How to Develop IoT-based Warehouse Management System?
Updated on Jul 13th, 2023
Warehouses have gotten bigger and wider since the last industrial revolution. The sales for each of various different products have grown massively as adaptability increased. Now while it may seem like the best thing to happen to retail and manufacturing industries, it takes quite a toll on warehouse management.
Different products must be kept at different temperatures, humidity, pressure, etc. An IoT-based warehouse management system enables you to control all these automatically for each product’s requirements. That’s just the beginning of what it could do; there is inventory management, tracking, auto re-ordering, and much more.
Interested in IoT solutions for warehouse management? We will cover all you need to know about developing an IoT-based warehouse management system in today’s blog. Let’s begin with the basics first.
- IoT warehouse management solutions are replacing legacy systems.
- While a bit complex to implement, the long-term benefits are unmatched.
- The growing demand for product-specific warehousing demands is increasing, and it can only be matched with a well-built IoT-based system.
- Retail software solutions can be integrated to create a perfect visualization of demand and supply for each product.
Table of Contents
What is an IoT-Based Warehouse Management System?
Before moving on to an IoT-based warehouse management system, let’s talk about IoT. Internet of Things is a network of connected devices which are capable of relaying real-time data and controlling devices remotely. Now, coming to the main point – IoT-based warehouse management system.
The said warehouse management system development utilize the capabilities of IoT devices and reap benefits. Everything installed in the warehouse, in terms of air conditioning, humidifiers, and pressure control systems, can all be controlled within the cloud based warehouse management system. IoT enables perfect automated control to ensure perfection in every aspect of warehouse management.
Benefits of IoT Solutions for Warehouse Management
Implementing IoT in warehouse management has many benefits, covering improvements in almost every aspect known. The improved supply chain efficiency, better inventory management, and lesser requirement for human intervention are just a few. When considering moving over from legacy systems, implementing IoT for your warehouse’s management is one of the biggest leaps.
a. Inventory Management
A lot of resources are utilized to maintain the warehouse for each product’s specific requirements. A well-built warehouse management system can group the products based on space available while considering every other factor. The massive calculation is often done wrong through human staff, and immeasurable improvements can be forecasted with a proper management system in place.
b. Product Mapping
Mapping each product to the relevant space also stands out as a major benefit of IoT-based warehouse management software. Even though some might call it a part of inventory management, it tends to be bigger than that. A warehouse management system improves efficiency across the warehouse and directly affects the supply chain, wastage and product expiration, keeping stock updated, and more.
c. Data Gathering
Whenever a new technology is introduced into a system, the bigger goal is to gather data. IoT is a technology that lets you build massive data sets and enables real-time data relay. You can use this data with almost everything, and you can use it to improve efficiency, manage orders, improve the supply chain, and so on. It is one of the most major benefits that come with IoT implementation.
d. 24/7 Workability
Automated warehouses implemented through IoT can run 24/7, with minimal human workforce intervention requirements. The devices can track the locations of a particular truck coming to pick up particular products, all that’s needed after that is to press a button. If you are willing to, even that can be automated, and the products will be loaded as soon as the truck arrives.
e. Risk Mitigation
Modern products have higher basic demands than what we have to seem. As we discussed above, products require specific temperatures, pressure, humidity, etc. An IoT solution for warehouse management can take control of any risks firsthand. In case of a power outage, you will get a notification of the devices not running, and take steps well in advance to avoid risking the products.
f. Demand-Supply Management
A complete demand-supply metric can be derived for businesses with a connected retail system. The warehouse management system can detect the actual number of products and always keep the scales balanced. The retail software would relay sales information, and the same products can be tracked in the warehouse to create a new order.
How to Develop an IoT Warehouse Solution?
A warehouse management system based on IoT is usually made with the assistance of a custom software development company. But it’s always good to know your way through for better negotiation and to know what to expect.
