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By its very nature, the world of warehousing and fulfillment is no stranger to shifting trends and changing approaches.

Even if you discount the necessary changes borne out of everything that’s happened over the past few years, warehousing is an industry that constantly needs to update itself to keep up with changing customer demands, shifts in technology, and the current retail environment in general – and this year will be no exception.

As major online retailers continue to set the tone for what customers expect, and the effects of 2020’s supply chain crisis continue to ripple through most industries across the globe, warehouses will see themselves looking into even bigger technological upgrades, changes to processes, and finding all-new ways to fulfill their orders correctly and on-time. After all, isn’t that what we all want at the end of the day?

With that in mind, here’s a few of the biggest warehouse industry trends you can expect to encounter in 2024, and how they may affect your overall business:


Supply Chain Agility


“Agility” is a common word across many industries these days, but supply chains are going to increasingly turn more and more towards agile practices in order to keep up with demand and reduce the impact of potential inventory issues. 

One way that warehouses will become more agile is through change management and exception management. While mispicks will always happen in warehousing, knowing how to respond to them will be key. Implementing better product labeling and creating better organization strategies for your pallet racks and warehouse shelving, combined with a better exception management system, will allow your warehouse to respond more quickly to issues like lost products or inventory discrepancies.


Inventory Databasing


Everyone has their own methods of tracking inventory, but whatever method your warehouse relies on, the supply chain will become increasingly digital.

New systems will allow inventory information to be logged into a larger database for easier tracking. These systems include optical character recognition (aka OCR) to automatically scan legacy paperwork that hasn’t been digitized yet, RFID trackers to provide better information about product location & inventory levels, and automated inventory tracking to record this information more quickly.


Strategic Warehouse Locations


While ecommerce was showing no signs of slowing down prior to the pandemic, the last few years have seen a growth in online ordering of products across nearly every industry. 

With this growth in online shopping comes a change in customer expectations as to how fast their orders can be delivered, and in some cases even where the orders will be shipped from. As a result, more warehouses will be branching out into new, more strategic locations. 

From newly-built warehouses to reuses of older facilities like shopping malls, warehouses will be creating new satellite locations to fulfill orders even faster than before, allowing them to cut down on the handling and delivery time for their customers, and stay competitive in an ever-growing landscape. These warehouses will come with their own management challenges, but the benefits to the customer may prove worth it over time.

Whatever changes 2024 may bring, warehouses will need to stay flexible to meet them – and those that do might just find themselves growing and thriving.

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