Automated inventory management has emerged as a pivotal technological advancement in supply chain management, transforming the way enterprises handle their inventory processes. This article delves into the intricacies of automated inventory management, its underlying technologies, and its paramount importance in the contemporary business landscape.
Automated inventory management harnesses various cutting-edge technologies to streamline and optimize inventory control processes. These technologies encompass artificial intelligence, private 5G networks, machine learning, and inventory software. Together, they monitor stock levels, forecast inventory demand, and calculate material requirements based on data analysis.
Automated inventory management holds immense importance for businesses aiming to scale their operations. A prime example is Amazon’s adoption of autonomous robotics to enhance fulfillment accuracy and efficiency. Presently, Amazon employs over 520,000 robotic units, showcasing the potential for automation in inventory management. Smaller enterprises can also reap substantial benefits by automating their inventory procedures, as timely order delivery is a key factor in generating customer loyalty.
Automated inventory management operates by collecting data at various stages of the fulfillment process and converting this data into actionable business intelligence through dedicated inventory management software. This system allows retailers to swiftly respond to market demand and implement inventory changes at scale.
To track inventory, automated systems must be capable of tracking individual products. The method of product tracking varies depending on the type of products and the extent of tracking required. Simple boxed products may be tracked using RFID tags, which automatically scan each package as it progresses along a conveyor belt. For more accurate and real-time tracking, small IoT sensors utilizing Wi-Fi or private 5G wireless technology offer continuous asset tracking, aiding in the prevention of inventory loss or theft.
The network infrastructure is a pivotal component of the automated inventory management system. Businesses employ diverse networks to cater to different use cases. For instance, a private 5G network may support autonomous fulfillment robots, while short-range Bluetooth is used for product tracking along assembly lines. Various network options are available, such as Bluetooth for close-range tracking, LoRa for long-range tracking, Wi-Fi for indoor coverage, 4G/LTE for real-time tracking both indoors and outdoors, and private 5G, offering unparalleled reliability, signal coverage, real-time tracking, and data privacy.
Inventory management software plays a crucial role in this process, collecting and converting data into valuable insights and automated procedures. For instance, when low inventory levels are detected, the software can trigger automated resupply orders. Furthermore, artificial intelligence and machine learning enable the software to forecast demand, estimate material requirements, and provide accurate delivery times. It also offers advanced reporting capabilities and rule-based engines for customized automations.
Automated inventory management offers numerous advantages, making it a valuable asset for businesses of all sizes.
One of the major benefits is an enhanced customer experience. Automation streamlines fulfillment processes, leading to improved order accuracy and faster delivery times. Inventory and sales forecasting enable businesses to meet peak demand and offer products even when competitors face stockouts.
Human inventory managers can make errors, such as miscalculating stock levels or failing to anticipate demand. Automation significantly reduces the occurrence of such errors, ensuring increased sales and customer loyalty.
Automated inventory management saves time and reduces labor costs by eliminating manual counting and monitoring. This allows businesses to reallocate staff to roles that require a human touch and ensures operational continuity during staff shortages.
Automation platforms empower enterprises to scale their inventory management cost-effectively. Organized systems facilitate the expansion of inventory management by increasing network resources and infrastructure.
When selecting an automated inventory management system, consider the following:
Evaluate your products, tracking needs, and desired outcomes to define your automation requirements.
Look for inventory management software that supports automated reordering, cellular support, inventory alerts, and seamless integration into distribution channels.
Choose a network that aligns with your coverage, performance, and reliability needs to support your automated inventory management system effectively.
Horizon Powered, along with their partnership, offers enterprises a comprehensive private wireless solution designed for automated inventory management. Leveraging a robust private 5G LAN infrastructure, organizations retain full control over their cellular resources and data security throughout their supply chain.
Our 5G LAN solution seamlessly integrates with your existing IT framework, enabling administrators to merge and harmonize Quality of Service (QoS) parameters across the enterprise via a cloud-based management console. Behind the scenes, Horizon Powered’s DMS (a remote management system for devices and integrated systems) empowers advanced traffic management to enforce service level objectives for individual applications and device groups.
For unparalleled network performance in automating your inventory management, Horizon Powered is your ideal partner. Contact us and we will put you through our team of experts to custom fabricate a solution / plan to estimate your private cellular spectrum-based 5G LAN Solution.