With each passing year, it seems that technological advancements are happening at an exponential pace. With concepts such as Robotics and the Internet of Things (IoT) now having taken a firm hold in the industry, new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) are beginning to take centre stage. Wholesale distribution companies have a lot to look forward to in terms of technological advancements in the coming year. These are some of the top technology trends we are predicting for 2023.
Cloud Software Becomes the Rule, Not the Exception
Cloud software has been central to many businesses for years, but it is now becoming a must-have for the wholesale distribution industry. Wholesale distributors are finding that cloud solutions are essential to keeping up with ever-changing customer demands and improving efficiency. Cloud-based ERP systems, like NetSuite can offer scalability, cost savings, and improved visibility into operations and are coming to market with new features and functionalities far quicker than their on-premise counterparts.
Increased Uptake of Robotics in the Warehouse
The use of robotic technologies is also expected to increase drastically, as the technology improves, cost comes down, and benefits are now becoming more well documented. Robotics are already being used to automate mundane, labour-intensive warehouse tasks such as order picking and packing. In the near future, we can expect to see a higher number of robots on the floor that are capable of more complex tasks.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning Becomes an Integral Part of Warehouse Management
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is predicted to become an integral part of wholesale distribution operations in 2023. AI-enabled systems can be used to generate insights from customer data, forecast demand and inventory levels more accurately, and detect errors or fraud in financial transactions. In addition, Machine Learning (ML) can be used to automate complex warehouse tasks such as finding the most efficient route for a delivery truck or optimising the layout of the warehouse for maximum efficiency.
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Mobile Technology Gains Widespread Adoption in the Warehouse
Mobile technology has been a growing trend in warehouses for some time, but with advancements in hardware and software, it is now becoming more mainstream. Mobile devices have become much more powerful and versatile and are being used to automate complex tasks such as tracking inventory, optimising pick paths and managing orders. With the introduction of 5G networks, businesses can also expect to see increased data speeds and improved communication between workers on the floor.
Voice Recognition Technology Speeds Up Warehouse Processes
Voice recognition technology is another significant trend for 2023. This technology can be used to automate tasks such as checkout, order entry, and inventory tracking. Voice-enabled systems are becoming more user-friendly and accurate, making them a must-have in the warehouse of the future. In addition to voice inputs, security can also be improved through the use of voice recognition technology.
Big Data Becomes Central to Optimising Distribution Operations
As technology continues to advance in wholesale distribution, so does the ability for companies to capture more data about their operations. This data can be used to make informed decisions about the best practices for order fulfilment, inventory management, and more. The use of machine learning algorithms to uncover insights from big data will become increasingly common in wholesale distribution operations in 2023.
”Cloud software has been central to many businesses for years, but it is now becoming a must-have for the wholesale distribution industry.Tiernan O'ConnorSales Director - DWR
The Future of Wholesale Distribution is Technology
As technology continues evolving within the wholesale distribution industry, companies must stay ahead of the curve and utilise the latest trends in order to remain competitive. By understanding new technologies such as voice recognition, AI/ML-driven analytics, IoT, AR, and 3D printing technology, companies can be sure they are well-equipped to handle the challenges of tomorrow.
With the right technologies in place, wholesale distributors will be able to ensure they continue to meet their customer service expectations while also increasing efficiency and reducing costs. They will be better placed to provide a superior customer experience, differentiate their product offering and provide competitive pricing.
About DWR, a Wholesale Distribution Technology Specialist
DWR is a leading Australian NetSuite Partner, providing selection, implementation, support and managed services to growing wholesale distributors. For over 15 years, DWR has been helping companies use the latest technologies to streamline their wholesale distribution operations, optimise efficiencies and gain a competitive edge.
If you’re interested in learning more about how DWR can help you leverage technology to stay ahead of the competition in 2023, please contact us today. Our team of experts are here to answer any questions you may have and help you on your digital transformation journey.