain a better understanding and make appropriate adjustments.

Improve your client communication

Communication with your clients is crucial, particularly in peak seasons. Due to increased demand, deliveries may be slower or have only a limited capacity. Preparing your plans in advance and being able to predict future demand trends is essential. By establishing a solid communication process and being flexible you can develop strategies to ensure that your deliveries are delivered on time.

Also read: Top 10 Dropshipping Suppliers for Small Businesses

Partner with trusted 3PLs

For a smooth peak season, look into working with a 3PL. Before the season starts look for a few 3PLs and discuss your plans for the coming months. With proper consideration like rates or deadlines for shipping be aware of this influx with your new shipping partners.

Keep up with your deadlines

Before putting together a plan to deal with during the busy season be aware of all deadlines. The ability to meet deadlines both internal and external is vital to successfully navigate the peak shipping season.

Your team members must be aware of the details of the shipment to ensure that everything is in order. It is also important to inform your customers to inform them of when they will receive their packages.

Don’t wait until the last Minute

The most dangerous thing you could do is to wait until the last minute to change your plans. As the peak season approaches, you must be prepared and moving. Making last-minute adjustments can be confusing and can cause delays in your shipping.

However, we know that things can go wrong. Make a backup plan that can be used as a backup in the event that something goes wrong or if there are delays.


In conclusion, preparing for the peak shipping season requires meticulous planning, efficient logistics, clear communication, and adaptability. These strategies are essential for meeting high-demand periods successfully.

Logistics Software: Your Business’s Secret Weapon for Growth

In the fast-paced realm of commerce, businesses engage in a relentless race for success. While many elements of their strategy are discussed openly, the indispensable role of logistics capabilities often goes underappreciated.

To explore the critical key that has propelled numerous businesses to unprecedented growth, delve into the world of logistics software. This revolutionary tool has the potential to reshape your company’s future. Discover how logistics software development can transform your operations at, where you can learn more about its significance in the industry.

The Backbone of Commerce: Understanding Logistics

Essentially, logistics is the lifeblood of any successful company. In a nutshell:

  • Supply Chain Management: ensuring that raw supplies get to the factories.
  • Inventory Management: Maintaining the ideal stock level without going overboard or out of stock.
  • Transportation: ensuring that goods are effectively delivered to customers or retailers.
  • Customer Satisfaction: making sure the final consumers receive their items at the appropriate time and in the appropriate quality.

You’ve heard the expression, “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” A logistical error can constitute a bottleneck in the corporate world, impeding expansion and profitability.

From Paper to Pixels: The Evolution of Logistics Management

Businesses used to mostly rely on written logs, physical supervision, and manual records. Today, we discover that the shift from paper to pixels has completely changed the logistics industry. Businesses are no longer constrained by sluggish paper trails or human mistakes. Tools to optimize, streamline, and most crucially, simplify logistics management were brought about by the advent of the digital era.

Also read: Inbound and Outbound Logistics: What is The Difference?

Logistics Software: Not Just a Flash in the Pan

Although some may contend that more conventional approaches are charming, there are many benefits of using logistics software:

Cutting-edge Features

With features like automatic inventory updates and real-time tracking, logistics software has capabilities that old pen and paper can only imagine.

Real-world Impact

Many companies, big and small, have seen exponential development as a result of the benefits provided by logistics software. Company X is one such example; after using such software, they observed a 45% boost in efficiency.

Debunking Myths

Many people believe that logistics software is just for large tech companies or that small firms cannot use it because it is too complex. The truth, however, is far different. Any size or style of organization may benefit from the scalable solutions and user-friendly interfaces available.

Finding Your Perfect Match: Choosing the Right Logistics Software

“All that glitters is not gold.” Nothing could be more true in the world of logistics software. To help you make the best decision, consider the following brief guide:

  • Functionality: Does the software cater to all your logistics needs?
  • Scalability: Can it grow with your business?
  • User-friendliness: Is it intuitive or does it come with a steep learning curve?
  • Support: Does the provider offer ample training and post-purchase support?

Recall that integrating software ought to simplify procedures rather than make them more difficult. The last thing you want is for your activities to be complicated by the software.

Future Forecast: The Road Ahead for Logistics Software

The nature of technology is always changing. Here’s what logistics software may look like in the future when we peer into the crystal ball:

  • AI Integration: The potential of intelligent route planning, demand forecasting, and predictive analytics.
  • IoT (Internet of Things): the capacity to interface with other devices, improving automation and real-time tracking.
  • Sustainable Solutions: We may observe a rise in green logistics solutions with an emphasis on carbon footprint reduction as the globe moves toward sustainable practices.

Staying ahead of the curve is crucial for organizations to make sure they don’t lose out on these improvements.

A Deeper Dive: The Real-world Benefits of Logistics Software

What does a firm actually get out of using logistics software, underneath the surface? Now let’s explore some concrete advantages.

  • Enhanced Visibility and Control: The days of aiming blindly and praying for the best are long gone. Businesses may get a bird’s eye perspective of their operations with logistics software. Better decision-making and prompt troubleshooting are both facilitated by this, ensuring that no issue is left unattended.
  • Cost Savings: It’s important to maximize resources rather than only taking shortcuts. Businesses may significantly cut waste with services like inventory management and route optimization, making every dollar matter.
  • Boosted Customer Satisfaction: In the era of digitalization, the client is king. What is the king’s desire? On-time delivery, live monitoring, and effective communication. Software for logistics may act as a link between companies and their clients, guaranteeing that the latter are constantly happy.
  • Streamlined Internal Communication: Coordination between delivery drivers, warehouses, and management is essential in logistics. Software solutions provide error-free and efficient communication by guaranteeing that all parties are in agreement.

