When it comes to managing your warehouse, if you want to stay competitive and improve profitability, you will need to evaluate and adopt crucial technology trends. Now, at the beginning of the year, is the perfect time to look forward to the trends that are shaping the industry and warehouse management specifically.
Digital mobility remains hot.
Mobility isn’t new but its uses continue to alter the business landscape. In 2016, we will see continued integration of mobile devices with business practices. All business functions will find uses for mobile devices. With business applications that can talk to any device, employees in every function will be able to collect, analyze, and report on information on their smartphones. Large companies already accept mobile payments, but that capability will soon be expected across the board. New mobile technology in the form of wearables will also move into warehouse, sales and mobile field service.
The cloud becomes ubiquitous.
Businesses are moving their systems to the cloud in droves. On-premises applications are rapidly being replaced by cloud applications because cloud software offers efficiency and cost savings. As a result, subscription models are becoming commonplace. This trend is strong in warehouse management with cloud applications for inventory management, mobile sales, and mobile field service.
Cybersecurity is an increasingly high priority.
Increased connectivity means that security threat detection and mitigation will remain a spending priority. The unrelenting adoption of cloud, mobile, and social media have significantly increased the complexity of how corporations and individuals interact with and try to protect their devices, systems, data, personal information, and money. Self-protecting applications and behavior analytics stand to improve security.
Big data and the Internet of Things (IoT) impacts everything.
Users are becoming increasingly global and consuming more data. Big data analytics and the Internet of Things (I0T) will continue to impact how we do business. IoT is about interconnecting and creating intelligence from all the devices around us. This game-changing technology will offer enormous cost savings and massive productivity enhancements in the future. The sheer volume of data is staggering, but it offers a world of opportunities for businesses to better manage inventory, improve customer relationships, and enhance daily operations.
System integration will become more prevalent.
System integration across all applications is not new to the world of ERP. Connectivity and big data further drive the need for all business systems, including warehouse management, to be operating on a common database. Business application companies will create more partnerships to enable seamless transfers of information and a single point of access.
Business intelligence is visual and available to everyone.
People have an increased appetite for more advanced analytics to answer deeper questions. Visual analytics will serve as a common language, empowering people to reach insights quickly, collaborate meaningfully, and build a community around data. Advanced analytics are for everybody, not just the analysts. Business intelligence will continue to impact the management of inventory and the entire supply chain.
3D printing is not far off.
3D printing could change the face of manufacturing and distribution in future years. 3D printing specialists have a large number of different products, parts, and supplies available for download. Soon, businesses will simply download 3D printing files and then use those plans to create and build products.
Talent management is a critical strategy.
As the economy improves and the employment market tightens up, expect to see more attention paid to attracting and retaining talent. Human resource management systems (HRMS) with talent management will be more critical to be competitive in the hiring market.