Skip main navigation

Technology within the warehouse

Today’s warehouses are full of technology.
© University of Warwick

Today’s warehouses are full of technology. When you place an order on the internet or go into a store to pick up an item watch how these orders are picked in the warehouse and made ready for despatch.

The following videos will be of use in helping you understand the different processes and technology used in warehouses to help improve efficiencies and reduce the time from order to delivery.

 Voice technology

This video compares the use of voice technology with bar code scanning. The operator receives instructions via a headset rather than having to read it on a piece of paper or a screen. The operators are also hands-free enabling them to pick up items with both hands – a major advantage.

YouTube: Voice Picking vs RF Scanning YouTube: Voice Picking vs RF Scanning

RFID

This video discusses the potential use of radio frequency identification technology within a warehouse. This technology was supposed to reduce the use of barcodes in logistics and retail, replacing them with tiny transponder chips which can hold a large amount of information. Unfortunately, these tags are still too expensive compared to bar codes and there are difficulties reading the information when these tags are close to water or metal. When you next buy an item of clothing see if you can find the RFID tag.

YouTube: RFID - Technology Video YouTube: RFID – Technology Video

Vision

This video shows how DHL and Ricoh are moving forward in terms of technology within the warehouse. The introduction of Google Glass showed how data can be viewed without looking at a hand-held screen for example. This hands free application and the ability to capture images is a significant advantage for warehouse operations.

YouTube: Vision Picking at DHL - Augmented Reality in Logistics YouTube: Vision Picking at DHL – Augmented Reality in Logistics

Talking point

  • After watching these videos think about the advantages and disadvantages for each type of technology and share your thoughts with your fellow learners.
© University of Warwick
This article is from the free online

Supply Chains in Practice: How Things Get to You

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education