Also read: Unlocking the Power of Business and Shipping Analytics

Logistics Software: An Investment, Not an Expense

Software solutions are often thought of as just one more line item in the costs column. It is imperative that this viewpoint be changed. Consider logistics software as a long-term investment in your company. The long-term advantages in growth, customer pleasure, and efficiency outweigh the seemingly high initial expenses.

Seize the Day with Logistics Software

Logistics, which frequently takes place in the background, is a major player in the overall picture of corporate operations. Furthermore, in this day and age, not using logistics software to modernize might mean passing up big opportunities for development. According to the proverb, “A stitch in time saves nine.” Businesses that invest today will gain greatly down the road.

Essentially, the road to expansion is multifaceted, but the appropriate software combined with effective logistics may be the hidden tool you’ve been looking for.

9 Warehouse KPIs for An Efficiently Managed Warehouse

Warehouse KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) can be vital to the efficiency of any warehouse operation because they permit you to track and establish benchmarks for your business. This is the way to create an efficient warehouse. They also aid in identifying areas in need of improvement, particularly those that have an impact on the overall cost of operations and the customer’s satisfaction.

Warehouse KPIs are typically unique to a particular operation however, they are not applicable to all businesses. In our opinion, there are some essential warehouse KPIs that must be monitored regardless of how big the business is for an efficiently managed warehouse. They include:

Order Fulfillment

Order Fulfillment begins with the placing of the order and ends with the delivery of the items to the customer for distribution. There are a variety of metrics that can be analyzed in the process of fulfilling orders, including:

  • order fill rate: Fill rate is the measure of the proportion of the order that was filled. An acceptable fill rate should be between 97 and 99 percent of the total amount. Anything less than 94% could be due to inefficiencies within the processing of the warehouse and replenishment process. A fill rate of 100 percent is believed to be the highest of its kind in the industry.
  • Order Fulfillment Timeliness: A 100% fill rate has no significance to the customer when the order isn’t delivered in time. The most common timeframe for order fulfillment is between 1-2 days, with the best in category being no more than 24 hours from the date of the order’s placement until the time of dispatch to the distribution center.
  • Picks per hour are the main outbound metric that allows you to analyze and identify the effectiveness of your group of pickers as well as their performance on a daily basis. A typical picker will select between 120-180 pieces/ cases per hour. The top pickers get more than 250 picks an hour. Utilizing the latest technology, such as Voice Picking could increase the rate of picks by 30% when the conditions are right.
  • On Time, In Full: If all of the above is achieved at the top of the line but if the products are not received on time this will have a negative impact on the business. On-time deliveries should typically be in the range of 98 to 99 percent. Anything that is higher than this is considered exceptional.

Inventory Accuracy

Your inventory should be in line with the one shown in your database, but it’s not always the case. an unbalance between the two at any big distribution center. A high percentage of inaccuracy in inventory can lead to unexpected delays in orders, unsatisfied customers, and eventually more expensive overall costs. Improve your accuracy in inventory by performing regular checks against your database and using cycles as a method of continuously verifying your database’s records.

Physical Inventory Count ÷  Database Inventory Count Percentage of Accuracy in Inventory

Also read: 10 Inventory Management KPIs for Better Performance

Overall Throughput

Warehouse throughput is the number of units handled and moved around your warehouse every day. To determine your throughput rate be sure to monitor the flow of goods through your warehouse over the duration of. For instance, if you would like to know the number of orders processed by your warehouse in the eight-hour period You can monitor the quantity of orders processed in the time frame and the time it takes for each item to be moved from the pick stage to packing and labeling. If your warehouse can process 400 orders in just eight hours, this means that employees are processing about 50 orders every hour.


Replenishment refers to the movement of inventory from the reserve or central storage space to the primary storage bins to allow for moving downstream into picking faces to perform pick/pack operations. This is a crucial metric for warehouses that deal with many products in large quantities, especially in e-commerce settings. The replenishment metric evaluates the processes employed to execute the movement and also how efficient it is. By utilizing effective replenishment strategies warehouses/companies will:

  • Avoid dead stock and overstocked
  • Check for shortages
  • Ensure on-time deliveries
  • Ensure proper product rotation
  • Make sure you have a safe stock
  • Accuracy in Picking and Shipping

The main purpose of a warehouse’s operation is to make sure that customers receive the items they requested within the time frame they want them to be delivered. So, order accuracy is among the most crucial metrics warehouses must track daily. The best warehouse operations aim for order accuracy between 99.5 percent to 99.9 percent.

Turning Inventory

The ratio of stock turnover is a measure used to measure how often and when a specific item of stock is received processed and shipped within a certain timeframe. This is a crucial gauge of a company’s quality of inventory and its order processing. Turns in inventory (also known as “speed category” for an object could be tracked within a WMS. This allows you to manage inventory in an organization in a different way. For instance, using counting inventory cycles it is possible to count those who move faster more often than slow movers, which gives you the capability to put your labor effort directly where it could have a direct impact instead of taking all items of inventory by using the same processes for managing inventory.

Dead Stock

Dead stock refers to inventory that isn’t moving due to a lack of demand. It is stored in warehouses in a warehouse, taking up capacity. It is comprised of stock that has been damaged and/or expired or not sellable due to reasons of any kind. The metrics for dead stock are vital to track because dead stock can cause costs for inventory and block space for more profitable products. The best practice is to monitor dead stock and send reports to the management team that provides sales incentives to get these items out.

