Most warehouse managers have at least a passing familiarity with technologies like real-time location services, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning that have the potential to boost their operating efficiency. But only 35% of warehouse leaders have a clear understanding of where to start applying them, according to technology provider Zebra Technologies.
So Zebra has developed a “warehouse maturity model” to help warehouse operators and managers understand where they are in their journey toward modernization. The new five-phase framework considers the synchronization that needs to occur between warehouse management software, automated equipment, and worker and workflow optimization. Each phase guides operations and information technology (IT) leaders through the next stage of the warehouse modernization journey, coaching them on the use of increasingly sophisticated technologies to achieve greater levels of visibility, utilize their data to a greater extent, and orchestrate operations to ensure every asset and worker is visible, connected, and optimized, Zebra says.
Phase one focuses on improving operations and increasing individual worker productivity, phase two centers on enhanced team productivity and workflow continuity, and phase three calls for actively seeking out sensing technology.
Zebra plans to roll out details on the final two phases in the coming weeks, with an end goal of enabling optimized workflows, better inventory accuracy, increased throughput, improved worker safety, and faster training and onboarding.