Back in the 90’s, robots, drones, artificial intelligence in computing sounded something like fantasy. We grew up hearing fictional stories about these unconventional technologies that we never knew would turn into a reality. Such technologies have transformed nearly every field they touched with courier industry being no exception.
By 2022, the global e-commerce industry is more likely to reach near a staggering $3 trillion economy. This astronomical number in fulfilling the market needs is becoming the norm. When e-commerce industry came into life, people were compromised with the high delivery fees. Many customers were satisfied with the products being delivered to them in a week or two and were accustomed to using their fingertips to buy items online.
But now, people are more instrumental about the quick and free delivery fulfillment. And so it’s a high time for the logistics to meet the demands of consumers. Therefore, courier companies are now investing in new technologies to support the parcel volume growth, to fulfill delivery targets in specific time slots and also to meet the changing customer demands for fast and free shipping.
Therefore, some forward-thinking courier industries envisioned about Smart Warehouse that became a global buzzword. Smart Warehouse promises to optimize the way of receiving, picking, packing, storing and shipping couriers. But this whole drama and action includes a number of big actors such as self-driving vehicles, Internet of things, cloud logistics, big data, low –cost sensor technology, digital identifiers, bionic enhancement, augmented reality and self-learning systems. And this action-packed plot is written by machine learning.
Out of your curiosity, machine learning is much more than just the definition here. But for the basic understanding, it is a sub-field of artificial intelligence where computers have the ability to comprehend the data in a critical manner without the need of explicitly providing instructions. For example, our smartphone cameras can scan and detect the handwritten texts, but it is not programmed to understand the words flawlessly. It can only detect the computerized fonts better. But what if we program them to teach itself. We can clearly identify a word handwritten by a professional and the same word by a kindergarten child. But the way letters are woven in both cases is unidentifiable to computers unless it is programmed to “do it yourself”.
What are the implications of Smart Warehouse?
- Human errors: More automated systems mean less room for mistakes.
- Cost and time saving: With reduced errors, productivity will improve significantly. The process of sorting, scanning and moving items will speed up. Automated machines will save electricity by stabilizing movement of machineries.
- Happier faces: With the lightning speed service and error-free delivery, more customers will approach the service. They will appreciate the low-cost delivery.
- Outplay the competitors: Even though your competitors have been in the space for longer, implementing smart strategies would help your business to leapfrog them.
- Innovative environment: Use of robust technologies such as speech recognition software, RFID readers and augmented reality wearables would let you go hands free and encourage to work smarter.
- Flying calculator: Use of drones in warehouse would help to scan and count the items or bar codes on-the-fly.
Doesn’t this sound exciting how journey of a courier is going to be automated from storage to shipping. But what about shipping to delivery? Well, we have miles to go. Until now, don’t freak out when you see an exoskeleton robot waiting outside for you to receive.