Supplier KPIs

The measurement of the supplier’s KPI is crucial to establishing top-of-the-line procurement. It will help improve communication, improve spend and order visibility, enhance process efficiency, and identify savings opportunities in cost and more. Supplier KPI measures to be considered include performance, reliability compliance, as well as customer service.

Also read: 7 Key Steps To Developing A Winning Customer Experience Strategy

Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is heavily dependent on the overall performance of the entire warehouse operations. The customer satisfaction scores reflect all the performance you can get from your outbound and inbound operations, the overall management of inventory, and communication protocols. The level of satisfaction with your customers can be assessed by looking at:

  • On-time delivery
  • Shipping accuracy
  • Stock accuracy
  • Inventory turnover
  • Activity reporting, like shorts and returns


If you’re not keeping track of what works and what does not, it’s hard to tell the things your business requires to succeed and if you’ve got a well-managed warehouse. Selecting the best warehouse KPIs to monitor in line with your business goals will be the initial step to making your business profitable and having satisfied customers. Once the warehouse KPIs which best fit your business are determined take a regular look at them and adjust them according to the lessons you’ve learned. You may discover that you require additional space, more workers, or even new technology, such as the latest WMS system. Whatever your requirements you have, proper KPI monitoring will allow you to identify them.

17 Best Inventory Management Techniques

Inventory management is the process of ordering, logging the inventory, storing it, and selling it throughout the supply chain. It is essential if you want the correct mix of goods that you can sell to your clients. There are many Inventory management techniques that will aid you in managing your inventory and running an efficient business. In this article, we’ll go over the top 17 techniques.

What is Inventory Management?

Inventory management is an important function of the supply chain which tracks inventory from manufacturer until the point of sale. This involves forecasting demand, sourcing raw materials or products and storing inventory, analyzing sales, and then reordering if the inventory level is at a low. The purpose of inventory management is to ensure that you have enough products to meet demands while also reducing the expenses associated with inventory.

Why is Inventory Management Essential?

An effective inventory management system is crucial since it will help boost profits, lower costs and enhance customer service. Particularly, the management of inventory is essential because of these reasons

  • Enhances Revenue: Good inventory management will ensure that you always have the appropriate items in stock at all times which allows you to satisfy the demands of customers. This will help you prevent supply shortages that can reduce revenues.
  • Reduces cost: In general, the longer you store inventory the higher it will cost because of the cost of holding as well as handling and other costs that result from obsolete or damaged inventory. An efficient inventory management strategy can reduce these expenses by reducing the amount of inventory you have.
  • Enhances Customer Service: Having the proper stock to satisfy customer demands will result in happier customers and fewer complaints.

The advantages of managing inventory are many. If you’re doing it correctly you’ll be able to improve sales, cut costs, and provide better service to your customers. With this in mind, let’s have some time to look at the top strategies for managing your inventory. These will aid you in learning how to organize your inventory more efficiently.

Also read: How to Improve Warehouse Sustainability

17 Essential Inventory Management Techniques

There are a variety of methods for managing inventory every one with its advantages and disadvantages. When deciding on the most effective method for your needs, you need to think about the type of product you sell what size your company and your budget overall, and the degree of accuracy required to manage a successful supply chain.

Here are the best 17 inventory management strategies and the reasons why they’re crucial:

1. Demand Forecasting

Demand forecasting refers to the process of accurately forecasting the potential demand in the near future for your goods and is something that every business should be doing. If you are able to forecast demand correctly then you can ensure that you have the proper amount of stocks available to meet the demands of customers.

Some of the most effective ways to forecast demand include the use of a moving average, exponential smoothing time series analysis, and forecasting based on judgment. The most effective method is dependent on the particulars of your company. No matter which method you decide to use, it’s important to remember that forecasting demand cannot be precise and could result in shortages or stockouts.

2. ABC Analysis

ABC analysis is a technique for managing inventory that ranks inventory items according to their importance to your company. This is especially useful when businesses need to determine the items they will order and keep, which allows for greater oversight of specific inventory items. When performing the ABC analysis, break down the inventory into three groups:

  • A-Items: The most significant items that makeup 20% of inventory items, but can make up to 80 percent of the value of inventory.
  • B-Items: Items of moderate importance to the company that make up 30% of inventory items and around 15 percent of the value of inventory.
  • C-Items: the least important items which account for 50 percent of inventory, but just 5 percent of the value of inventory.

3. Safety Stock

The term “safety stock” refers to the amount of inventory you keep in reserve to meet unexpected demands or delays with future deliveries. Safety stock is crucial for avoiding stockouts. The safety stock is determined according to the fluctuation in demand as well as the delivery lead time and the cost of stockouts, and the expense of keeping stocks.

4. Reorder Points

Reorder points are the levels of inventory that new orders must be placed. These points pertain to particular inventory items and are calculated based on the average daily use, the lead time for orders, and the amount of safe stocks you have available. Reorder points are an important element of inventory management and will help to avoid stock shortages.

5. PAR Levels

Automatic replenishment (PAR) levels are a way of tracking the minimum and maximum levels of inventory for each inventory item. When inventory reaches the minimum amount an order for a new one should be made. However, the inventory should not exceed the limit.

The PAR level technique for inventory management will prevent overstocking and stockouts. It is the best option for businesses with perishable goods, such as restaurants. The PAR levels are determined by the average daily demand for an item as well as the lead time and quantity of stock that is considered safe.

