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According to a report from McKinsey, companies spend over $350 billion on warehousing globally each year. Warehouses not only guarantee cost-effective distribution while serving as a vital buffer, but they also play a growing role in competitive advantage thanks to technological advancements because they are the final, crucial stage in the customer service process. Warehousing has always been complicated and under pressure because of the rapidly increasing demand and the expectations of customers for quick deliveries with short lead periods.
Challenges faced in warehousing
A tech-driven revolution in warehousing is currently underway as companies scramble to uncover and deploy cutting-edge technologies that reduce costs, streamline operations, and boost warehousing efficiency. Technology creates new opportunities, therefore companies who are adept at it in the warehousing industry have discovered creative ways to set out on a path to unparalleled efficiency and maximum customer satisfaction. There are several emerging technologies that cater to various challenges of Warehousing. Some of them are Robotics, 3D Printing, Cloud technologies, Digital Twin Technology, the Internet of Things, etc. However, Digital Twins is the most compelling technology to solve complex warehousing challenges as well as to enhance the efficiency of warehousing.
Why Digital Twin?
Digital Twin technology is gaining immense popularity in the warehouse industry due to the increased complexity of warehouse operations. By leveraging digital twin technology, a real-world object or system can be transformed into a sensor-connected, virtual replica. Digital twins have advanced to the next level by using sensors linked to the Internet of Things (IoT), the cloud, and artificial intelligence. The Digital Twin is a replication of its physical twin created by blending real-time data from the physical object or process with its digital representation.
The warehouse’s digital twin technology works by feeding data into a virtual system. Digital twins can function effectively with valuable data obtained from the real world by means of various technologies such as IoT, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Augmented Reality, or Virtual Reality that are widely used in the warehouse. Due to this data, it would be possible to mimic various warehouse operations and fulfillment-related equipment in the warehouse or even mimic the entire warehouse itself.
The widespread use of digital twins has the potential to transform the warehouse industry by improving the decision-making process in warehouses and enabling a clear understanding of how various warehouse operations will develop in the future. Digital twins help add value by means of description or visualization, analysis, diagnosis, and prediction. These values combine to enhance warehouse optimization. The adoption of a digital twin enables complete goods, pallet, and package tracking, ensuring operational effectiveness in warehouse operations. Cognitive power devoted to the utilization of digital twins is increasing, as a result, the potential of digital twins is almost endless. To continuously produce the insights required to improve and streamline warehouse operations, digital twins are thus continuously learning new abilities and skills.
Benefits of Digital Twins that can help mitigate Warehousing challenges
Digital twins will help improve the warehouse industry so much that, according to experts, there will not be any warehouse without digital twins in the upcoming days. Warehouses may undergo a drastic transformation and become SMART with the aid of digital twin technology, as it helps with decision-making and gives a clearer sense of how various warehousing operations will develop in the future. Companies can research more on the creation of their own digital twins if they have a strong technological foundation in place.
This may open various possibilities for the digital twin, including testing modifications before companies adopt them and building new warehouse spaces based on tested models. They can also reach out to their third-party warehousing partners to check if they have any plans to implement a digital twin strategy. Digital Twins can be empowered to load real data sets from the Warehouse Management System/Warehouse Execution System/SAP and run predictive analytics on the warehouse operations that lead to data-driven decision-making. Data-driven decision-making for warehouses would result in the streamlining of warehouse operations and ultimately enhance warehouse efficiency. Therefore, to keep up with the immense competition or acquire a competitive advantage in warehousing, it is prudent to research and explore appropriate adoptions of the digital twin technology.
Working as a Consultant, Product & Platform Engineering at Brillio. MBA graduate from NSB Academy, Bangalore, with a Marketing major and HR minor. Experience in Market Research, Stakeholder Management, Project Management & Industry Analysis.
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