Top Trends For Smart Warehousing In 2021

Warehouse Managers are constantly looking for ways to truly future-proof their operations. Zebra Technologies suggests business leaders focus on the following areas to maximise their impact: mobile technology, staff communications, inventory management, picking processes, inbound handling, and outbound performance. While those areas help operational leaders prioritise, it’s also essential to understand competitors’ approaches within each focus area.

In this blog, we’ll be outlining three innovations that are trending amongst leaders in warehousing operations in 2021:

1) E-commerce And Micro-Fulfilment

2) Workflow Automation

3) IoT Connectivity

4) Exploring Warehouse Solutions For Your Business

Ecommerce And Micro-Fulfilment

We recently shared an article on the MiTEQ LinkedIn page encouraging businesses to turn their retail space into micro-fulfilment centers. Supply Chain Management Review initially mentioned this idea in light of the growing demand for ultra-convenient e-commerce, pick-up, and delivery offerings.

With omnichannel offerings thriving and the face of brick-and-mortar stores experiencing transformations due to increased mobile use, internet penetration, and post-pandemic lockdowns, modern, localised fulfilment options are becoming more and more attractive. One study found that 66% of customers chose e-commerce brands based on their delivery options, and 77% were willing to pay more for faster delivery. You see, it’s essential.

Ultimately, the demands for rapid fulfilment lean on more excellent warehousing processes. Handling minor to large individual orders instead of bulk transportation models can allow businesses to optimise their supply chains for maximum reward.

Workflow Automation

Building upon the need for cutting-edge fulfilment processes, warehouses can combine robotics, AI, and machine-learning technologies to enable warehouse workers to be more effective with their time and more competent at performing individual tasks.

A prime area for workflow automation in warehouses is warehouse picking processes. Businesses can utilise tools such as Ivanti to modernise their legacy devices on a device-by-device basis – improving their use of data without risking their operational integrity; or, for those already making the most of data capture technologies, Zebra’s FulfillmentEdge picking and packing solution should be a top consideration.

IIoT Connectivity

The Industrial Internet of Things refers to technologies interconnected with computers’ industrial applications, including manufacturing and energy management. While legacy warehouse handling vehicles, such as forklifts and trucks, will continue to play a vital role in warehouse management processes, modern inter-communication between machines allows warehouse operators to elevate their efficiencies and optimise their workflows.

IoT Times uses the example of self-driven vehicles to explain the value-add of IoT technology:

“Self-driven vehicles can recognize objects in their path and steer around them, bringing contents directly to the correct places in a warehouse. Using robots to assist with material handling methods also positively impacts employees.”

This interconnectivity can improve productivity and reduce operating costs by helping workers avoid making unnecessary, time-consuming journeys. In more extensive warehouse operations, this can prevent workers from taking lengthy trips from either end of a premise.

Exploring Warehouse Solutions For Your Business

MiTEQ works closely with a combination of trusted industry-leading partners, providing everything from barcoding and RFID technologies to IoT connectivity and end-to-end support. If you wish to explore solutions for your business, visit our Contact Us page and leave us your email, or reach out directly via

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