6. Just-in-Time (JIT) Inventory

JIT (JIT) inventory can be described as a method of management that helps reduce the amount of inventory that you have available by only placing orders and delivering items precisely when you require to use them. In order to achieve this it is necessary to monitor the level of inventory and coordinate with suppliers. While JIT may reduce costs for inventory but it also can lead to stockouts and isn’t a good choice for every business.

Also read: 5 Best eCommerce Platforms for Dropshipping

7. Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a technique for managing inventory that doesn’t require sellers in order to maintain inventory on hand. In this case, the vendor contracts with a supplier that will deliver the product directly to the purchaser at the time a purchase is made.

It is popular with online companies and is ideal for reducing expenses for inventory and early expenditures, but also sellers have less control. It can also cause lower profits based on dropshipping fees.

8. Cross-Docking

Cross-docking involves receiving products from suppliers and immediately shipping the products to the customer without having to wait in warehouses. This can help reduce the cost of handling and storage while increasing fulfillment times. It is typically used for perishable goods. However, it requires coordination with suppliers and isn’t the best choice for businesses selling non-perishable goods or products that have little turnover.

9. Inventory Management Software

The inventory management program is an effective software for the management of supply chains that allows you to track the level of inventory, forecast demand, and make orders based on the current level. The most effective inventory management software will depend on your individual requirements, but it is something everyone should be making use of since it can help improve efficiency and decrease expenses.

10. FIFO and LIFO

First in first out (FIFO) and last in first out (LIFO) are two different methods for managing inventory that decide which inventory will be sold first and when. With FIFO you sell your oldest inventory first. On the other hand, using LIFO you sell the latest inventory first.

This FIFO method is the most popular when selling perishable items that are likely to spoil rapidly. It is the LIFO method is typically employed in sectors that have inventory costs that grow over time because it is able to better align costs with revenue and help delay taxes.

11. Consignment Inventory

Consignment inventory refers to a process by which a seller, also known as the consignor, gives items to a retailer–known as a consignee. However, the latter retains ownership of the items until they are actually sold. The advantage of this is the fact that the consignor does not actually pay for the merchandise until they’re sold, and the consignor is accountable for the cost of shipping.

However, the consignee must pay any cost associated with holding and is accountable for the sale of the items, meaning they may be liable for losses if they fail to sell.

12. Economic Order Quantity (EOQ)

Economic order quantity (EOQ) is an inventory management strategy that assists in determining the best quantity of an order that reduces overall inventory costs. The EOQ calculation considers the annual demand, the ordering cost, and the cost of holding the particular product to determine the best quantity. This method reduces costs while ensuring that the stock is available to meet customers’ demands.

13. Perpetual Inventory Management

The term “perpetual” refers to the practice of constantly updating inventory levels when products are purchased or delivered. Continuous inventory management gives the most precise view of inventory levels. It also improves the turnover of inventory and prevents stockouts of inventory.

However, it is more costly, time-consuming, and complicated than other techniques for managing inventory including regular inventory control. In the case of periodic methods, the levels of stock are only regularly updated, rather than constantly.

14. Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ)

Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) is the minimum quantity of inventory to be purchased from a supplier at the same time. MOQs are generally determined by the supplier, so they are able to reduce the cost of shipping inventory. While they benefit the supplier, they limit the flexibility of ordering for sellers and may increase the cost when you have to purchase more than what you need.

Also read: Order Management: What It is, Process and Importance

15. Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma

Six Sigma is an inventory management method that is focused on reducing the number of errors and variations in the process of managing inventory. In Six Sigma, you use techniques that are based on data, like statistical analysis to pinpoint and eliminate issues within your process. For instance, you could make use of it to better manage and track the levels of inventory.

Lean Six Sigma combines the Six Sigma methodology with lean manufacturing to improve the efficiency of the process of managing inventory. You can, for instance, employ it to improve the efficiency of your processes by removing unnecessary steps.

16. Bulk Shipping

Bulk shipping is the practice of buying and shipping inventory in huge quantities. This reduces the shipping cost and may bring reductions from vendors. However, the bulk shipping process can lead to overstocking and could be harmful in the case of selling perishable goods.

17. Batch Tracking

Batch tracking is an inventory management technique that helps companies track groups of items that are similar throughout their supply chains. The most common use of batch tracking is employed for inventory items that are perishable and items that are able to be remembered.

Companies that use batch tracking usually utilize RFID tags or barcodes to track products. This can be particularly beneficial for compliance and quality control for products with expiration dates.


An efficient inventory management strategy is vital for any company that purchases and sells items. There are a variety of methods for managing inventory that could aid in increasing revenue, reducing costs, and increasing customer satisfaction. In the end, the most effective methods will depend on the specifics of your business. It is important to try different strategies to find the right combination for your needs.

Finding a Great Amazon Freight Forwarder: The Essential Guide

As an Amazon seller, it is very important to find a suitable Amazon freight forwarder. When it comes to freight forwarding, there must be no seller who does not know. Amazon freight forwarders are the middlemen between the cargo owner and the carrier. From this point, it is not difficult to see how good the freight forwarder is. important.

Now there are many Amazon freight forwarders in the Amazon cross-border e-commerce market, but not every freight forwarder is reliable, many of them are unreliable, and many Amazon sellers have been deceived, so, Everyone is very concerned about how to find a suitable Amazon freight forwarder.

Before starting to look for a suitable Amazon freight forwarder, Amazon sellers need to clarify their needs and goals. Consider the following factors:

Amazon freight forwarder consideration

  • Shipping method: Determine the shipping method you want to use, such as sea, air, or express. Different shipping methods have an impact on price, speed, and reliability.
  • Service scope: Define the service scope you need, including delivery, warehousing, transportation, customs clearance and delivery, etc. The range of services offered by different forwarding companies may vary.
  • Budget limit: Set a reasonable budget range so that you can better control costs when choosing a freight forwarding company.

