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The term sustainable management is defined as the process of incorporating and balancing the various dimensions which are economic, social and environmental (Hofstra, Petkova, Dullaert, Reniers & Leeuw, 2018). These dimensions are also termed as triple bottom line into the decision making process. Sustainability is a core value for number of business corporations and making use of sustainable approach will be improving the efficiency of the warehouse. The below presented business analysis is focused on the investigation of effects of technological advancements towards sustainable warehousing.
Figure 1 Sustainable Warehousing
[Source: Impact of technology on Sustainable warehousing, 2018]
Effect technological advancement towards sustainable warehouse
Emerging trends and innovations and advancements in technology have a reflective impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of the process of product distribution and warehousing (Lim, Bahr & Leung, 2013). Sustainable warehousing is all about managing, incorporating and balancing the economic, environmental and social inputs and outputs, of the warehousing processes. Sustainability has been considered as a fundamental element for the business corporation which aids in determining the value of business. But still it has been observed that the business corporations have to struggle a lot for making implementation of the same in the present business scenario especially when they integrate with the third party logistics (3PL) (Park, Cho & Ahn, 2018). By emerging technology and technological based processes in the warehousing process, the business entities involved in order fulfillment will benefited from the from significant developments in terms of potential, workflow and the following are the major impacts of technological advancements towards sustainable warehousing.
Figure 2 Auto picking in Warehousing
[Source: Impact of technology on Sustainable warehousing, 2018]
Minimizing operating cost and errors
There are number of technological elements that can be used by the business corporations for up-grading the warehousing systems such as WMS (Atieh et al., 2016). The major impact of warehousing management system is minimizing the operating cost by enhancing the productivity of the warehouse. Moreover, the WMS will also aid the warehouse personnel in a proper management and functionality, the authority will not have to invest time in reading or handling documents and papers, keying in the data or thinking about their destinations or objectives. This mechanism will also help in avoiding warehouse expansion by making arrangement of slotting system which will acquire less space (Kembro, Danielsson & Smajli, 2017). Furthermore, all the operations and functionalities are performed by the WMS there are less chances of mistakes that do creep in are immediately identified. This technological up-gradation will also aid in tracking the exact location of the stock, within one storage location with FIFO. WMS system will also benefit the entity by providing the warehouse with put away functionality for palletizing and better picking functionality (Faber, Koster & Smidts, 2013).
Apart from all of the above mentioned positive impacts of WMS information technology there are some negative effects to which are presented as follows. There will be some complex operations which are expected to be done by professionals such as increased master data maintenance (Cinar, Oliveira, Topcu & Pardalos, 2017). There will be introduction of additional processes step for receipt and picking which will increase the complexity of the warehousing system. The business organization will have to hire additional team of experts or professionals or will have to provide advanced training session for advancing their skills and capabilities and which will be proven time and money consuming (Dotoli, Epicoco, Falagario, Costantino & Turchiano, 2015). The existing staff will also have to possess expert knowledge for configuring maximum benefits.
Warehousing and storing are the prime beneficiaries of CCTV which is one of the biggest technological innovations (Matusiak, Koster & Saarinen, 2017)). CCTV surveillance systems will be proven an advantageous system that will aid in solving the difficulty caused in managing the large facilities that’s spread out over the and thus protecting and securing them 24/7 will also be a challenge for the business entity. Making implementation of strategically positioned security cameras will help the warehouse managers and owners in focusing on at the risk areas which will effectively reduce the threats of crime and theft. This can be considered as one of the biggest and positive impact of technology towards sustainable warehousing.
Moreover, there are other positive impacts of technology that will be proven beneficial for the concept of sustainable warehousing (Nicolas, Yannick & Ramzi, 2018). CCTV cameras are also termed as crime deterrent, these systems have been used for past few years for monitoring the warehouse and thus prevents any of the criminal activity.
The heart and soul of a successful distribution operation knows where exactly are the product located and stored and which is the quickest way of retrieving hem. The efficiency of picking, packing, managing, shipping and receiving will have immediate impact towards sustainable warehousing.
After summing up the above presented investigation it has been analyzed that technological innovations and up-gradations will have various positive and negative impacts towards sustainable warehousing.
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