Step 1: Choosing Features for Your Solution
a. Inventory Management
Inventory management encompasses a large set of features, which sometimes even include third-party API integrations. Production and distribution centers can be integrated to have an even wider approach toward unifying the three. Real-time monitoring enables more than just taking a look at the inventory, and you can control everything that’s connected with the IoT devices.
b. Automated Ordering
Automated ordering and re-ordering can both be achieved with a warehouse management system running on IoT. The sensors can track which products are being shipped out and order them on their own. When a surge in demand is detected through a connected system, an automated can be placed to ensure fuller inventories and avoid stock shortages.
c. Data Visualization
Data Visualization involves a centralized dashboard where everything about the warehouse can be tracked. The actions and insights available can help businesses plan a line of action in case of any changes to the original plan. Stock can be rearranged, orders can be approved, and real-time information gathering can be processed, all with the click of a button.
d. Zone-Based Monitoring
Ideally, you can divide your warehouse into zones when implementing IoT in your warehouse. This would let each zone’s manager keep track of real-time statistics generated by each IoT device and formulate the same according to requirements. Zones also can be individually controlled; a set of sensors can be allocated and shifted based on requirements.
e. Push Notifications/Alerts
A well-implemented system can alert you even on the slightest possible risk. Rodent detection or infiltration of the facility is a popular use case. The 24/7 working cameras can detect even the slightest change and would notify the admins marked in the system for it. The alerts can also be set up for missing articles and products to keep track of each product coming and going out.
f. Retail Software Integration
Retail software integration can give insights into how well a product is performing. While this can be done with legacy systems too, what that can’t do is automatically order goods. An IoT-based warehouse management system can be integrated with a retail management system to act automatedly based on derived service and approval in regard to product demand/supply.
Step 2: The Development Part
Half your worries are solved when you are ready with the plan consisting of what you need. The other half commences with the development part. Here, you would need to figure out the basics of the development of your cloud based warehouse management software. You will need to choose the technology to use, the platforms to target, the people to hire, and more. Don’t worry, though; if it all seems too much, you can always opt for consultation from the IoT development company of your choice for better insights.
a. The Platform for Software Development
A lot of factors weigh in when choosing platforms for software development. There is a distinction between cloud and on-premise solutions; both offer different advantages, especially in terms of IoT security and implementation. The platforms you choose will largely affect your overall budget, as on-premise custom software solutions would be built specifically for machines and operating systems.
IoT devices can be run on a private network as well, which is much more secure than running them on the internet. But to tap into that, you will have to go with on-premise software. Complex technologies usually have a few bits more chores than the regulars, but don’t worry. If you need any help whatsoever, our consultants will help you with everything you require through and through.
b. Choosing Team Members for IoT Software Development
You will need to hire people for every platform and technology you use, as the experts usually do one thing only. The exact number can only be determined when you are ready with particulars of scalability and software. Below are the team members you would absolutely need when developing IoT-based warehouse management system. You can choose to hire them on contracts, as most would be working in steps after completion of the previous.
- Project Manager
- Embedded System Engineers
- Back-End Developers
- Front-End Designers
- Database experts
c. Technology Stack
Choosing complementing technologies is a tough choice but an essential one. Choosing the wrong technologies can majorly compromise the entire project; many technologies do not support embedded systems, and they should be avoided at all costs. The best thing to do is dive into it without preset biases towards particular technologies. The consultant you choose will help you with technology stacks that work perfectly together.
Software Development Tools
- Cloud 9
Data Analytics Tools
- Amazon EC2
- Amazon S3
- Amazon VPC
- Amazon EMR
- Apache Impala
- Elastic Search
- AWS CloudFormation
Step 3: Finding a Software Development Partner
Once you are ready with everything else, you need an mobile app development partner. While you may find many in the wide world, we hope you will make the right choice. You would want someone with expertise and experience like us. We take pride in building various IoT-based management solutions across industries and niches. Our team of experts will help you with everything you need, including the most complex features. Our embedded engineering team knows the best in IoT, and will create a product that works in perfect symphony with the IoT devices.
Ready to Get Your IoT-Based Warehouse Management System Developed?
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