How do Amazon sellers find the right Amazon freight forwarder?

  1. A suitable Amazon freight forwarder should have rich experience and professional knowledge in international logistics.

When choosing a freight forwarder, sellers need to consider their experience and capabilities in the field of international trade.

An experienced Amazon freight forwarder understands the rules and procedures of international freight and can provide accurate customs declaration documents and related documents to ensure that the goods can pass through customs smoothly.

Amazon freight forwarders should also understand the operating rules of the Amazon platform and be familiar with Amazon’s delivery requirements in order to assist sellers in smoothly delivering goods to Amazon warehouses.

  1. A reliable Amazon freight forwarder should have good service and communication skills.

The seller needs to establish a close cooperative relationship with the forwarder, so the forwarder should be able to respond to the seller’s questions and needs in a timely manner.

They should be able to provide timely information on shipment tracking and logistics updates to help sellers understand the shipping status of their shipments.

Amazon freight forwarders should be able to provide flexible logistics solutions that can be adjusted and arranged according to the specific needs of the seller.

  1. Cost-effectiveness is also one of the important factors in choosing a suitable freight forwarder.

The seller needs to comprehensively consider the service quality and price factors of the Amazon freight forwarder. While it may be tempting to look for the lowest price, sellers should also be aware of the forwarder’s reputation and word of mouth.

A reputable Amazon freight forwarder is likely to provide more reliable service and ensure that the shipment reaches its destination on time.

Sellers can compare with multiple Amazon freight forwarders to find the best balance point, which can meet the service requirements and be within the budget.

The above content has introduced to you what kind of Amazon FBA freight forwarder you should look for, and the following content will introduce you to where to find Amazon freight forwarders.

Once the needs and goals are clarified, the next step is to look for potential FBA first-leg freight forwarding companies. Here are some ways to find a freight forwarder:

Also read: Freight Broker vs. Freight Forwarder: Is There a Difference?

How to Find the Right Amazon Freight Forwarder?

  • Refer to word-of-mouth and recommendations: Seek recommendations and word-of-mouth from other Amazon sellers, industry circles, or professional platforms. Their experience and opinions can provide you with valuable reference.
  • Online search and comparison: Use search engines or professional Amazon freight forwarder platforms to conduct online searches to collect information on potential freight forwarding companies. Compare their services, prices, customer reviews, and more.
  • Participate in industry exhibitions and activities: participate in relevant industry exhibitions and activities, communicate face-to-face with representatives of freight forwarding companies, and learn about their services and solutions. This is a great opportunity to approach potential partners directly.
  • Inquiry and consultation: Contact potential freight forwarding companies, put forward your needs, and consult them with relevant questions. Through communication with them, understand their professional ability, service quality, and response speed.
  • Consider word of mouth and reputation: The reputation and credibility of the Amazon freight forwarders are also important considerations. Check out freight forwarder testimonials, online reviews, and social media feedback about their business performance and customer satisfaction.

How to Establish a Partnership with Amazon freight forwarder

After evaluating and selecting a suitable Amazon freight forwarder company, you can establish a cooperative relationship with them.

  • Sign a formal contract: Sign a formal contract with the Amazon freight forwarder to clarify the rights and responsibilities of both parties and service rules. Ensure transparency and stability of partnerships.
  • Provide necessary information and documents: According to the requirements of the freight forwarding company, provide necessary information and documents related to goods and transportation, such as product descriptions, packaging requirements, quantities, etc.
  • Communication and coordination: Maintain good communication and coordination with the Amazon freight forwarder, timely transmit important information and changes, and ensure the smooth transportation and customs clearance of the goods.
  • Monitoring and feedback: Pay close attention to the transportation status of the goods, and monitor and feedback to the freight forwarding company. Help them improve their services by providing valuable feedback and suggestions.

Technological Innovations for the Manufacturing Sector

The manufacturing sector has come a long way since the days of performing tasks manually. Technology has revolutionized the manufacturing sector, introducing new tools and methodologies that have shaped contemporary production. Modern technologies hold the potential to take the sector to even greater heights. Keep reading to understand the powerful impact of emerging technologies on the manufacturing sector and how manufacturers can skillfully adapt to these changes.

The Impact of AI and Machine Learning

The surge of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning has significantly influenced the manufacturing industry. At the heart of this influence is the principle of automation. Machines learning and adapting from data have made it possible to automate routine and mundane tasks, thereby increasing efficiency and reducing costs. This form of technology is used in different areas of manufacturing, such as predictive analytics, quality control, preventive maintenance, demand forecasting, and supply chain optimization.

AI offers an attractive proposition for companies striving to cut costs without compromising quality. The traditional concern associated with automation, which would lead to massive job losses, has not found much resonance on the manufacturing shop floor. Instead, AI has allowed employees to focus on tasks that demand more skills, creativity, and judgment, thus adding value to their job roles.

There’s no denying the far-reaching implications of AI and machine learning, but their effective implementation necessitates businesses to transform digitally. Revalize Software, a market leader in digital solutions, fundamentally contributes to this transformation by making complex processes more accessible and helping manufacturers fully leverage AI and machine learning capabilities.

In today’s fast-paced and technology-driven world, businesses continuously seek ways to optimize their operations and improve efficiency. Revalize understands this need and provides manufacturers with advanced digital solutions that simplify and streamline complex processes. They offer interactive platforms allowing efficient collaboration, data analysis, and decision-making, ultimately helping manufacturers enhance their productivity and output.

