Increasing Modernization of Cleveland Warehouse & Distribution Centers Make 3PL Partners a Smart Option
Ever-climbing customer expectations, higher-cost goods, and supply chain snarls have made efficiency in warehousing an imperative. In 2018, there were approximately 8,000 private warehouses in the U.S. Now, there are 22,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As the demand for Cleveland warehouse & distribution services has ballooned, it’s become incumbent upon those operating them to work smarter – not harder. This is where warehouse modernization is taking a front seat.
As an established Cleveland warehouse & distribution center with 30+ years of experience, we know that evolution and modernization is the key to staying competitive. Our core values of prioritizing quality customer service and superior facilities have never waivered. But delivering that requires that we keep a finger on the pulse beat of the latest logistics and warehousing technology – and invest in onboarding them where it makes good sense to do so.
In a U.S. warehouse landscape analysis by Zebra Technologies, a company that makes marking, tracking, and computer technologies, 80 percent of warehouse operational decision-makers say they’ll need to adopt new technology over the next five years to stay competitive. Roughly 85 percent say they’re likely to see an increase in shipping volumes, and thus are going to need to invest in better returns handling – which requires more space, more staff, and more efficient technology.
Constantly-progressing warehousing & distribution tech is one reason third-party logistics (3PL) warehousing partners tend to exceed the performance of other businesses trying to manage it all in-house. Even those with capacity to allocate the time, space, and adequate staffing to these services should also consider how regularly these systems and operations require updates and replacements. You get everything set up – only to find within 3-6 months that some new technology has flipped the script. Suddenly, some new equipment and training is necessary to keep pace.
But when the core operations of a company ARE warehousing and distribution, clients of those firms get the benefit of that expertise in identifying problems faster and devoting more time and resources to ensuring all practices, technology, and training is up-to-date.
Fast-Tracked Digital Updates in Cleveland Warehouse & Distribution Operations
Warehousing – and supply chains overall – have always been dynamic. In these worlds, adaptability is survival.
These past few years though, what’s been unique is the frenetic pace at which change has been happening. The pandemic revealed how complex and fragile some supply chains are, and the need to invest in competitive resilience. Part of that includes ensuring the warehousing and distribution services you’re using are operating at prime transparency and efficiency.
Among the warehouse tech solutions on the horizon with significant potential:
- Data and visibility applications. Historically, most supply chains were sort of a simple, top-down business model. That is, the order’s origin, “in-stock” status, and estimated shipping time were the only bits of information readily available. But that’s not good enough anymore. There is a baseline expectation that warehouses have the sort of visibility that will allow for live tracking of products and goods in the warehouse and through the distribution process. These include things like Bluetooth tags, camera sensors, and radio-frequency identification (RFID). It’s smart because greater transparency in the supply chain allows issues to be quickly spotted and effectively addressed. New technologies allowing for improved warehouse visibility are being rolled out practically every year. That’s not to say they need to be updated annually, but warehouses need to ensure the software they’re using is reliable and allows their clients to stay competitive.
- Improved track & trace tech. These applications are already utilized by high-volume industries, such as apparel. It’s gotten to the point where a postage stamp-sized tracker can be used to track products from start to finish – and at any location within a warehouse. We’re going to see industries like produce, pharmaceuticals, and metals (those relying on strict temperature and environmental controls).
- AI technology. Artificial intelligence (AI) is fast becoming more complex, advanced, and impressive. It has such a broad range of possible applications – but many warehouses are somewhat hesitant. But there are some programs that use AI that can be extremely helpful with visibility deficits – particularly flagging issues and inefficiencies in real time and formulating solutions.
If you have questions about the type of warehousing and distribution technology we utilize and how we can use it to meet your operational needs, give us a call or send an email!
For information on Warehousing, Inventory Management, Fulfillment, Distribution, and Trucking Services in Cleveland, Contact On Time Delivery & Warehouse by calling (440) 826-4630 or send us an email.
Bringing Warehouses Of The Past Into The Future, Nov. 11, 2022, By Lior Elazary, Forbes Business Council, Forbes Magazine
More Blog Entries:
Perks of Using a 3PL Cleveland Fulfillment Center to Move Your Goods, Jan. 27, 2022, Cleveland Warehousing & Distribution Blog