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In the News: Why smarts are central to Internet of Things in the warehouse

Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity is still early days in warehouses, though several suppliers are coming up with predictive modeling and analytics to optimize DC operations based on granular data from IoT or other data feeds.

The connected warehouse, enabled in part by Internet of Things (IoT) technology, is a concept that’s gaining interest as companies try to cope with e-commerce service level and cost reduction pressures. But, is this concept more vision than reality?

The short answer is that the IoT-connected warehouse is still mostly vision. While some applications, such as lift truck telematics or Cloud-connected temperature sensors, are in use, most distribution centers are not using IoT-connected sensors or equipment. Many automation systems generate near real-time data, but they are usually wired with a controller and into a warehouse control system (WCS).

On the other hand, the IoT-connected DC is materializing. More suppliers are coming up with IoT solutions. These providers include major warehouse automation and materials handling systems vendors who also provide WCS and warehouse execution system (WES) software.

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