Focusing on the power of AI and machine learning, Revalize enables manufacturers to tap into the vast potential of these technologies. By harnessing the capabilities of AI, manufacturers can automate repetitive tasks, analyze large volumes of data, and gain valuable insights for easier decision-making. This saves time and effort and enhances accuracy and efficiency throughout the manufacturing process.

Revalize’s solutions bridge the gap between technical expertise and user-friendly interfaces. They strive to make their software accessible and intuitive for users at all levels of technical proficiency. Manufacturers can better adapt to evolving market demands by simplifying complex processes and staying ahead of their competitors.

Also read: Top 10 Cases How AI Helping in Manufacturing

Internet of Things and Its Applications

The Internet of Things (IoT) is reshaping the manufacturing sector by establishing a connection between physical and digital entities. Devices fitted with IoT sensors collect and analyze data, providing manufacturers with unprecedented visibility and control.

Moreover, IoT enables predictive maintenance and real-time monitoring, significantly reducing the time and cost associated with machine failures and unexpected downtimes.

Smart Factory is another revolutionizing area influenced by IoT, encompassing connected machinery that talks to one another and central control systems. Smart Manufacturing harnesses IoT to make decisions in real time, optimize operations, increase productivity, save energy, and improve worker safety.

Adopting 3D Printing Technology

Another innovative technology that’s revolutionizing the manufacturing sector is 3D printing. 3D printing technology helps manufacturers produce complex physical models from digital file designs quickly and cost-effectively. Its applications range from rapid prototyping and customization to on-demand production, tooling, and spare part production.

3D printing transforms traditional supply chain processes by enabling distributed manufacturing—where the production unit is located nearer to the point of use. This reduces shipping costs, lead times, and environmental impact. It also prompts companies to reevaluate their business models toward creating more sustainable manufacturing solutions.

Despite its potential, incorporating 3D printing into traditional manufacturing processes presents cultural and educational challenges. Companies need to invest in employee training and development, encouraging them to embrace technology as an integrated part of the manufacturing process.

Integrating Augmented Reality

Augmented reality (AR) is another groundbreaking technology benefiting the manufacturing sector. AR overlays digital data over the real world, enhancing the user’s environment. This comprehensive visualization enables manufacturers to interact with 3D designs, streamlining the design process and improving product development.

AR not only improves design but also aids in training. Through interactive training sessions, employees can gain practical knowledge without being physically present near the machinery. Furthermore, AR helps in conducting remote maintenance, where technicians diagnose problems from anywhere, drastically reducing the time and cost involved in traveling.

Role of Robotics in Manufacturing

Robotic automation is no longer limited to large-scale manufacturing units. Even small businesses are leveraging this technology to automate tasks, such as assembling, packing, welding, and material handling, which are time-consuming and prone to human errors. Also, unlike their human counterparts, robots can perform repetitive tasks without failure, thus increasing productivity and reducing downtime.

Robots are also helping overcome labor challenges. Robots can fill the gap for industries facing severe labor shortages, working around the clock without breaks and maintaining consistency. Robots can perform tasks in hazardous environments where human safety could be compromised.

As robotics become more accessible and affordable, their adoption in the manufacturing sector is witnessing a noticeable surge. However, the robotic automation transition also demands the current workforce’s reskilling. This is important to handle the intricate programming and maintenance aspects, driving the robots to maximum potential.

Also read: Top 10 Manufacturing Analytics Use Cases in Supply Chain

Blockchain Technology for Supply Chain

Blockchain technology is significantly impacting the manufacturing sector, particularly in supply chain management. Blockchain serves as a shared, unchangeable ledger that securely records transactions across multiple computers. By leveraging blockchain, manufacturers can enhance traceability, transparency, and accountability and significantly improve their supply chain operations.

One of the key benefits of blockchain in manufacturing is counterfeiting prevention. By putting product information on the blockchain, manufacturers can verify the authenticity of each item, reducing the risk of counterfeit goods. Furthermore, blockchain can streamline compliance processes as it provides tamper-proof document management.

Despite the potential advantages of blockchain technology, companies may face challenges in its implementation, primarily due to a lack of knowledge, regulatory considerations, and scalability issues. Therefore, to maximize the benefits of blockchain, businesses need to address these issues and adopt a step-by-step approach to its implementation.

Data Analytics for Informed Decision Making

Data analytics is at the center of technological transformations in the manufacturing sector. The application of data analytics allows manufacturing companies to gain deep insights into their operations and make informed business decisions. By quickly processing large volumes of data, companies can identify trends, patterns, and correlations that influence their business.

Data analytics doesn’t only improve operational efficiency. It also assists in predicting future trends, guiding investment decisions, and devising marketing strategies. Furthermore, data analytics has proven beneficial in forming pricing strategies and understanding customer preferences, supporting manufacturers in meeting demand and optimizing sales.

While data analytics has tremendous potential, implementing it comes with its hurdles. These include handling massive data volumes, maintaining data accuracy, securing data privacy, and ensuring regulatory compliance.

Technological innovations pave the way for a more efficient, productive, and sustainable manufacturing sector. By embracing these advancements, manufacturers can significantly improve their operations, save costs, increase profitability, and secure a competitive advantage in the market. However, effective technological integration also requires preparing the business and its workforce for the cultural shift toward digitization.

How to Improve Storage for Short-Shelf Life Products

Time is money for most businesses, but in the case of some warehouse operators, it’s more imperative than others. Businesses that store and sell goods with short shelf lives – food and drink, medicine, flowers, etc. – need to ensure that their goods remain in the warehouse for as little time as possible. The entire logistics process needs to be streamlined, to the point that customers receive their goods fresh, and with plenty of time to spare.

Achieving this means making optimizations throughout the supply chain, but certain aspects of this are out of your control. What you can control is the way your warehouse operates, and how it facilitates a faster turnover of goods and better goods storage. Here are some ideas as to how you can store and process products with a short shelf life more effectively, reducing spoilage and better serving your customers.

The problem with short shelf lives

Goods with short shelf lives pose a range of problems, particularly in the current climate. We’re all aware of the stories around perishable goods being held up at the border due to red tape, and the ongoing issues with UK-EU imports and exports. While the problems may yet be ironed out, it seems that additional delays as a result of Brexit are here to stay, posing a serious problem for goods with short shelf lives.

Even with goods produced in the UK, however, there are a number of challenges to contend with. With the rise in online shopping, warehouse space is at a premium. Next and same-day deliveries have increased the demand for rapid logistics and more centralized warehouse locations, while an increase in food deliveries has created fresh demand for refrigerated warehouse space. Add to this an energy and fuel crisis – hitting running costs for warehouses and vehicles – and the business is more challenging than ever.

Beyond the current economic and political climate, goods with short shelf lives pose the same problems as ever. Careful inventory management is required to avoid spoilage, and warehouse design needs to support warehouse operatives in storing and picking goods more quickly. New technologies are also required to integrate with the rest of the supply chain and coordinate with first or third-party logistics to reduce delays and pileups of goods.

Also read: 9 Technology to Make Smart Warehouse

4 ways to improve storage for short-shelf life products

Thankfully, there are a number of ways to improve the performance of your existing warehouse space. Whether it’s making the storage and retrieval of goods easier, streamlining aspects of your logistics, or cutting warehouse costs, there are changes you can make that will have an outsized impact on your business’ efficiency. These include:

1. Gravity flow racking

If you’re looking for a quick fix and don’t mind the capital outlay, gravity flow racking (also called live pallet racking) is a great solution. Gravity flow racking is a first in, first out (FIFO) system that uses inclined shelving and smooth rollers to deposit pallets at the picking face. The first items are the first items to be presented to pickers, ensuring that perishables don’t get stuck at the back of the racking, and have to be discarded.

The automatic replenishment of pallets at the picking face reduces handling time, while a range of safety features ensure that pallets don’t slide forward too quickly, damaging cargo or injuring warehouse operatives. Gravity flow racking is also low maintenance and operates well at a variety of temperatures, making it perfect for refrigerated warehouse spaces. It’s the most popular form of FIFO racking, and not without reason – particularly for perishables.

2. Pallet shuttle racking

If you’re looking for a way to improve the efficiency of palletized goods storage in a refrigerated warehouse, pallet shuttle racking may be the answer. Pallet shuttle racking uses thin, powered shuttles that roll in and out of the racking, allowing you to quickly store and access pallets in a high-density system. Importantly, pallet shuttle racking also has a wide range of operating temperatures, making it perfectly suited to a refrigerated warehouse.

While pallet shuttle racking is a last in, first out (LIFO) system – requiring very rapid turnover and careful inventory management – it is ideal for high-turnover warehouses. The speed and accessibility make it extremely easy to store and withdraw pallets and combine them well with pallets that can be handled by smaller vehicles or tools, such as pallet trucks, warehouse robots, or autonomous vehicles.

3. Robotics & automation

One way to deal with labor shortages and increase productivity at the same time is to explore automation. While robots and automated vehicles aren’t at the point where they require zero supervision, they can significantly lessen the burden on warehouse operatives, and increase the speed at which pallets are moved. By integrating with a WMS, warehouse robots and other vehicles can automatically move to meet incoming deliveries, collect empty pallets, and even pick up goods and deposit them at packing stations.

Advanced sensors and wireless communication allow robots to avoid collisions with warehouse workers and racking, and navigate both dynamically and with an internal map of the facility. If robots sound like an expensive investment, robots as a service (RaaS) companies are increasingly providing robots and autonomous vehicles on loan, allowing you to test them out in your warehouse environment, and giving you the scope to upgrade or downgrade according to your needs.

Also read: 8 Ways IoT Is Transforming Warehouse Management

4. Warehouse management system (WMS)

Most modern warehouses benefit from a warehouse management system, or WMS. A WMS is a centralized computer system that regulates and coordinates aspects of warehouse management, complementing the work of warehouse operatives. Depending on how advanced the WMS is, this can extend to almost everything that takes place in, around, and even outside the warehouse, bringing every aspect of storage and logistics into sync.

A modern WMS can automate numerous tasks, including inventory management, fulfillment, and even managing warehouse automation. A WMS can help operatives to find stock by synchronizing with their personal devices; direct robots or AS/RS systems to retrieve and deposit stock; ensure personnel and vehicles and ready to greet arriving delivery vehicles; and intelligently manage lighting and heating based on sensor readings. If you have the requisite sensors and devices, the sky’s the limit when it comes to a WMS.

The current climate isn’t ideal for the storage industry, but there are ways to mitigate the damage. For businesses unable to expand or relocate – or simply looking to cut costs at a time of high pressure – the tips above should help to save money and make your operation more efficient, letting you invest where it’s needed most.

How to Improve Warehouse Sustainability

A lot of business leaders are trying ways to make their businesses more sustainable. That primary concern is spreading to the supply chain. Warehouses have a significant environmental impact and are a major location for companies trying to cut back on carbon emissions.

The focus on this is growing in the ranks of material handling experts too.

40% of executives and managers responsible for the decision-making process for handling materials think that sustainability is an important concern today, according to the “Annual Warehouse and Distribution Center (DC) Equipment Survey” by Logistics Management. In 2022 only 36% of those who participated in this Logistics Management survey believed environmental sustainability was an important aspect.

Warehouse owners and managers are able to take action to ensure that their buildings are more eco-friendly, from choosing the best location for their warehouse to purchasing equipment. Here are eight suggestions for how to improve warehouse sustainability.

1. Create a business case for more sustainable warehouses

Supply chain professionals are likely to face resistance as they attempt to improve the sustainability of their warehouses because doing so could require large investments or process modifications.

Supply chain managers are able to provide a number of reasons why they push for more sustainable facilities, for example, the increase in regulations from the government that require reports on or reducing greenhouse emissions of gas. Demand from business partners as well as consumers to be greener has grown and reducing energy usage and environmental impact can help save money.

“[Making Warehouses sustainable] is beneficial for the environment however, it could also make sense for business,” said Suzanne Fallender vice head of global environmental and social governance at Prologis an international real estate firm that specializes in logistics within San Francisco.

Also read: What is Warehouse Automation: Definitions, Types or Benefits

2. Pick warehouse locations more carefully

Warehouses have been built by companies traditionally in areas that were not populated due to the ease of securing the huge spaces needed for their building.

Many companies are currently reconsidering their strategy for warehouse locations for a variety of reasons, not least environmental issues, according to Magali Amiel who is director of CGI which is an IT and business consulting company based in Montreal. Since many companies are now placing warehouses nearer to their customers the delivery vehicles — which are the most commonly used method of transporting products to and from these warehouses — aren’t required to travel as far, which could help to reduce emissions.

In many instances warehouses located close to areas with high population levels allows warehouse owners to choose more sustainable transport options than truck, Amiel said. For instance, some businesses in the Netherlands are building warehouses close to waterways, allowing workers to move more items through barges and ships. Both modes of transport typically are less carbon-intensive than trucks.

3. Choose more sustainable designs

Sustainable warehouses begin by building them.

Prologis which aims to be net-zero in emissions throughout its value chain by 2040, is making sustainability a part of the warehouse’s operations right from the start, Fallender said. This could mean choosing more efficient and environmentally friendly construction materials, choosing those that are more suited to the climate in which the facility is located, and also requiring designs that make use of less concrete.

Prologis is also working to design buildings so that they comply with the requirements of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification. This is a designation given to buildings that have met certain standards of sustainability and efficiency, Fallender said.

Other actions could make a warehouse more sustainable from the start.

Warehouse designers should ensure that buildings can make the most of natural light according to Tamar Warburg director of sustainability at Sasaki which is an interdisciplinary landscape, architecture, planning, and design company based in Boston. This will reduce energy usage by reducing the requirement for artificial lighting, and possibly, cooling and heating.

Facilities owners are also able to work with contractors and architects for ensuring that construction components such as insulation are designed to meet the purpose of the building and the environment around it, Warburg said. This could further cut down on heating and cooling requirements as well as the footprint of the building’s carbon footprint.

These steps don’t require the construction of a brand-new facility.

Warehouse owners are able to employ these design strategies when retrofitting or renovating their facilities, Warburg and Fallender said.

4. Choose energy-efficient lighting

Supply chain managers can improve the sustainability of their warehouses by using artificial lighting. LED light bulbs are 95 percent more efficient in creating light than incandescent lightbulbs, as stated by Energy Star.

However it is true that not all warehouse operators have made the change, Fallender said.

“Some do not know how much this will aid,” she said.

5. Switch to electricity

The switch to electric power can improve the efficiency that warehouse operation more environmentally sustainable.

Prologis has switched to electric forklifts as well as other equipment on site which could help cut down on greenhouse gas emissions as well as decrease the need for fossil fuels Fallender said. Prologis has also begun employing more efficient HVAC systems and has also implemented charging stations for electric vehicles so that its customers can convert their fleets of commercial vehicles into electric cars (EVs). The construction of charging stations assists warehouse workers who use electric vehicles.

6. Go solar

Solar is a crucial method to investigate since warehouses can be a great option to install solar photovoltaic (PV) solar panels.

Warehouse facilities are a good source of land and roof where PV panels collect the energy Warburg said. The amount of space that is available inside warehouses and around them means that they can usually satisfy their own energy needs by using solar PV panels.

“[If the building is equipped with electric systems that are all-electric and complemented by solar PV, then it’s an ideal choice for a zero-energy building or one that produces all the energy that it consumes when you spread it out over a 12-month period,” Warburg said.

Also read: How Blockchain Technology Helps Develop Smart Buildings

7. Build a smarter building

Utilizing automation and smart building technology such as sensors that switch off the heating and lighting on and off when the building is empty can aid in reducing energy usage and improve efficiency.

Warehouse operators and owners must also be able to digitize and automate their processes for business, Amiel said. This will reduce the amount of paper usage.

8. Rethink how you use land

Operators of and owners of Warehouses need to be aware of what changes to the environment around their buildings could improve sustainability.

At one time, businesses cut down on trees and plants around their warehouses as far as they could, since warehouse operators and owners believed that the greenery could affect operations or hinder the visibility of vehicle operators, Amiel said.

Warehouses are also traditionally situated on hardscapes that were impermeable.

The type of landscaping can cause an excess of erosion and water runoff and may negatively impact the water quality in the area, Warburg said. Many businesses are adding more plants to their warehouses for carbon sequestration. They’re also putting in permeable flooring and installing more plants that resorb stormwater that is on the premises.